Home > Uncategorized > Weekly Lifeline 3/22/20

Weekly Lifeline 3/22/20

Dear Parishioner,

What a long, strange week it’s been.
When I wrote to you just one week ago, I thought we’d be doing worship as (mostly) usual on Sunday. But by Friday morning, all that had changed. It became clear that we needed to cancel everything in order to do our part for public health. In the ensuing days, the vestry worked overtime to figure out what to do and how best to spread the word. I’m incredibly grateful for their wisdom and hard work.
At present, St. Luke’s is closed to the public until April 1. That includes everything: Sunday service, Bible study, bridge group, book group, and all the rest. The staff are still in the office and working (while staying six feet away from each other), but we’re asking people not to come in until we reopen. I suspect the pandemic will require us to stay closed longer than we first announced, but we’ll know more about that next week.
I’m very grateful for your understanding. We’re in uncharted water and piecing it together as we go. Here is what we’ve figured out so far:
Worship
I learned this week just how much work goes into producing live-streamed worship that’s worth watching. Rather than invest huge amounts of time and energy to do that well at St. Luke’s, the vestry and I decided to take a different tack. In order to continue coming together on Sunday morning, we’re inviting everyone to tune into St. Luke’s Facebook page for a sermon/reflection from me and little bit of prayer. You do not need a Facebook account to view it.
For a service of Holy Eucharist, we’re inviting people to tune into the National Cathedral’s live-stream at 10:15 a.m. We’re also inviting people to check out the service of Morning Prayer, live-streamed from the Cathedral of St. James, where our beloved former rector and current Bishop of Northern Indiana, Doug Sparks, will preach. That service also begins at 10:15 a.m. Both services are on YouTube, where you can view them at any time (in case you want to catch both).
In addition, I’ve been live-streaming short reflections on St. Luke’s Facebook page every afternoon. It’s an opportunity to seek God in the middle of the day, and to enrich your connection to our wonderful faith community. The videos are archived there and you don’t need a Facebook account to view them.
Community
In order to build and strengthen our connections with one another during this time of social distancing, we’re creating a St. Luke’s Care Team. Each member of the team will contact a small group of other members once or twice a week to offer connection and support as needed. If you’re interested in being on the Care Team, please let me know! Email me at revjustinc@gmail.com or call or text my cell (612-618-3826). We’re looking to get the team up and running in the next day or two.
Pastoral Care
Due to the need for social distancing, pastoral visits are on hold for the time being, and pastoral phone calls or video chats are happening instead. Please let me know about any pastoral crisis or emergency. Also, if you just want to check in or hear a friendly voice, please do get in touch. I’d love to hear what’s going on with you and how I can offer support. You can call or text my cell (612-618-3826) or email me at revjustinc@gmail.com.
Donations
Due to increased demand and fewer volunteers, charities are struggling. If you’re interested in helping out, I suggest donating to Channel One Regional Food Bank and Food Shelf, which provides food to people in need, or Family Service Rochester, which provides a variety of services to people of all ages who are in need.
Finances
If you are able, please consider continuing your regular giving and pledges to St. Luke’s by mail or electronically (more on that below). Though our operations are suspended until the end of March, our expenses continue. Your financial support makes all things possible, including our shared ministry and worship.
Finally, know that you are in my prayers every day. This is a strange and challenging time. We’re making our way through it together. And we’re even finding new ways to connect with and support each other along the way. I continue to be amazed by our community of faith and grateful for all you for each other, for our community, and for the world.
With blessings for clean hands and strong hearts,
Justin
Categories: Uncategorized
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