Report of the Interim Pastor Covering March 2020

Opening Prayers

Loving God: be with us and guide us during this time of transition and discernment. Fill our leaders with your wisdom. Keep us mindful of the work you would have us do. Lead us and guide us, O God, to be about the work of establishing your reign here on earth as the search for a new pastor continues. Bless all who have taken on extra responsibilities and fill them with a sense of your love and presence. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

O God our Healer, show your compassion for the whole human family that is in turmoil and burdened with illness and with fear.
Hear our cry, O God, Listen to our prayer.

Come to our aid as the coronavirus spreads globally, heal those who are sick, support and protect their families and friends from being infected.
Hear our cry, O God, Listen to our prayer.

Grant us your spirit of love and self-discipline so that we may come together, working to control and eliminate the coronavirus.
Hear our cry, O God, Listen to our prayer.

Make us vigilant, attentive, and proactive in the eradication of all diseases, malaria, dengue, HIV & AIDS, and others [may be named aloud or in silence]… that create suffering and often result in death for many people.
Hear our cry, O God, Listen to our prayer.

Heal our self-centeredness and indifference that makes us worry only when the virus threatens us, open ways beyond timidity and fear that too easily ignore our neighbor.
Hear our cry, O God, Listen to our prayer.

Strengthen and encourage those in public health services and in the medical profession: care-givers, nurses, attendants, doctors, and all who commit themselves to caring for the sick and their families.
Hear our cry, O God, Listen to our prayer.

Inspire, give insight and hope to all researchers focused on developing a vaccine.
Hear our cry, O God, Listen to our prayer.

Sustain all workers and business owners who suffer loss of livelihood due to shut-downs, quarantines, closed borders, and other restrictions… protect and guard all those who must travel.
Hear our cry, O God, Listen to our prayer.

Guide the leaders of the nations that they speak the truth, halt the spread of misinformation and act with justice so that all your family may know healing.
Hear our cry, O God, Listen to our prayer.

Heal our world, heal our bodies, strengthen our hearts and our minds, and in the midst of turmoil, give us hope and peace.
Hear our cry, O God, Listen to our prayer.

Hold in your gentle embrace all who have died and who will die this day. Comfort their loved ones in their despair.
Hear our cry, O God, Listen to our prayer.

Remember all your family, the entire human race, and all your creation, in your love. Amen!

Lutheran World Federation – March, 2020

Lengthening My Time at Christ Church, Lutheran

The Covid-19 pandemic, with it’s accompanied shelter-in-place orders, have changed everything in our world, and have challenged all of us to adapt accordingly. I originally planned on ending my time with you mid-May, thinking your call process would be well underway by then. I don’t want our first Sunday back together to be my last Sunday, so I’m willing to continue on for an additional three months (mid-August) if that is your wish. I am also willing to negotiate a decrease in hours and salary.

When Will We Worship Together Again?

We really can’t say quite yet. If the shelter-in-place order is extended, we will abide by it. When it is lifted and we are allowed to gather we will, however, I hope we can continue with ‘safe practices’ such as: physical distancing, wearing masks, no greeting of peace, receiving communion under one kind (bread only) or with individual cups (not offering the chalice), etc.

Synod Assembly Postponed

For your information, our Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly, originally scheduled for May 1-3 in Fresno, has been postponed to a yet to be determined date and place.

Archive Our Thoughts?

Years from now when we look back at 2020, there will be at least two significant events on your timeline – the calling of your new pastor and the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic to our congregation. What can we say to future members about this time? What can we learn about ourselves and our community by reflecting on this time? I’m suggesting we catalogue as much as we can from our members, perhaps keeping a notebook of original reflections, prayers, poems, songs, and anything else that will help us mark this time.

They might address questions like these: What was it like to close our doors and not worship together for the first time since our founding in 1913? Reflect on Lent / Holy Week / Easter at home. How did the pandemic help me to increase my faith, or challenge me to maintain my faith? What challenges or implications were there to being community together, or church in the world?

Perhaps these pieces can be put on our website, emailed to members, kept in the narthex and parish hall for a while, until being bound together and made part of our official archives.

What Happened in March

As early as March 1st we were making changes to the ways we were responding to the reality of Covid-19 – no greeting of peace, no chalice, etc. During the week of March 8 several groups using our hall were cancelling events. We gathered together for worship on March 15 thinking it may be our last time together for a while, and wondering if it was even wise for us to be there then. Linnea Swanson made sure we remembered St. Patrick at the Coffee Hour. The City and County of San Francisco made our decisions easier by ordering us to shelter in place, first through April 7, then extended through May 3.

During this time Pr. Tom has been preparing bulletins (service folders). I have sent a copy of them to each member by either email or USPS. Occasionally other information is also sent to keep everyone informed, or connected. I’ve not been able to visit anyone since March 15; however, I’ve been talking to folks regularly.

I go into the church office about twice per week, to check on things, to look at mail, etc. Others are stopping in periodically as well – Barbara W weekly to pick up trash, Barbara W and Skippy to process offerings and donations, Kitty to pay our bills, Lawrence L to take care of kitchen and food pantry closet, etc. Our bills are being paid, our contractor has been doing a bit of work, and all essential business is being taken care of by those who attend to them.


Lois Anne will include on the agenda a discussion about the CARE Act. Use this link as one way to learn more about it before our discussion:

The CARE Act potentially provides economic support for congregations.  Please view the attached link to learn more.  The link includes the application for this program.

Worship Attendance / Statistics

Sundays in March: 1st – 25, 8th25, 15th26
Mid-week Lenten Worship: 4th – 8, 11th– 7
Pastoral Calls / Visits: 7
Meetings / Events: 7

These numbers only reflect March 1 – 15 when the shelter-in-place order went into effect.

Respectfully submitted,

Lyle J Beckman