Dear Members of St. John’s,
The God we belong to is good all the time. In the work and blessing of our Savior we know that is true.
So, we survived another week under quarantine. As I highlighted in my last update, we are seeking to stay connected to God through each other, through His Word, and through the sacrament of Holy Communion during this time of uncertainty and isolation. So let me update you again on what’s going on in each of these areas.
Staying Connected to God Through Each Other
I hope you have connected by now with our Call Team who has been calling to check on how you’re doing. If they left a message and you haven’t connected yet, feel free to call them back. It’s important as brothers and sisters in Christ that we stay connected by checking on each other, encouraging each other, and reassuring each other of our hope in Jesus during this period of uncertainty.
Another thing we can do is pray for each other. In addition to praying for those affected by the virus physically, I invite you to also pray for those affected by the business downturn. If you feel comfortable, you may submit the name of your company (big or small) to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can inform our members to pray specifically for these companies, their leaders, and their employees as they navigate these uncharted waters.
Remember, we are the church!
Staying Connected to God Through His Word
This Sunday (March 29) is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week! On this day, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a humble donkey knowing what lay ahead. I will help us stay focused on the events of this next week as we are led to the cross and the empty tomb. Like the last two Sundays, since all in-person services and Sunday school are canceled, I will again provide a taped message that can be viewed through the St. John’s website. I encourage you to take the time and listen to God’s word through this medium to stay connected to Him.
While most of us are spending more time at home, it’s also a great opportunity to deliberately set aside time for quietness, confession, and meditation; in other words, spend time with the Lord and His Word through prayer, daily devotionals, and other on-line resources. 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.
Staying Connected to God Through the Sacrament of Holy Communion
As you know, this last Sunday we tried a new way of distributing Holy Communion through a “Walk-In, Family-Isolated” (WiFi) process. Praise God for those that ventured out to receive this gift! I was so happy to see your smiling faces again.
So we plan to offer WiFi Communion again this Palm Sunday between 9-11 a.m. We will also distribute palm crosses for those that come. To be clear, we are not gathering as a congregation. We are simply providing a means to partake of Communion one family at a time through a safe, peaceful, sheltered, and familiar setting. By the time you arrive, I 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.
And just to remind everyone from my last update:
- The last remaining Wednesday Lenten dinner and service (April 1) is canceled.
- St. John’s Preschool is closed and plans to reopen on Monday, April 20, until further notice.
I will provide another update next week regarding our plans for Maundy Thursday (April 9), Good Friday (April 10), and Easter Sunday (April 12). Stay tuned.
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/, or you can simply mail your check directly to St. John’s. Alternatively, you may bring your offering to WiFi communion and drop it in the basket there. For those of you that have been using the Givelify app, please note that we have now changed 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.
In this holy season we are rejoicing in God’s great love for us, praying for the abundance of His grace for every need and trusting in His care for His children as He has promised.