St. John's Response to Coronavirus

3/17/2020


Dear Church Family, 

 

We are reaching out to provide another update regarding our church’s response to the coronavirus.  Things are quickly evolving in what is recommended regarding the coronavirus, even in the last 24 hours.  


Recently the CDC updated its mass gathering guidance to postpone or cancel for the next 8 weeks any events with 50 or more people.  Just prior to sending this message, the Governor declared a statewide public health disaster emergency effective at noon that included limiting gatherings to 10 people.  Out of concern for the safety and health of our members and staff and our broader community, and the responsibility to do our part in helping to slow or minimize the spread of the virus, we are following the guidelines and making these adjustments:

 

  • St John will not be holding Wednesday or Sunday worship services on-site until the CDC/state/local officials revise these guidelines. A date to resume has not been set.  We are exploring alternative methods to worship together from our homes -- both Pastor Liz and Pastor Dan have expressed a willingness to help us stay connected with one another through a recorded mini-worship service that you can watch from home.  Expect another email with additional information on that - it is uncharted territory for us to explore but one we are excited about offering. 
  • Most, if not all, of our Bible study groups and choirs will not be meeting.  This includes Sunday School and Confirmation, as well as the Tuesday 10am Bible Study group, the Tuesday 6pm Bible Study group, the Thursday 7am Thirsty Thursday Men Bible Study group, Bell Choirs, and Vocal choirs.  Please contact your leader directly if you have a question.
  • Parents of 5th graders will receive a separate email with information about the Communion Milestone. 
  • Our outside organizations (with participants greater than 10) which use our facility are cancelling. 


Although many of us are avoiding being out in social groups, there are still opportunities to care for one another and demonstrate Christ’s love. Here’s a couple of ideas:

  • Pray for those who are affected by this virus – those who are ill, the medical professionals treating them, the scientists working on vaccines and cures, and the leaders making tough decisions to try and curb the spread of the virus and keep us safe. Pray for those with mental health concerns, as well as those who feel extra lonely during this time –please reach out to anyone you think might be feeling isolated over the next few weeks.
  • Educate yourself about the Coronavirus from credible and reliable sources, such as from the World Health Organization, the CDC, and the Black Hawk County Health Dept. Know the symptoms and have a plan for what you would do if you or a family member were to become sick.
  • Check on your friends and neighbors. If you know someone who may not have internet access, give them a call and share the information in this email. We can continue to reach out and care for one another through phone calls, emails and social media.
  • As the virus spreads, many doctors and nurses will be working long hours. Consider ways you can bless these medical professionals with acts of kindness and notes of appreciation.
  • Remember this is temporary. Our church continues to serve our congregation and community. Continue to be a part of the ministry – the need for the support you give in the Cedar Valley and around the world continues despite the pandemic. Please continue your financial support of the work of the church. Some of you have set up your offerings to be automatically given. If you haven’t, maybe now is the time to try it out.  It’s easy to do and just takes a minute or two.  Click here to give online or you can mail your check to the church office at:  St. John Lutheran Church, 715 College Street, Cedar Falls, IA 50613.

God is With Us!

Over 100 times the Bible tells us, “Don’t be afraid.” Jesus himself tells us, “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.”John 14:27.  Let us join together, with the knowledge that God is with us, amidst the anxious thoughts and the worries of life. He is there, strengthening, helping, and holding each of us in His hands. 

 

Peace!