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COVID-19 Related News

        March 27th

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

In a world that seems increasingly frantic the words of the prophet Jeremiah come to mind ”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

The leadership of our Parish (Calvary & Spring Lake) is praying that all of you are doing well and making the best of the world we are now living in. This is certainly a challenging time for all of us. The disconnection, loss of community and freedom, are difficult to comprehend and adjust to. God has not forgotten about us nor will he give us over to evil. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.” Isaiah 43:5-6

A faithful, prayerful decision was made by the Parish Board on Wednesday, March 25th to suspend all church activities and public worship until at least May 3rd per the recommendations that are coming from both the Saint Paul Area Synod and Governor Walz. This decision was not made lightly. A lot of discussion and prayer went into making this choice. However, we think it is the most responsible action to take for the wellbeing of our church families and our communities. The church buildings will be locked and access will be by appointment only.

Here are some important things for you to know:

· Worship: All Sunday morning, Lenten, and Holy Week services as well as Easter services have been suspended at both churches. Unless the current CDC recommendations change, tentatively worship will resume on May 3rd. We are hoping that one of our first post “stay at home” worship services will be the joint Praise service originally planned for March 29th.

· First Communion and Confirmation are currently suspended although as with other activities, methods are being explored to continue that learning through video chat, home packets etc. More info to come soon.

· Funerals: Beginning, March 26th all funerals for congregational members will be graveside services only. Families will be encouraged to plan larger celebrations at a later time.

· Building Usage: Our church buildings will be closed to all inside and outside groups that meet. All activities that take place inside our building are canceled effective immediately.

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· Church Offices: Church staff for both congregations will continue working remotely and on-site. During this time, please contact staff by email or by phone.

· Pastoral Care: Please contact Pastor Vicki by phone, 320-237-0652 or email, vlv55@Hotmail.com if pastoral care is needed.

· Remote Worship: We are working diligently to be ready to offer remote worship and or Bible studies each week by April 5th. This takes some planning and an exploration of our current capabilities. Please be patient and if you have ideas, pop Pastor Vicki an email.

· Connecting with each other: This current crisis is affecting each and every one of us, from our youngest to our oldest. It’s important to find ways to connect and care for one another. The Parish Board with the assistance of Both church councils will begin to focus on a process that will enable us to connect with every member or family to check in. We hope to compile a list of those who may have certain needs during this time away from each other. If you are willing to make a few phone calls to other members please let our council presidents Andy Zarbok (Spring Lake) at 763-238-9590 or James Larter (Calvary) at 651-343-5760 know and they will give you more details..

· Giving: Your continued generosity toward the needs of each congregation will be more important than ever during this time. This is especially true as there are still bills to pay, payroll, mission support and buildings to maintain. Please continue to support our missions and ministries if you are fiscally able. You can possibly set up electronic giving through Bill Pay at your bank, Calvary members are able to use VANCO which can be accessed through Calvary’s website or you can simply mail your gifts to your respective church. Spring Lake’s address is: 8440 Erickson Rd NE, North Branch MN 55056 and Calvary’s is: 600 Rush Point Dr. Stanchfield, MN 55080. If you are not a regular financial contributor to this ministry we share, we can’t think of a more important time to step in. A commitment of $5 or $10 a week can make a huge difference!

Please know that all of you are in our thoughts and prayers. This is not an easy time, but with Christ, we will get through it together.

God Bless,

Pastor Vicki VanderVegt, the Parish Board, and the Calvary and Spring Lake Lutheran Church Councils.

 


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Don Bettcher,
Mar 27, 2020, 6:57 AM
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Don Bettcher,
Mar 18, 2020, 7:24 AM
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