|A Letter from our Chairman, Ron Lobner|
March 24, 2020
Dear Trinity Lutheran Church Member,
I’m writing to you about the Coronavirus Pandemic in hopes of answering the questions that many of you have been asking, such as, when will we resume church services? How will this affect our Congregational meeting to vote on which Pastor to Call?
The Coronavirus, itself, has many uncertainties, one of which is, how long will this terrible crisis last? Without knowing for sure, the Church Council’s plans right now are to cancel all services through Easter Sunday, April 12. This is not any different than what other churches in the area are doing. In all likelihood, this suspension could extend much longer, even into May.
Regarding our Congregational Voters’ meeting scheduled for March 29, this will be postponed until further notice. The earliest that this special Voters’ meeting will be held is two weeks after our regular church services resume. In all honesty, now would not be the time to Call a Pastor, knowing what they might be dealing with in their own congregation, as a result of this crisis. Consequently, do expect that this meeting could be pushed back even further.
This above-mentioned lockout will also include all Bible studies (men’s, women’s and adult), as well as any other church activities. Deaconess Ashley will be contacting the Confirmands about how she intends to finish up their remaining classes. We are currently looking into having this done remotely. We still intend to have our normal Sunday Confirmation service, albeit at a later date than usual. As far as our Church Boards and their meetings are concerned, it will be left up to them as to whether or not to meet. All things considered, there seems to be very few topics that need to be discussed in person at this time. The Church Council will continue to meet, but only on an “as needed basis” knowing that decisions will have to be made. Please be rest assured that all precautions are being taken to help insure the well-being of our members.
Some of you may be wondering what other avenues are available for church services that are done electronically. I’m happy to report that there are opportunities out there. Immanuel Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids will be providing live streaming of church services, Bible studies, etc. on Facebook. They are also making pre-recorded church services available that will be aired on television at 3:00 PM on Sundays. These will be shown on public access (Solarus Channel 3 and Charter Channel 985). Much more information about everything that is available from them can be found on their website which is www.immanuelrapids.com. Also, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids is preparing a weekly worship service. These can be accessed via live stream Sunday morning at 10:30 (go to www.stlukeslutheran.com and follow the link on the left side of the home page). The service will also be available for viewing on public access (same channels as above) on Wednesdays at 1:00 PM and the following Sunday at 7:00 PM. Sermons will be available on YouTube – search under
St. Luke’s Church, Wisconsin
Rapids. Please also consider listening to the Lutheran Hour on the radio.
Next, I would like to mention our request and need for members to continue with their offerings even while church services are not being conducted. Much like all of you, we must be able to pay our bills. There are several ways to give, to include mailing or dropping your contributions off at our church office. Julie, our secretary, will be in the office Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Our Simply Giving program can make things even easier for you. All we would need is a voided check, how much and when you want to give (weekly, monthly, yearly). This contribution will then be automatically deducted from your checking accounts. Keep in mind that any financial documents that you provide will be kept in the strictest confidence. Once this crisis is over, you can go back to giving in your usual manner.
Lastly, I want to assure our members that our commitment to you is to communicate what we know, when we know it. We will do that by word of mouth, and in print, if necessary. We will be keeping our website updated with any information that we might have. Also, we are in the process of building an email database of our membership. When completed, we will be able to get information out to most of our members more quickly and easily. You can help in that regard by providing Julie with your email address, if we don’t already have it. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to add your email to our database. For those of you who don’t have computers or email, you are welcome to call Julie at 715-887-3021 or your Elder to get updated information. Also, my phone number (cell) is 715-459-1503.
In closing, remember that our God is greater than the problem we now face. If we don’t believe that, we will live in constant anxiety thinking everything depends on us, and our outlook will be dictated by our surroundings. While we are Americans and as a people we are smart and resourceful, it is our God who is victorious and will bring His people through this. These certainly are tough times that are sure to test our grit. It is one thing to deal with this terrible virus, but to do it without a full-time Pastor makes our challenge that much greater. In the meantime, continue with your prayers and with God’s love, guidance and presence we will get through this – together. All this we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Ron Lobner, Chairman