Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Let me quote again something my pastor would say, “Never waste a good crisis.” Today is a day when we can express the particularly and peculiarly Christian rhythms of our life in the way that we spend our time, the way that we demonstrate our values, and the way that we love our neighbor.
What we’ve done so far. Community leaders met and formed a network of communication among our Janesville community organizations. We have a Janesville website on COVID-19 matters. Our Foodshelf has stepped up to change protocols so that they can be safe and meet what will be growing food needs in the coming days (and possibly weeks or more).
Our school has been hard at work with distance learning since March 17. This continues through the Stay-at-Home order, with our teachers and principal teaching classes, grading assignments, and giving devotions. We have online Sunday School up and running through a Facebook group. Youth livestreamed Crossfire and are in touch via Zoom meetings.
Our church has been offering a live-stream option on Facebook and broadcasts recorded services on the local access cable channel. We have daily Facebook livestream devotions and two Bible study times available via YouTube. We have asked elders to call all those on their member lists to check on them. We have postponed our Annual Voters Meeting indefinitely. Confirmation has been postponed until Fall.
What we’re doing. Our school has been in contact with families and students to listen to concerns and improve education. Our purpose statement in these days is that we will take into account the CDC guidelines and continue to provide opportunities for Word and Sacrament ministry to our congregations.
Our church office is calling our shut-in list weekly and following up on vulnerable people. Our Youth Ministry has been doing the same with youth. We are in close contact with our local Foodshelf. We have distributed Neighbor Connect cards to local businesses. We realize the economic toll that this situation takes on businesses, people, and communities, and the church is not immune to it.
We are getting it wrong, making mistakes, asking good questions, improving, and walking alongside of countless others as we all do the same in these strange and uncertain days remembering that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
What we hope to add. We are working to improve the quality of our livestream services. We are considering the CARES act legislation, which includes support for organizations like ours. Whenever guidelines return to “Gatherings of 10 or Less,” we will be offering small group communions for healthy individuals and families. A written and video explanation of our precautions and protocols will be available at that time.
We are offering family Holy Week devotion kits, Holy Week Livestream services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday at 6:30pm, Easter Sunday 6am and 10am, with To-Go Brunch pick up and Prayer with the Pastors options in between.
What we ask you do. We ask that you would 1) Engage with your church: worship and study your Bible however you can, 2) Engage with your neighbor in appropriate ways and listen for needs your church and community can help fill, and 3) Engage in giving so that your church and school continue to bless the community.
Worship Sermons & Letters
Pastor Paul Muther