THE EFFECT ON LUTHERAN CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOR
The Effect On Lutheran Church of Our Savior
I do believe that as a congregation we too need to do our part to help limit the spread of this virus since it is only going to be getting worse, and the effects of it could last for months. As of this morning's report, there are 139 confirmed cases of the virus in North Carolina.
In order to help arrest the spread of the virus, I suggested to the Congregation Council that we temporarily postpone gathering in the sanctuary to worship so as to reduce physical contact with one another. They unanimously agreed.
I am NOT suggesting that we do not worship. I am suggesting that we encourage our people (members an visitors alike) to set aside a specific time on Sunday mornings to tune in to the live-streaming video and be able to worship together on our Facebook site or on You Tube. It is vitally important that we do all that we can to maintain a semblance of life going on as normal as possible in these trying times. It is going to be important for all of us to continue to set aside time to come together weekly to worship, to pray, even to sing hymns; and the video posting of worship in the safest and the best way that we can do that at this time.
Perhaps you remember the Vacation Bible School song that used to be sung that says,
"I am the Church, You are the Church, We are the Church together;
All of God's people all around the world, Yes we're the Church together.
The church is not a building. The Church is not a steeple.
The Church is not a resting place. The Church is the PEOPLE."
Our coming together via the internet allows us to still be THE CHURCH!
Many of our members may be concerned about how to support the work of this congregation, the synod and the church wide ministries if they are ill or choosing to stay home to reduce the risk of getting or spreading the virus. A majority of ELCA congregations currently offer online giving as an option. We are looking into that right now and will communicate to you as soon as we have news. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to continue to set aside their weekly offering which is needed to help us to continue to pay salaries and to do the ministry that we have been doing and are doing. You can weekly mail your offering to the church office. It will be counted by at least two of the Tellers and deposited weekly.
*We are in compliance with the Governor's mandate with regard to groups assembling in social places. All groups that have been meeting at the church have been informed that this space is "off limits'. That includes the Girl Scouts, the Choir the Quilters, etc.
*However, because Lutheran Church of Our Savior is a recognized Food Pantry as a part of the Onslow Community Outreach, we will continue to make bags of food available to ALL who come requesting assistance. Your help is needed. If you an help with distributing the food on Monday between 10am and 11am please call the office to volunteer.
*The Church Office remains open, with only Jennifer Chaplin working in her office and I am working in my office. Home and hospital visits are being made either in person or via telephone.
We will continue to keep you updated on a regular basis by means of the church answering machine, emails, the church website, the mail, and phone calls. We are stronger when we work together.
Please join me in praying for our church, our community, our country, our state, our nation, our planet.
Please wash your hands often while staying safe.
Emmanuel, which means "God is with us"
Rev. Kenneth T. Saurman