St Paul Connection, Dec 14

From the Pastor:

Greetings in the name of Christ,

The leadership of St. Paul Lutheran Church has been considering our response to the recent rise in Covid -19 cases in our community. We are very concerned about gathering together in large numbers for the time it takes to conduct service, and doing high risk activities like sing- ing. It is extremely likely that we would transmit the virus in these circumstances, even with masks and distancing. We have also affirmed that we are able to participate in worship with our current online live streaming. The Word of God is enough to sustain us through difficult times, and we are still able to have that.

That being said, we also know that there are benefits to gathering together. The question we have been asking is: when do the benefits of gathering together outweigh the risks? We have decided that for Christmas Eve, they do. We will be gathering together for two services on Christmas Eve, one at 3:00p.m. and the other at 7:00p.m. They will both be the same, and the purpose of having multiple services is to spread out attendance to mitigate risk. There will be communion offered at both services. The 7:00p.m. service will be streamed on Facebook as well.

I want to assure you that there is nothing wrong with worshiping from afar. If you are in a high risk category, interact with someone who is, or are feeling sick that day, I urge you to stay at home. Remember that the Wise Men weren’t there on Christmas either.

We will also be continuing to meet virtually on Sundays. The pause was effective in reducing numbers of cases, but we are experiencing the spike that came from Thanksgiving, and we will be expecting another, larger spike after Christmas. The Elders will continue to meet to reevalu-
ate when we should return to in person gatherings on a regular basis, and I will keep you informed.

Now, more than ever, we look to the coming of Jesus Christ with hope and Joy.

Blessings on your Christmas, Pastor Aaron