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Pastor's Blog - COVID-19 Update & Prayer - Friday 3/13/20

COVID-19 Update & Prayer - Friday 3/13/20

Posted by Pastor Pete Panitzke on

Dear fellow child of our Heavenly Father, 
 
Governor Evers has asked that we limit non-essential gatherings of more than 250. This afternoon he announced the closing of all K-12 schools in the state. As a result, all events at St. Paul’s other than worship will be cancelled beginning March 15 through at least March 27.
 
This Weekend at St. Paul’s
 
It is at times like this that we need most of all the comfort of our God. Worship is an essential part of our ministry. Therefore, our worship times will remain the same:

  • Traditional Worship: Saturday @ 5 pm; Sunday @ 7:45 and 9:15 am
  • The Bridge: Sunday @ 10:15 am
  • Contemporary Service: Sunday @ 10:45 am
  • Grace Room Bible Study on Colossians: Sunday @ 9:15 am

Our Wednesday 3:30 and 7 pm Lenten services will also continue.
 
If you join us in person, be assured that we are taking all the precautions mentioned in our previous email (see attachment) as we join our community in the battle against COVID-19.
 
Worship Online
 
We are also strengthening our on-line worship opportunities:

  • The entire Traditional Worship service will be recorded and available for viewing by Sunday early afternoon. You will be able to download the worship folder and message outline so that you can participate in worship with responsive readings, prayers and songs. A link will be sent tomorrow when we have the online worship page up.  
  • You can watch The Bridge live on Sundays at 10:15 am from our website or on Facebook.
  • You can watch a recorded Bridge service on our YouTube Channel.
  • You can make comments, ask questions or send prayer requests through our contact page.

 
Ongoing Spiritual Care
 
If you or someone you know needs spiritual care, or errands run, or food delivered, or help with food cards, or a wellness check, please do not hesitate to contact us (click here).

We will also be sending devotions and links to help you continue to grow in your faith. Perhaps this is the time to begin daily Bible reading for yourself or with your family members. Attached is the Bible reading plan that I use. If you use it, we’ll be reading the same chapters every day, so don’t be afraid to respond to one of these emails with a question.
 
Cancellations at St. Paul’s – March 15 - 27
 
Beginning on Sunday, March 15th and continuing through at least March 27, we are cancelling all programs other than worship.

  • St. Paul’s 3K-8 Elementary School
  • St. Paul’s Child Care
  • St. Paul’s Before and After School Care
  • Kid’s Club cancelled effective March 15
  • Child Care during worship cancelled effective March 15
  • Youth Confirmation Classes
  • Bible studies (with the exception of Sunday Grace Room study)
  • Support Groups
  • Dorcas Group, Card Group, Walking Club
  • Facilities rentals by outside organizations

Information about when these programs will resume will be published as soon as practical.
 
Prayer
 
Father in heaven, how powerfully you have reminded us that we are not in control of our lives. Something as small as a virus stops our lives in so many ways. May this time of forced seclusion for many of us also be a time of personal introspection. How have I forgotten your Word and will for my life? What gifts from you have I taken for granted? How might you be drawing me closer to you, Lord, through this great disruption of our lives?
 
Father, we find great comfort in knowing that you care for each of us with an unchanging love. We place our health and the health of our loved ones into your hands. If it be your will, protect our lives. If it be your will that we suffer sickness and even death, grant us faith to know that through your Son we have the certainty of life forever where no sickness or death can strike. Father, we do believe this, but in this time of testing, increase our faith! (Luke 17:5,6)
 
Father, we place our nation into your hands. There is so much fear and uncertainty. Many of us and others will face great financial hardships. Father, provide for our daily bread. Open our eyes to see the needs of others that we might respond in love as you enable us.

May the words of the Apostle Paul, written as he sat in prison, encourage us: 
 
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:4-7).
 
Amen and Amen!

Your brother,

Pastor Pete 

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