You can follow along with the service Sunday Morning (March 29th) with this printout: CLICK HERE.

 

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

 

We are now in the second week of national recommendations for no gathering of more than 10 people. That call has been made by both national health experts, and by the Governor of our state.  This is all done to slow the spread of the coronavirus, to prevent our hospitals and medical resources from being overwhelmed, and to protect our neighbors who are at higher risk and may not survive being infected.

 

I repeat this message over and over, as it is important to remember that by staying distant physically from each other, we are in fact serving our God and our neighbor by caring for our neighbors in their physical needs.  We are helping ensure that our neighbor does not get sick. We are helping ensure that our neighbor will have medical support available when he does get sick. We are helping ensure that those who have accidents and other health issues unrelated to the coronavirus will be able to be safely treated because there will be space in our medical facilities to treat them.

 

I cannot tell you how long various restrictions on our gathering together will take place.  I can tell you that I am working on developing ways for us to have Bible studies together either online, or via group phone calls.  I will continue do everything possible to ensure our weekly radio worship services are being broadcast each Sunday. I will continue to update our church website with sermons, devotions, and information. I personally am making plans as if we will have restrictions on group gatherings for some time.

 

I also know I wrote in my last letter that I hoped to have devotional and worship resources available for you to explore. Unfortunately, other events kept me from completing that task, but I will continue to assemble them as soon as I can.

 

I continue to encourage you to take this time of being at home to explore God’s Word and read the Scriptures. Continue to call and check up on your neighbors.  If you missed Sunday’s service, feel free to listen to the sermon and posted for you here: https://stjohns-wharton.org/sermons  Also last night’s Lenten service was posted. That service is Lent for All Nations – Simon the Cyrene & the Khans.

 

As always, if you are in doubt of God’s love and forgiveness, if you need to be uplifted, please call or text me on my cell phone (979) 488-4560 for private confession and absolution. You can also communicate with me via email at ‘pastor’ at the church website ‘stjohns-wharton.org’.

 

A few odds and ends to be aware of:

  1. We are having some trouble sending out mass emails from the church office, and updating our mailing lists. I will be working with Jane on that next week. Please feel free to contact the church office if you are not getting the newsletter or answers to your emails.
  2. Several months ago, the church set up on-line giving through the website, found here: https://stjohns-wharton.org/giving The service is provided to us by Faithlife for very modest processing fees. They have agreed to lower their fees for the next six months for us, to assist churches in this very unusual time. Several people have used it so far, and all have told me how easy it is to do. Please do consider giving your offerings through this, to protect our volunteers who would otherwise have to come into the office and handle offerings.
  3. I have had some reports that the radio broadcast is a little fuzzy when listening to it being streamed online with apps or with a web browser. If you get the chance this Sunday, would you mind listening to the service on-line (instructions here) and letting me know via email how it worked for you?

Your servant in Christ,

 

Pastor R.W. Lutjens

St. John’s Lutheran Church, Wharton