In this post:
|The Bulletin for||The ‘Taking Faith Home’ Handout for|
From Philip Wuthrich
President of St John’s Lutheran Congregation
It is with great care and concern for the Congregation and members of St John’s Lutheran Church that I write to you today. The same Church that has loved and cared for me and my family for as long as I can remember, that has prayed with me, and for me, that have sent cards, and made prayer afghans when I was hospitalized. I know that many of you could share your own accounts of the genuine love and concern for each other, and our Savior that binds our church family together. If you are a member or friend of this Congregation, this note is for YOU. These are indeed unprecedented times. I feel safe to say few, if any, have seen this type of contagious virus spread so quickly over our whole nation, and impact so many. Our church has also been affected. I don’t remember a time in my life when the public was told to “not go to church”. I remember telling Pastor in March of this year that I felt like it would be irresponsible to continue services as if nothing was going on.
I want to thank ALL of the Elders and Pastor that have worked so hard and diligently each Sunday to continue to bring God’s message to us over the radio. The radio ministry has indeed been a blessing. During this time, this group put Pastor’s sermons on the website so that you can listen to them whenever you want, or share them with a friend that might need encouragement. We are indebted to them for their commitment. Their work was often very difficult. Who knows exactly what to do in these cases? When is the right time? Are we putting our members in danger? They have been good and faithful servants, and I am appreciative of them all.
I have also visited with many members and heard them plead “When can we go back to church” , “I need to be there, in the house of the Lord with my fellow Christians” , “My whole family misses our time of worship at the Church”, “It’s just not the same at home”. If this is you, and you’ve often thought these things, and you really feel like you need to be there, in God’s house, then you need to go.
The Elders have done a remarkable job of “roping off” different pews to make sure that we are socially distanced as recommended. They have placed lightweight masks at the entrance of the church in case you have forgotten yours. They have hand sanitizer in different places so that if you want, or need to use it…. It’s there. (I would encourage you to put a small bottle in your pocket or purse. I have one in my truck) All these things make me very confident that we have done what we can do to make our church as safe as we possibly can. But nothing is 100%. I would encourage those of you that are contemplating attending church to be very mindful of your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that might not feel as confident as you about not getting the virus. Please respect their concerns and refrain from close contact.
I can tell you that in the last 2 weeks, several of our members have decided to attend church services in person. Without exception, they were very mindful of the spacing in church and wearing a mask. It’s largely because of their demonstrated love and concern for their fellow Christians, and their willingness to comply with the safety steps out of the very Christian Love that we’re trying to model and promote, that I am writing this to you today. If you must remove your mask while listening, I understand, but masks should be worn while singing. Singing is one of those actions that just naturally spreads more airborne germs.
As always, if your current health situation does not allow you to comfortably attend in person…. then don’t. You can still worship along at home on the radio knowing that your Christian brothers and sisters are also longing for the day when you too will be in attendance.
I’m sorry this got so long. I will be happy to discuss any of this with you. If you want, you can call me at home 979-532-8373 or on my cell at 979-533-3138. If I’m not right there, please leave me a message. I would love to visit with you. It is my prayer that those that gather in the church can do so with a loving heart and great respect for each other. I know it can be done…. I’ve seen you do it for decades.
In Christian Love,
From: Pastor and the Board of Elders
We join with Philip in expressing our love and care for our fellow members in Christ. To say these times are unprecedented for all of us is indeed an understatement. In all of this, we thank you for the prayers, calls, concern, and love you have shown to each other as fellow members of the body of Christ.
We write to let you know that there will be in-person worship offered this Sunday, Sept 6th, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wharton. As part of the preparation for the worship service, at the top of this message is a link to let us know if you plan to attend.
Who should attend?
We strongly encourage anyone who is at-risk to participate in the service remotely. At risk include those who are 65 or older, especially those with cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, Immunocompromised systems, Obesity, serious heart conditions, sickle cell disease, or type 2 diabetes. For a complete list, please see this page from the CDC.
Please read the above point again, and honestly assess if you are described in the above. While we reopen, the elders and pastor encourage in the strongest possible language for at risk individuals as described above to continue to participate in the service over the radio.
However as Philip wrote, if you are badly missing the in-person gathering for worship and feel like you simply need to be present, then please, come. And in the spirit of Christian love we ask that we all strive to maintain the hygiene protocols to protect our fellow Christians and allow each of us to gather in person for worship.
The hygiene protocols are simply what we have heard before. Please maintain physical distance between family groups, avoid sharing objects, wash your hands before and after the service, and wear a mask while entering and exiting, and most especially during singing and responses.
For those who stay at home, please know you have our love, and we continue to uplift you before the throne of God in our prayers. Feel free to reach out to any of us with questions, concerns, or prayer requests.
Pastor R.W. Lutjens 979-488-4560
Ervin Zahn 979-533-0919
Weldon Boerger 979-488-1385
Ron Boerger 979-533-0553
Earl Hudson 361-920-1350
As part of our own exposure to God’s Word, a group has started to read Immerse: Messiah again. This will allow us to read through the entire New Testament in 16 weeks, with an average of 30 pages a week.
This week we are reading pages 220-255 our books. This will cover Ephesians, Philippians, 1 Timothy, Titus, and 2 Timothy. We will then meet on Monday evenings at 7:00pm via video chat and phone for our discussions of the readings.
Anyone is still invited to participate with us. If you need a new copy of the book, please reach out to me, as I have several extra copies in my office.
For those participating, there are lots of resources available here: https://www.tyndale.com/sites/immersebible/messiah-resources/ , including an audio recording of the readings, if you prefer to listen.
Everyone is welcome to send an email to me at any time during the week with any questions, concerns, or insights you find. I can either answer them or bring them up during a weekly meeting.
For our video chat, here’s the information from the software we’re using for this:
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (571) 317-3112
Access Code: 841-954-213
New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:
If you use the computer, tablet, smartphone, you’ll be able to see me and anyone else using a webcam. You *don’t* have to use a webcam if you don’t want to. If you prefer to just call in, use the phone number and access code.