WEEKLY WORSHIP SCHEDULE: During the time of this Covid-19 crisis, our worship services will be held at 9:30 AM each Sunday morning. These services will be broadcast on YouTube, Facebook, and on our website.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: St James Lutheran Church Community –
As we come to the end of May 2020, I wanted to take some time to share the vision of our church council in regards to joining back together in worship and praise.
As we work our way through temporary inconveniences for the sake of the health of all, I remind you that the “church” is not where we go once each week, it’s who we ARE. Together, as Church, we will pray and sing and carry each other along as well as our most vulnerable friends and neighbors, trusting in the mercy of God and in the desire for the well-being of all creation. While this is being done in our individual homes, it is still all being done in the name of our Savior and Lord who will ensure we make it through. I believe this pandemic has caused us all to slow down a bit and possibly allow God to be a larger part of our lives.
Thank you for continuing to gather with us in worship and especially thank you to all the participants who make these online services over the top! If you’d like to be a contributor, please reach out to Pastor Jeni and Pastor Sid! Last night, as a council, we have approved the purchase of additional recording and editing devices to make these services even more enjoyable today and in the future. This will be purchased in a few phases with the last phase requiring a congregational meeting and vote. How that will look will be announced at a later date. We have been able to reach a large number of viewers which further defines the ministry we are sharing. The council and I miss seeing you in person, just as we know you miss being at church. But know that we continue to think about you, hold you in prayer, and celebrate the ways God is using you to bring hope and love to those around you.
On Thursday May 28th, St James Council extended our building closure through Sunday June 28th. This wasn’t an easy decision. We are all ready to return to some normalcy at church and in our lives but we are also committed to protecting our community and neighbors from infection and to limit the spread of the virus. From the beginning, we have based these decisions on the guidance provided by the CDC, Cerro Gordo Public Health, the ELCA and our local health leaders. Pastor Jeni and Pastor Sid continue to connect with many of our community faith partners as well.
While we will continue to be closed through at least June 28, we are going to use this time to begin planning strategies and guidelines for us to reopen. In developing these guidelines, we will continue consulting with public health experts and the guidance coming to us from church leaders around the country. These phases will be drafted by a small group, and then reviewed by our Council, using many resources available along with their trust in God’s vision. I think many of us had originally imagined us all returning once we could move to outdoor services, but due to all the continued risks and limitations, we determined it will need to happen in phases. Trust me, we will have a grand celebration once we can all be together (no matter what that looks like)!
Other topics: STAFF: • Jennifer continues to work to keep the church cleaned and sanitized to ensure the safety of those who need to access the church. We need to continue to keep this limited to those who assist with the online services and our staff members as much as possible. • Jill staff continues to work remotely whenever possible and has done great work on our database. Reach out to Jill if you have any needs she can assist with. • Bill, as you know, continues to assist with the worship music each week.
PASTORAL CARE: They continue to provide care for those who are sick and hospitalized as they are able due to the restrictions set forth. If you or a loved one needs care from our staff, please contact our office or one of the Pastor’s directly.
CONTINUED GIVING: God’s work has continued to happen in no small part because of your generosity, too. We can’t thank you enough for the ways you are supporting our mission. Thank you.
SUMMER ACTIVITIES: Please share any ideas on how we can connect with each other. During the council meeting, we discussed having a “parking lot” Bible Study on Wednesday evenings. Look for more information on that. As we all continue to work on solutions for our personal life/needs as well as the need to gather in the Lord’s name, remember to pray. Prayer done collectively is an appeal to God to set the world right individually. It opens each of us up for regular resetting and rest. God is to be found in this invitation to live differently. God is with you!
Peace and Love to each and every one of you! Jere Merrill St James Council President 641-420-3345 Jere.firstname.lastname@example.org
OUR VISION STATEMENT
Living out our mission, our vision is to be a vibrant Christian community gathered in God's name where all are welcomed, fed, and nurtured. We envision our entire St. James family enthusiastically united in spirit-filled prayer, worship, music, Bible study, and fellowship. We see our congregation devoted to Christ-like service in our community and the world.