April 1, 2020

Dear Bethlehem,

Good morning, church. We have reached April 1, the date I promised you we would re-evaluate whether or how we can come together as church. At this point, there is no hard call to make. We continue to comply with the mandate to “shelter in place” at least through the month of April, and that means we will continue to suspend all in-person worship services, group meetings, and programs for the foreseeable future. As soon as that changes, be assured you will hear from us!

As we approach the coming week, I invite you to join us for Holy Week services . We call this week holy because it is the week that points us to the deepest truths of our Christian faith and our life lived before God. We will “gather” virtually for worship on:

Sunday, April 5 - Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday worship centers on Jesus’ procession into Jerusalem and crowds cries of “Hosanna” just days before his death.

Thursday, April 9 - Maundy Thursday
Maundy means “commandment.” This service focuses on Jesus’ commandment to lay down our lives for one another.

Friday, April 10 - Good Friday
Good Friday worship takes us to the cross – to God dying on a cross – to confront us with the pain and violence of our world, and God’s promise that not even death can separate us from the love of God.  

Sunday, April 12 - Easter Sunday
The tomb is empty! Christ has risen! Life comes from death!

Our Sunday morning services will be posted at 8:30am. Our services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday will be posted late-afternoon/early evening, and we invite you to set aside time those evenings to gather around a candle in your home and contemplate the greatest mysteries of our faith.

Worshiping virtually is a new frontier for all of us, and I am so grateful we’re able to make it happen! Many thanks to all who have helped our worship services come together each weekend, especially to Chris Johnson, who basically became a full-time staff member overnight in the new position of church videographer. Please send him your thanks! I am so appreciative of the way our online worship connects us to one another and to God during this pandemic. And I’m also grateful for your flexibility and openness as a community, as we continue to experiment with new ways to do and be church during this time. Feel free to share our services with neighbors and loved ones – it’s proving to be a gentle and tangible way to share the gospel with those we know and love!

Know that you are missed and prayed for! Stay well, everyone.

With you in the wilderness,
Pastor Sarah

BLC Staff and Contact Info:

Pr. Sarah Rohde, Lead Pastor – pastor_sarah@bethlehemluth.org
Pr. Jean Duran, Interim Pastoral Support for Congregational Care rjduran@att.net
Deacon Heather Feltman, Director of Church Operations heather@bethlehemluth.org
Allie Hofsommer, Administrative Assistant – allie@bethlehemluth.org
Amy Martin, Coordinator of Communications – amy@bethlehemluth.org
Pong Saysane, BLC Preschool Director – pong@bethlehemluth.org
Chris Johnson, BLC Videographerr – johnsonchris1975@gmail.com