The pastors of our local Circuit 8 met Tuesday, March 17, at Grace Lutheran Church in La Plata for a teleconference with President Denninger of the Southeastern District, worship and prayer, and collective decision on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result of these deliberations, Grace Lutheran Church is suspending all Word and Sacrament ministries at our facilities effective March 18, for at least the next two weeks. Closure means no Wednesday or Sunday worship through April 1, at which time we will re-evaluate our options. Our decision is primarily driven by Romans 13:1-4:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good.
What does this mean for worship?
The Lord gives us strength when we are weak and gives us comfort when we are scared. Lamentations 3:55-57:
I called on your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: Do not close your ears to my cry for relief. You came near when I called you, and you said, Do not fear.
We will continue to post our Sunday sermon messages on the church web-site, which can be accessed by clicking HERE.
We've posted the assigned lessons for each Wednesday and Sunday in Lent which can be accessed HERE.
You can also access the Prayer of the Church for the Three-Year Lectionary.
The Wednesday Lenten messages will also be posted starting tonight.
We also encourage viewing of Worship Anew – Lutheran Worship Online each Sunday at 1130am. Worship Anew is a traditional Lutheran Worship Service from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN.
Worship Liturgy and hymns can be viewed at:
Tri-State Christian Television [TCT] (Direct TV channel 377)
KFUO Radio – Christ for you – anytime and anywhere is also recommended for many worship and spiritual options.
Confirmation continues by distance learning and home study.
DCE Amanda Bell will work with our Sunday School teachers to ensure that our children have study resources
Principal Jeff Burkee and the school staff will be developing plans in anticipation of the school closure being extended.
We especially encourage everyone to see the current pandemic as an opportunity
* to commit to daily Bible Study
* for the heads of the household to listen to Martin Luther in the Small Catechism and teach the faith to their family
* to pray for one another
* to care and comfort our neighbor
* to listen to God
We especially ask each of you to be joyful and generous with your tithes and offerings. Attendance is critically affected. Andi Proctor can provide guidance for e-offerings as an option for continuing support of our ministry in Christ. Click HERE to go to our donate page.
The church leadership team will maintain normal hours while maintaining appropriate social distances at work. We will maintain the 10-person maximum rule.
The COVID-19 pandemic makes for a fluid and dynamically changing situation. Expect frequent updates as information becomes available. Click HERE for the CDC website regarding Coronavirus.
A Mighty Fortress is Our God was written by Luther in response to incredible challenges of political, social, natural, and spiritual instability surrounding the German people on every front – including the Bubonic Plague in 1527. Martin Luther based his hymn on Psalm 46 and the reality that God’s people can confidently rest in His protection in the midst of all forms of chaos.
God is our refuge and strength, a very presenthelp in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. [Psalm 46]
Contact information for emergencies: