Church Family,

I hope you all are doing well and are healthy.  It is with a prayerful heart and eagerness to serve us all well that I want to make you aware that we will not gather for the rest of March.  That means Disciple-Makers on Wednesday night, Sunday Studies and Worship Gathering on Sunday will be canceled.  As the days move forward, I anticipate more substantial recommendations that will cause further interruptions to our life together. We willingly take these recommendations not out of fear but out of what has been called our “double love,” love for God and love for our neighbors. Love of God reminds us that no virus can change our unshakeable faith in the person and work of Christ. Love of neighbor reminds us to do whatever we can to help slow down the spread of the virus, especially to the most vulnerable.  With that said, joy is not gone, and hope is not destroyed. We are not a people defined by fear, but by joy.

There are many details I am working out to leverage technology to help keep us connected, though we will be scattered.  Please stay up to date through Facebook or the news blog on our website.  I will be posting detailed instructions there.  I am grateful for you all and thank the Lord daily for the privilege of serving as your Pastor.  I leave you with this thought from Martin Luther during the plague that hit Wittenberg in 1527.

“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely.  See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God. ”

(Luther’s Works Volume 43 pg 132 the letter “Whether one may flee from a Deadly Plague” written to Rev. Dr. John Hess)

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Bryan