Dear Members of St. John’s,
We rejoice to know that God’s love for us in Jesus is certain, unaffected by the circumstances of life. It is that love that enables us to look ahead with confidence.
Things are starting to change as certain parts of our world are reopening. Since last week’s email, the Governor set a target date of May 20 for in-person worship to restart. If this holds, that would mean we would restart worship services on May 24th, just three weeks away!
We are now finalizing plans to ensure that we can worship safely when we restart. Currently we are planning for an early (8:00) and a late (10:30) in-person worship service including communion. For those not ready to worship in-person, we will provide WiFi communion between the early and late services and live stream the service. For proper social distancing with in-person worship, we will need to regulate entry into the sanctuary and adhere to seating guidelines. The elders and ushers will help with this. To minimize touching of surfaces and to maintain distances, we will distribute communion one family at a time like we are doing with WiFi communion. Cards and pens will be removed from the pews. Instead, prayer requests and attendance cards will be provided in the bulletins. Offering baskets will be set up to avoid passing the plate. Finally, we will encourage people to wear face masks and be respectful of our fellow worshippers. Face masks will be available for those who don’t have one. There will be more to come as we get closer to the date so stay tuned!
Staying Connected to God Through Each Other
Regarding the recent Care Team announcement, we are still looking for volunteers willing to visit or call members and do simple shopping tasks for those unable to do so. If you are interested in volunteering, please let Lisa Walraven know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Caring for each other, particularly during this time of separation, is one way we can show the love our Savior has for us. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Staying Connected to God Through His Word
For this Sunday, May 10, I will 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.
As a reminder, 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
For this Sunday, we will continue to distribute Holy Communion using our “Walk-In, Family-Isolated” (WiFi) process from 9-11 a.m. Again, to be clear, we are not gathering as a congregation. We are simply providing a means to receive the gift of Holy Communion one family at a time through a safe, peaceful, sheltered, and familiar setting. I will have already consecrated the bread and the wine by the time you arrive. 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 me, 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.
Thank you for your continuing contributions to St. John’s to meet our financial obligations and outreach support. Whether you are dropping off your offering at WiFi communion, mailing your check directly to St. John’s, or giving online through the electronic giving section of our website at https://stjohnslexington.org/worship/electronic-giving/, we truly appreciate your continued support through this time of separation.
With all the believers who have gone before us we believe, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). It is our confession and our comfort as we look to our Lord in these uncertain times. It is our word of encouragement for one another too.
Living in Jesus with you,