March 18, 2020
Dear members and friends of Christ Church Lutheran:
Grace, mercy and peace to you during these challenging and ever-changing times!
I hope that you are well and pray that you will find healthy ways to cope with all that is happening around us in our lives and in our world. It’s clear we are entering a new phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and it is time for all of us to take stronger measures to protect the most vulnerable among us, therefore, beginning immediately we will observe the “shelter-in-place” directive in the Bay Area and will adhere to these changes until at least April 7, and possibly longer:
1. Worship services will be cancelled March 22, March 29 and April 5 (Palm Sunday). Also cancelled on these Sundays will be choir rehearsals, coffee hours, Sunday School, Days for Girls and all other church-related activities.
2. All meetings are cancelled during this time including Bible study, Evening Prayer, Church Council, Call Committee and all other church-related meetings.
3. The Sunshine Community Pantry will not operate March 21, March 28 or April 4.
4. Groups using our facilities are being encouraged to cease meeting and find virtual alternatives
Of course, all of this could change in an instant, but assuming the directive will end on April 7, this is what we will do:
1. Although we do not have the capacity for ‘virtual church’ at this time, you will receive by e-mail a service folder for March 22 and 29. Please use it on those Sundays so we can still worship together.
2. We will transfer Palm Sunday to Wednesday (April 8) creating a Holy Week to remember!
3. We’ll resume all normal activities on Easter Sunday, April 12
What will happen if the “shelter-in-place” directive is extended? We’ll provide you with weekly resources for your worship at home and will celebrate Easter together our first Sunday back together, no matter the date.
What do we do in the meantime?
1. Pray for one another and our world.
2. Stay in communication with one another. If you have a need to talk, do not hesitate to phone me (650-822-4331) or e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or another member of the congregation you know.
3. Use this time as an opportunity to find ways to care for neighbors, find gratitude for family and the things we take for granted, and/or as a time of reflection as we continue our Lenten journey.
4. If you would prefer a ‘virtual’ church service look at the websites of these congregations:
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco – https://www.stmarks-sf.org
Unity Lutheran Church, South San Francisco – https://www.unityssf.org
Grace Cathedral, San Francisco – https://www.gracecathedral.org
Tanque Verde Lutheran Church, Tucson – https://www.tvlc.org/livestream
And finally, a prayer from St. Mary’s Academy shared by our Bishop Mark Holmerud:
Prayer for a Pandemic
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country,
Let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen
St. Mary’s Academy, Portland, Oregon
I’ll miss being with you during this time, but please know that I will be holding each of you in prayer. Please remember me in your prayers as well. I’ll continue to send the e-newsletter (Let me know if you wish to be added to the list), worship resources each week and necessary announcements if/when things change. And, perhaps we can contract with each other to say the Lord’s Prayer / Prayer of Jesus each Sunday morning at 10:45 am. Peace be with you,
Lyle J Beckman