If you’ve read Bishop Maas’ letter to our congregation, you understand that he is advocating no congregation open soon. According to health professionals, the earliest we should consider would be June. Opening a congregation to worship, however, is not without some major challenges.
To read Bishop Brian Maas’s email please click the link below.
Bishop Brian Maas email
First, everyone would have to wear a mask. Given that, communion, corporate prayer, and congregational singing would be eliminated from worship. (Singing seems to extend social distancing requirements to 12 ft, making space even more of a premium.) Basically our worship would be someone preaching, leading prayers, and a few instrumental pieces. Social gathering before and after worship would also be severely restricted. In other words, what we have done on-line to date, is what we would be able to do together. Without the convenience of doing it on your time. Or on your couch.
Which gets me to my second major concern. How do we justly and equitably restrict worship to 50 people each time? Do we reserve space for visitors? (Perhaps this experience leads people to try church again for the first time in 25 years, only to find “no room at the inn?” And another 25 years goes by before they are ready to try again?) All of our worship experiences average 50 people at least. How do we work that week to week? And these are just the things off the top of my head…
I’ve been going back to a line on the Gospel of Mark where Jesus rebuked the storm and asked his disciples, “Why are you afraid?” Faith is scary. Trusting in Jesus moves us out of our comfort zones. It’s as true in boats as well as congregations. I am firmly convinced God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit is going to calm these troubled, stormy times. And we are in the boat getting rocked back and forth, fearing for our lives. We could die here. But Jesus is here too. Isn’t that enough? Why are we afraid? Our fear is real, but so is Jesus. We wait with Jesus as the storms of fear subside.
Gracious God, calm our fears, ease our worry, and speed us back together as your people so we can worship together in calm, safety, and joy. Amen.
Although the building will be closed, our staff is still available to you for any of your needs.
Pastor Scott Frederickson, Ph.D.: PastorScott@firstlutheranblair.org 701-471-6997
Dawn Andersen, Parish Administrative Coordinator: email@example.com 402-670-3682
Erika Cada, Director of Children’s and Youth Ministry: ECada@firstlutheranblair.org 402-533-0918
Vince Krysl, Director of Worship and Property Oversight: firstname.lastname@example.org 402-708-1978
Rod Hansen, PMA, Visitation: email@example.com 402-533-0665
If you or someone you know would like a call from Pastor Scott, Rod Hansen, or any of our friendship ministers, feel encouraged to call the staff and let them know.
We encourage everyone to join the church email list for newsletters, announcements, and updates, please email Dawn to be added to the list.
Check the church website, www.firstlutheranblair.org, and Facebook, www.facebook.com/FLCBlair for further updates, announcements, and for video content during this time.
For information about COVID-19, please visit www.cdc.gov, www.dhhs.ne.gov, and www.threeriverspublichealth.org.
Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1Peter 3:8
Vince Krysl, Director of Worship and Property Oversight
As a Church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, regardless of your age, race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, life experience, complexities or questions: we believe that you have a unique story that can only add to the richness of the larger story that makes up First Lutheran Church and the ELCA.
There is a place for you here!