March 12, 2020
Dear Resurrection people,
As the situation with COVID-19 rapidly develops, we face difficult decisions as a community of faith, but Jesus made clear what is of utmost importance. Enumerating the two greatest commandments in Mark 12:30-31, Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength,” and, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In obedience to these commandments, we are suspending all face-to-face church activities except Sunday morning worship effective immediately, starting Thursday, March 12, 2020. Classes will not meet during the Learning Hour, and we will not gather for worship or other Lenten activities on Wednesdays.
If you are at greater risk due to age, underlying health conditions, or suppressed immunity, we strongly encourage you to refrain from attending worship.
Precautions we will take in worship include:
There will be no pastoral receiving line following worship, and we encourage you to take advantage of the space in our sanctuary and avoid crowding into a small area – enjoy some extra elbow room, try out a different view.
- Refraining from handshakes, hugs, and other forms of direct physical contact
- Sharing the peace corporately and not individually
- Communing with bread only Removing children’s worship bags (parents, please bring what you need from home)
- Eliminating refreshments between worship services
At this time, Holy Week worship services and special celebrations, such as the Agapé Feast and Easter Breakfast, are still scheduled. This may change as circumstances unfold in the coming weeks. A special post on the RLC website that includes the latest information about our activities along with links to helpful information about virus concerns, will be updated as needed.
- We will continue to serve Community Meals on Friday evenings, but with many added precautions. Packing for the Weekender Ministry will also continue as scheduled. These ministries have greater significance now as they serve vulnerable populations that will have a more difficult time meeting basic needs as social distancing increases.
- Small groups that meet in homes, including ChristCare groups and Dinners for Eight, provide much needed Christian community, and we encourage those groups and the individuals within them, to continue meeting as their own discernment allows.
A note on giving: If you typically make your financial contribution to RLC during worship and will not attend, please mail your contribution to the church office or submit it electronically. If you need assistance, please contact the church office.
These decisions are difficult, but we make them in accordance with guidance from the CDC and our bishop. It is essential that we try to limit the spread of the virus as much as possible, looking out for the most vulnerable among us. By doing so, we help to allow healthcare providers the space and time they need to focus on those in greatest need of care.
We don’t know how long this period of heightened concern may last, but we still have plenty of resources and opportunities to support one another.
Please know that the pastors are available if you need support. Also keep in mind that as needs in our community grow and become clearer, our congregation may find new ways to be Christ to our neighbors. We don’t know what that may look like, but we will be in touch if and when opportunities arise, knowing many of you will be ready and eager to serve. If you happen to be one who faces an unexpected need due to these changing circumstances, don’t hesitate to share that need with one of the pastors or another member of your church family.
- If you’re unable to attend worship, remember to take advantage of video recordings of worship available on the Past Worship Services page.
- If you have a group that needs to meet, contact the church office to set up a video or conference call using our Zoom account.
- If you notice someone absent from your pew, look them up in the church directory, and give them a call or send them a note. Small touches like these go a long way in strengthening connections under normal circumstances; they are much more valuable when we have extra reasons to feel anxious or isolated.
This surreal time should help us to see why our faith really matters, and it may reveal strengths we didn’t know we had as a congregation.
Finally, let’s draw on our Lutheran heritage and remember, “A mighty fortress is our God!” Or, as the psalmist put it first, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” (Psalm 46:1).
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Ryan and Pastor Mitch