To Our First Lutheran Family,
We continue to monitor the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and our leadership is consulting with experts on how best to keep our community, particularly those who are most vulnerable, safe. With that in mind, we have made the decision to suspend church programming and worship services until April 1.
Harvard Epidemiologist Dr. Mark Lipsitch says, “just as it takes a village to fuel a contagion, it takes a village to slow it down.” This is why, out of an abundance of caution, we are taking steps to engage in social distancing. At the same time, we are working on innovative ways we can stay connected as a community of faith that supports one another.
At times of uncertainty, it helps to focus on things we can do:
Worship with us from wherever you are. Each of the next three Sundays, visit this website (www.firstlutherandecorah.org) for a downloadable order of worship and a video of the week’s reading and sermon. These resources will also be available on our church social media accounts. You can also watch full worship services from our FLC archives during the Thursday evening worship broadcast at 6:30 p.m. on channel 79.2.
Join our Orange live-stream. Each of the next three Sundays, our children’s ministry will be leading virtual Orange on the FLC Kids Ministry Facebook Page at 10:00 a.m.
Please continue your regular giving. We do not yet know the impact this situation will have on our community, but we as a ministry are committed to respond. Your continued gifts will ensure we have the resources for those who need us. You can give electronically through the church website, set up automated giving through your bank, or simply mail your offering to church.
Please consider a special gift to the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund to help an anticipated increase of members in need.
We are convening a Community Response Team to brainstorm ways we can support the needs of our congregation and community. If you are interested in participating in this group, please contact Karen Trewin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-419-4796. We will work to gather the group in a responsible way.
This situation presents many challenges, but it also gives us the opportunity to practice “church” as a verb – by caring and looking out for one another, anticipating how we can help our broader community and exploring innovative ways to connect with one another.
Check on neighbors and friends, especially those in high-risk groups. Go grocery shopping for those who are safer staying at home. Share your supplies with neighbors.
Make phone calls and send notes to those who feel particularly isolated during this time, especially those who live alone and those who live in care centers that have restricted visiting privileges.
Continue your financial support to local businesses and nonprofits. As you are able, buy gift certificates from local retailers, order food from local restaurants for take-out, and keep up your usual financial commitments to service providers, even if they suspend their services for a time.
We commit to ongoing and timely communication as this situation develops. We look forward to gathering again in person when it becomes safer to do so.
In the meantime, know that your church leaders continue to pray for you and for our congregation. If particular needs emerge for you during this time, please reach out.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Chad, Pastor Melissa, and the FLC Church Council