So the Pharisees said to one another “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the whole world has gone after him” John 12:19 ..so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” -Philippians 2:10-11
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This difficult time we are all facing is unique in many ways including that it impacts the whole world. It seems that the whole world is practicing some sort of social distancing, and the news outlets from every corner of the earth are consumed with Covid-19 news. In modern times when else has that happened? Maybe World War 2? This upcoming Holy Week, we will be encountering a Savior whose work has world wide implications. The Pharisees knew this, and were terrified. Paul understood this when he said that every knee will know that Jesus is Lord. Believers will know this reality to their never ending joy, and unbelievers will know this as they enter everlasting destruction. Our Jesus is not just our little Savior, but his work and desire has ramifications for everyone. God is at work to bring Christ and his work to the forefront of all things. May he continue to use us and the congregation to do just that.
Blessings in Christ,
All in person Worship Services are cancelled through the month of April. This also means that confirmation day and questioning along with the April Voter’s meeting will be rescheduled.
Holy Week Services: Our Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter services will be available online at the web site and You Tube on each of those days. As before, I will send a link.
Food Bank: This week over 20 families received food from the congregation and the community. Thank you to all who continue to bring in donations.
Bible Study: I would like to start some sort of video/online Bible Study the week after Easter. I am open to ideas on topics, and ways this might work best. Please send your thoughts my way.
CPH Free Items: Check out the Concordia Publishing House Free Content Library. There are a number of devotional items, and wonderful items for children/grandchildren. A good book for those navigating grief is “Hope when your heart breaks”, and for those who would like a refresher on “key” Christian teachings check out “Dying to Live, the Power of Forgiveness”. These are not free, but reasonably priced on the CPH web site.
Congregational Offerings: (The below information was taken from Mark Hofman who works at the LCMS International Center)
1. Mail your regular offering to the church office or drop it off at the church office or parsonage during the week.
2. Your bank or credit union may offer “online bill payment” services as financial tools. While our gifts to God are not paying a “bill” (because Jesus already did that for us), such tools can electronically deliver your offering without your having to write a check or use cash. Set up your congregation as you would a utility company or doctor’s office. Some of these tools also allow you to create a recurring gift (payment) made automatically.
3. If you are eligible, use the available IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution option and have your IRA trustee send a portion of your required minimum distribution (if not needed) to the church for you. If you have established a donor advised fund, continue to send or consider sending an advised grant to your congregation.
4. More congregations are offering an online donation option on their websites, and more are providing members with things like smartphone apps that support giving by credit or debit card. One such app is Give+ (Give Plus), which lets the user find a participating congregation. If your congregation does not have such an option, your parish leadership can contact the Lutheran Church Extension Fund or the Lutheran Federal Credit Union for help.
5. If your congregation doesn’t have a website with online donation tools, some community foundations (including Thrivent/InFaith) provide online donation tools that allow you to direct a gift to your congregation.