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March 24 Update on Coronavirus Precautions

Dear Members of St. John’s,

Being part of a family of faith is one of the great blessings of our lives.  We are graced with brothers and sisters with whom we share a common faith in Jesus and a common journey toward home.  This unusual time of physical separation reminds us what a gift the family is for each of us. 

So we continue to think about how to keep us all connected to God through each other, through His Word, and through the sacrament of Holy Communion while our world has been disrupted. To be responsive to this, we are going to do these three things going forward:

Stay Connected to God Through Each Other

We have a small group of St. John’s members that will be reaching out to the broader St. John’s body of believers by phone over the next week. This will help us stay connected by checking on each other, encouraging each other, and reassuring each other of our hope in Jesus during this period of uncertainty.

Stay Connected to God Through His Word

Like last Sunday, all in-person services and Sunday school are canceled for this week. I hope you had a chance to view the message I posted last Sunday. For this next Sunday, March 29, I will again provide a taped message that can be viewed through the St. John’s website. I would encourage you to take the time and listen to God’s word through this medium to stay connected to Him.

In addition to this message, I would again point you to other programs that are wonderful ways to hear God’s word. Specifically, the Lutheran Hour radio program and other resources are available at lutheranhour.org. Also, Worship Anew is a series of taped services from Lutheran Ministries Media at worshipanew.org.

Stay Connected to God Through the Sacrament of Holy Communion

This Sunday, March 29, we will be trying something new in order to provide God’s gift of his body and blood to those that want to participate. We are planning to distribute Holy Communion through a “Walk-In, Family-Isolated” or WiFi process, if you prefer an acronym. We are not gathering as a congregation; instead, we are providing a means to partake of Communion one family at a time through a safe, peaceful, sheltered, and familiar setting. So this Sunday we will offer WiFi Communion during the hours of 9-11 a.m. By the time you arrive, Pastor will have already consecrated the bread and the wine. You may enter the St. John’s parking lot, follow the car line, and remain in your car. Once your car gets to the front of the line at the front doors of the church, you may leave your car under the direction of an elder, enter the narthex, receive the bread and wine from Pastor in the narthex, return to your car, and then exit the parking lot. The process has been designed as a sanitary, non-touch, safely spaced experience providing a peaceful, familiar environment for prayerful self-examination as you partake of God’s gift of Communion. We’re excited about this, and I hope you are too.  

And just to remind everyone from my last update:

  • Remaining Wednesday Lenten dinners and services (March 25, April 1) are ALL CANCELED.
  • St. John’s Preschool is closed and plans to now reopen on Monday, April 20, until further notice.

Since we will likely be in this “quarantined” state for the next several weeks, we are thinking ahead to Holy Week (Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday, April 5 – April 12) and how we plan to stay connected during this commemoration of our Lord’s death and resurrection. Keep an eye out for my email update next week.  

Finally, as I’ve stated before, we depend on you for financial support during these uncertain times to help with our financial obligations and outreach support. If you are not currently an online giver, we encourage you to visit the electronic giving section of our website at https://stjohnslexington.org/worship/electronic-giving/ and download the app, or you can simply mail your check directly to St. John’s. For those of you that have been using the Givelify app, please note that we are in the process of changing over to a new, lower cost app (i.e. more of your offering goes to St. John’s, less to the app).  As you access the electronic giving section of our website, you will notice that change later this week.

As a family of faith we continue to pray for our leaders, our country, for medical workers, and all those whose lives have been and continue to be disrupted in significant ways.  Most of all, we pray for faith filled hearts and confident minds which are resting solely in the God to whom we belong. 

In Christ,
Pastor Bettermann