Faith in a pandemic
Our Coronavirus response
It is so hard to write this, but as of October 8, 2020, the Council and I made the difficult decision to move back online. Sunday worship is moved back to our YouTube channel, Confirmation is virtual, Sunday School is at home, our November fundraiser is a drive-through, and BYOB and our book study will continue on Zoom.
But though our in-person meetings are cancelled, our faith is not! I want to make sure you all feel spiritually connected, even when we’re physically apart. To that end, here is how we will continue to be a community:
Worship on Sunday morning will be live-streamed on our Facebook page. You will not need a Facebook account to access it, but you will need internet. Just go to https://www.facebook.com/BethelLutheranSuperior/ to access it. Judy and I have also sent out a copy of the entire service in our newsletter so you can follow along at home or so that you can do the service yourself if you don’t have internet access. Also, you can catch a service on the radio! First Lutheran Church broadcasts its worship service on 610am radio station. The worship service starts at 8:30. Gloria Dei Lutheran Church broadcasts its worship service on 710am radio station. The worship service is at 10am.
Our Bible studies will gather via Zoom. Check our website or our Facebook pages for the link, grab a drink, and join us for a discussion! I will also post the discussion questions if you miss the video chat so you can think about them or discuss them with a small group.
Confirmation continues to meet via Zoom at 4 on Wednesdays.
The Council and I will be calling every single household that we have records for, checking in on physical and spiritual health, offering volunteer opportunities, making sure everyone knows what is happening, and staying connected. Let us know if you have any needs or prayer concerns that we can help with.
It feels a little awkward to talk about money, but the church is still functioning and ministering to the community during an anxious time. Please consider dropping your normal weekly pledge in the mail or filling out an e-giving form, which can be found on our website or Facebook page or can be mailed to you.
This is a strange and difficult time, and I’m trying to make the best decision possible based on recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the demographics of our community, without resorting to fear or panic. As we make some sacrifices for the most vulnerable around us, we know that we do not have to live in fear because God is with us.
I know not everyone has internet at home, which is why we are trying to send out information through this newsletter. We will also update our answering machine with the latest news, and if you call (715) 392-2033 from 8:30 to 2:30 on Tuesday through Thursday, Judy or I will be happy to tell you what’s going on.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. I love you all and can’t wait to see you again soon.
The church office will be staffed as if it were a regular week with office hours from 8:30-2:30 Tuesday-Thursday.
If you have any pastoral care needs, or just need to pray together, please know that my cell phone is always with me and that you are always welcome to call: (715) 919-6312. If I am unable to answer at the moment, leave a message or a text and I will return your call as soon as possible.
If you or someone from our church family is in need of additional support, let us know! Many people have already approached me with offers of help for those that need it. We're the Body of Christ and when one member suffers we all suffer.
Send cards & letters: Now is the perfect time to send messages of encouragement or beautiful pictures to your neighbor, a congregation member, or those working hard to keep our communities safe (medical professionals in clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes, educators, emergency personnel, etc).
Continue to give your offering: Bethel is continuing to look for ways that we can step in and support people during this time. In order for us to do that, we need to continue to sustain our projected financial contributions. If you are able to offer an additional gift, please do! Mail your money to the church office or fill out an e-giving form! (click here for the form and either mail it in or drop it off with a voided check), or use paypal here
Make a phone call: Check in on friends and other church members who are especially isolated. Call the church office if you know of someone who needs some additional support or pastoral care.
Help with errands & chores: Contact the church office if you would be available to help distribute groceries to folks who are isolated or if you would be available to help with some disinfecting efforts around the building.
Virtual worship & bible study: We will be connecting weekly for Sunday worship at 9:00 am on Facebook. Join us live or participate later. We will also be continuing to meet for Bible study on Tuesdays at 6 pm. Check the Bible in a Year page for the Zoom link!
Go on a prayer walk: Take some time each day - even if it's only 5 minutes - to go outside and pray for the world around you. Pray for neighbors and plants and animals and our entire community!
Meet God in the wilderness: Remember that you're not required to stay inside. Be sure to get out into your yard, walk through a park, breathe in God's presence as you notice all the beauty surrounding you in God's creation!