St. Peter’s & COVID-19 Update to Worship
What a strange time it is that we are living in! So many updates, scary information, isolation, fear, uncertainty. At this time when many of us might have been filling in our brackets for March Madness, instead, we are wondering when life will go back to normal. Crazy. The Apostle Paul’s words to the Romans comes to mind in chapter 8. A chapter that speaks of a shaking world and actions of sinful minds, but Paul also directs us to Jesus, our Advocate and Redeemer. He reminds us that we have been chosen and called. Since we have God doing all this for us, what do we have to fear?
33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:33–39
At a time like this it is important to take an inventory of our life and faith. In Jesus, we have forgiveness, God’s certain love and the promise of eternal life! Stepping back from that, we know that even in difficult times, God is still in control using events to humble the proud and lift up the humble. He promises to be with us and grow us in our faith. He is working to share his powerful gospel to lead more to eternal life. You have your Lord’s sure promises!! Stay close to Jesus in these times by remaining in God’s Word. Nothing can separate you from your Savior as you remain close to him in Word and sacrament.
After listening to the information shared by our federal and state governments, discussing things with our council and with pastors in the area, we have decided on the following decisions as a way to respect and honor our government and to show love for one another:
- LENTEN SERVICES CANCELLED – We will cancel the rest of our Lenten services on Wednesday evenings. Video sermons of the pastors in our area will be made available online as well as written sermons and links to the passion reading videos.
- SUNDAY SERVICES ONLINE – We will cancel Sunday morning worship for the next two Sundays in March. Instead, we will have a shortened devotional service online via video and/or audio. I will be sending out a note to those without internet, inviting them to call in and listen in to the service live on Sunday morning at 9:00 AM. Go to mywels.com/live for links and information.
- Communion & Meet with Pastor at Church – I am willing and offer to meet with anyone that would like to at church. Private communion is available to members that would like to receive it. I am also willing to meet with families or if you want to video chat, just let me know.
- OFFERINGS – The Council and I would also ask that you prayerfully consider the Lord’s blessings and continue to give offerings according to your plan in support of our Kingdom work. You are welcome to use our online giving at mywels.com/giveonline or send in your envelope and/or offerings to church. If you have any questions, please just contact pastor.
- BIBLE STUDY, JESUS CARES & SUNDAY SCHOOL – Bible studies, Jesus Cares Bible study and Sunday School will be canceled for now, although I will be looking at possibly offering online bible studies.
- IN NEED OF HELP – if you are need of any help during this time, whether it is getting groceries or supplies, whatever it may be, please just call and ask. It is important for us to show the love of Christ in action at this time. Look for opportunities to show love and kindness for your neighbors. Go out of your way to help others. AND especially keep praying for your neighbors, your governing officials, health care workers, people working in the grocery stores and our senior citizens that are isolated in their apartments or nursing facilities. It is a challenging time, but our Lord promises to answer our prayers and never leave us!
- Rodney Kisner made it through his procedure Tuesday to repair a valve in his heart. We are thankful and pray he will get home in the day or two. We pray for healing and strength.
Your fellow servant, priest and Kingdom worker in Christ Jesus, our Lord, Pastor Green
Here is an interesting video of a fellow pastor describing steps taken during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic and the history around the hymn, Now Thank We All Our God by Martin Rinkert. Hopefully you can open it. It is on Facebook. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/1140436124/videos/10217084023229644/