Dear Friends in Christ,
As I write this, I pray all are doing well, staying healthy, and safe distancing. Today, clergy across the state and denominations, have been asked to share with their congregations a heartfelt, prayerful request. Thursday, over Zoom, cross-denominational clergy from around the state will be hosting a news conference with the media.
You might have heard this on the news or special announcements. We, as clergy are asking our members to stay home this Thanksgiving. To do our own Thanksgiving, with our own households. Keep the company for next year, when it looks hopeful, we will be able to gather as families again.
Now, I know, some in our community don’t believe the Coronavirus is any worse than the flu, and for some, the 1st time they are infected, it is true. But beware, if you get it a second time, and your 1st time was barely anything, you will be facing a much worse case, and quite possible life-long damage to one or more parts of your body. So, if you say, oh, it’s nothing, please, at least care for those you might come in contact with – like your parents, other relatives, etc.
Nurses and medical
staff throughout our state, many who ordinarily would not be working on this
holiday, have already been notified, they will be working due to the hospitals
being at least 50% full with COVID-19 patients, including those in the ICU
units, and very few beds remaining in hospital after hospital. They are unable
to celebrate with their households. These providers of care are working ‘12 –
16’ hour shifts, many 3 or 4 days in a row, with patients in touch and go life situations.
Doctors and nurses have contracted COVID-19, outside of the work environment,
so they are very short staffed. As you know, the rates here in Trempealeau
County have taken off. Deaths have jumped from 2 to 10, as of Monday nights
report. Personally, I know someone from my home church who has died from
COVID-19. Last evening, I found out a friend and her son have it. Some of you
have heard of folks here in our community who have it and some who are
hospitalized, and maybe someone who has died.
Please, care for yourselves and for your family, even beyond your household. Let’s not gather for Thanksgiving, and maybe even Christmas, as hard as it is to not do. Stay in your own households and plan to be together next year for the holidays!
My prayers are with each and every one of you – May God be with you!
Dear Friends in Christ,
Wow, it’s been now 5 weeks this Sunday since we have seen each other. I hope each of you and your families are doing well. As I write this, I feel a little like the Apostle Paul, who wrote to all of the congregations he oversaw, and guided them on the Christian journey. The Church Building is closed – CHURCH IS STILL OPEN. We are the Church – and we, the people of faith are still gathering in faith together (those who are able). So, today we celebrate – the Church is open – alive and well – as the community of faith gathers in in differing ways – via the internet, by phone calls to keep us connected, by cards, letters, stopping in front of the house and waving hello to someone, to name a few. As many of you know, I am providing a Facebook Live Streaming worship each Sunday morning at 10:15 AM (baring any technical issues) then it might be a few minutes late. I have little indication how many or who are attending this as you aren’t writing a quick note into the FB entry spots below. I would really appreciate hearing from you as you attend. Tell me if there were any issues, like it froze up, for one-person, last week. Or the first service I did, a couple folks said it was hard to hear and their volume was turned up fully. Also, please let me know how you experienced the service. I am also working to see if I can get another phone set up during worship, so folks with no internet could call the phone number and link in to hear the worship service. Stay tuned. It looks like we will be doing this for several more weeks, at least through Sunday, May 24, 2020, which is actually the Memorial Day Weekend, or even a couple weeks longer. The soonest we will be able to return to the sanctuary, based only on the end date of the next 30 days safer at home extension, will be Sunday, May 31st. Stay tuned – we will let all know as quickly as we find out. I am just getting an account with the internet program called ‘Zoom’, which most classrooms and businesses are working with, and I hope to host the Church Council meeting the 2nd Thursday in May at its normal meeting time. I believe all the members on council have access to computers, so all they will have to do is link to it through an e-mail I will send out to them. As you know, we were supposed to celebrate Confirmation Sunday a week from this Sunday. This has to be postponed for now, but we are hoping to have it one of our 1st Sundays back in the Sanctuary. More will come out once we know when this will be. Mother’s Day is 2 weeks from this Sunday. Mom’s this one is going to be a little strange, like Easter was, and we got through it somehow without all the trimmings. We will celebrate A huge thanks to all who have been sending in their offering. It is great to be able to keep paying the regular monthly bills without depleting a little reserve we have accumulated in the last couple months prior to the building being closed. I just received a copy of the Governor’s ‘Badger Bounce Back’ plan, and there are some steps which need to happen before churches and many other places will reopen. Also, in the plan, you might want to be aware, “unnecessary visits to nursing homes, congregate facilities, and hospitals will continue to be stopped, (according to what is in this document), until a vaccine is available. Now, with this said, what this will actually look like, we will all have to stay tuned in when the time comes. Well, I do want you to know – I miss you all. And I hope and pray you all stay well, and your families too! Please call if you have a need, concern or just want someone to talk with. I’m here, 24 hours for you. If you can’t call long distance, but have someone who can, ask them to call me and I will call you. Peace to you, and see you real soon, Pastor Lois: 414-526-5320
Scriptures for May 2020