Update: Grace in the Age of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Rev. Daniel Eggold

Mar 14, 2020

Readings:

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, I wanted to give you a brief update of how Grace Lutheran Church is working to ensure the safety of those in our community.

Where We Are at Present

Grace Lutheran Church is open! On advice of the Tippecanoe County Health Department (TCHD), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, we are observing best hygiene practice in all aspects of visitor and pastoral care.

You will notice signage placed around the church, based on official guidance on how best to protect yourself during this period of heightened awareness. We have taken steps to increase the frequency with which we clean regularly touched surfaces in the church.

Those who regularly worship at Grace Lutheran Church will notice that we have adapted some regular services, like Holy Communion. This includes, but is not limitedto:

  • No hand shaking at the peace.
  • No laying on of hands.
  • Communion will not be administered via the Common Cup.
  • We will refrain from passing collection plates.
  • The hymnals have been removed from pews.


Also,please note that we will:

  • suspend catering where multiple people touch mugs, utensils and foodstuffs. This includes the Fellowship Time after service and the Lenten meals on Wednesday evenings; and
  • suspend Sunday School and Sunday Bible class until further notice. In the coming weeks,we will provide a “take home” Sunday for both adults and children.

In line with guidance from the Tippecanoe County Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the LCMS, we are responding proportionately and will continue to do so as the situation develops.

How We Can Support You

We're aware that the coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact on our community, including situations where people are not able to come to services in person, or are left feeling anxious or distressed. I will regularly update you with prayers and resources to help you take part in worship and Bible Study from home. If you are sick or otherwise unable to gather, we’ll have the online stream of our service, Sundays at 9:30 a.m. We hope this will reassure you during this turbulent time.

Also, I know that many of you may want to continue your giving even if you are not able to meet in-person. Click here to access online giving.

Please know that there will always be someone to lend a listening ear at the church,and should you require a quiet space for reflection and private prayer, our door is open. If you'd like to talk to someone or schedule a home visitation:

  • I will be on duty inside the church or can be reached at (765) 337-1480 and deggold@gracelaf.org.
  • Contact the Church Office at office@gracelaf.org or (765) 474-1887

Keeping you up to date

In this fast-paced situation, Grace Lutheran Church continues to follow advice from Tippecanoe Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the LCMS.

I will regularly send you updates as the situation changes. Updates will also be provided on our website and our social media channels on Facebook.


Further Information

Pastoral Note

In times such as these, I encourage you to pray for:

  • those who are living with this illness that they may be strengthened in body and spirit;
  • those who are living with anxiety about this illness that they may be consoled when anxious;
  • those who tend to the needs of the sick that they may be comforted in grief and heartened in discouragement; and
  • all of us that God may claim us as His own, and He is with us wherever we go.

Also, seek ways in which you can look after your neighbors so that they may enjoy the life God has given them. God creates, preserves, and protects all life. He is caring and compassionate toward all He has made, and He calls us to be so also.

We would naturally seek to avoid pain and suffering. Yet, there are times when suffering is unavoidable. Focused on Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection, we know that suffering is not the whole story. God will use afflictions for our good and to bless others. He will keep His promises, and we will overcome our sufferings by faith. As St. Paul writes:

Therefore,since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that,but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:1-5).

Lord Christ, You suffered for us. When we must suffer, lead us in faith. Amen.


In Christ,

Pastor Eggold

Prayer