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  • Mid-Week Lenten Soup Suppers - CANCELLED THROUGH MARCH
  • Mid-Week Lenten Services - AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY
  • Covid-19 Virus Information for Advent
  • Birthdays This Week
3rd Sunday in Lent

In Sunday's gospel a Samaritan woman asks Jesus for water, an image of our thirst for God. Jesus offers living water, a sign of God’s grace flowing from the waters of baptism. The early church used this gospel and those of the next two Sundays to deepen baptismal reflection during the final days of preparation before baptism at Easter. As we journey to the resurrection feast, Christ comes among us in word, bath, and meal—offering us the life-giving water of God’s mercy and forgiveness.

The scripture readings for this week include:
AdventELC's theme for the year is: See Christ Clearly in 2020 . We look to direct our attention and energy in two ways: seeing Christ clearly personally and showing Christ clearly to the world.
AdventELC's Response to the
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
"But now, says the Lord— the one who created you, Jacob, the one who formed you, Israel: Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1

Dear siblings in Christ,

Part of seeing Christ clearly and making Christ clearly seen is how we handle ourselves in difficult times. This has been an intense week. Want to hear some good news? Christ is risen! And nothing can or will change that glorious fact!

Pastor and author John Ortberg writes, “The central promise in the Bible is not ‘I will forgive you,’ although of course that promise is there. It is not the promise of life after death, although we are offered that as well. The most frequent promise in the Bible is ‘ I will be with you. ’”

This thought by Ortberg hit me as a thought of what need to have reinforced with what is happening in our world today.

Since the beginning of this week:
  • the World Health Organization has declared the Covid-19 Coronavirus a pandemic. A pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations.

  • On Monday the joint AdventELC/Lord of Life Lutheran Church’s trip to the Holy Land -which was set to leave this upcoming Tuesday- had to be postponed to the Fall as Israel implemented a 14 day total travel ban.

  • Gov. Mike Dewine has closed all Ohio Schools, which includes the BEARS Preschool here at Advent, for the next three weeks. Nursing homes are drastically restricting visitors. Just earlier today I was on a conference call with Columbus Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Roberts, geared specifically for the greater Columbus faith community which provided an update and answered questions about COVID-19, as this is rapidly changing and they wanted to brief us on recommendations before our worship services this weekend.

While the personal health risk to most of us at AdventELC right now is likely very low, the risk is higher for anyone whose immunities are diminished for any reason. And the threat of transmitting the contagious virus is real for everyone, endangering the capacity of our health care system if too many people get sick too quickly.
In that sense,
while the virus risk for me might be low,
the risk for us is high.

Therefore, keeping in mind the health of each individual and the most vulnerable in particular, along with concern for the wider community as well, AdventELC is adopting the following safeguards in consultation with the best medical, governmental and church-wide guidance available:

Sunday Morning
  • Sunday morning worship and Sunday School classes will continue unless conditions worsen and indicate otherwise.

  • We fully support as valid each person’s decision whether to attend church or not.
  • Persons over the age of 60, those with chronic illness, compromised immune systems, chemotherapy patients, and transplant recipients are strongly encouraged not to attend worship services, Bible studies, and rehearsals.
  • Chronic illness also includes diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes face a higher risk for complications. In general, people with diabetes are more likely to experience severe symptoms and complications when infected with a virus. Please refer to to your doctor or official medical websites for specific information about any chronic condition you may have as it relates to this pandemic.

  • We will have Holy Communion this week. That may change in the coming weeks per ELCA and other health officials recommendations.
  • We are suspending the use of the Common Cup
  • We are using disposable, individual cups
  • All Communion personnel will be wearing food service protection to hinder contamination
  • If you do not wish to commune as normal, you are more than welcome to come up for a blessing, confident in the good news that you are truly forgiven.

  • We will advise at church on social distancing such as passing the peace with verbal greetings and visual gestures rather than handshakes, hugs or other physical contact. Please stay a minimum arm's length away.

  • If Sunday morning worship is ever suspended, we will continue to offer a service online. Rest assured the Holy Spirit has no limits and connects us in and with Christ no matter the distance.

Midweek Wednesday Lenten Services
  • Out of an abundance of caution for the community and in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, midweek Lenten worship services and soup suppers are being suspended through the month of March. We will continue to monitor and re-evaluate the situation going forward, maintaining weekly communication with any changes as warranted.
  • Holy Week services will go on as planned.

Other Ministries
  • Youth gatherings will be suspended until April 1.
  • Ministries and Bible Studies may continue or be suspended as the ministry leader deems appropriate. Please contact your ministry leader for the most up-to-date information.

Other General Practices
  • Anyone with even mild symptoms of illness is encouraged to stay home.
  • Anyone who becomes sick while at church will be cared in the back hallway until arrangements are available to take the person home or to the hospital.

  • Church cleaning services are being amped up but we are short on supplies as the store shelves are bare. If you can spare anything bleached based (i.e. Clorox wipes, Lysol, etc.) please bring those products in and place them in the narthex.

  • Soap for frequent hand-washing will be available at all sinks, along with hand sanitizer throughout the building as available.

  • Pastoral care remains available via telephone, text, email and in person as appropriate.

Make the best of this time
  • While you are strongly encouraged to limit your physical contact with other people, we live in a time when we can still be "in contact" with each other!
  • Please pray for each other, for our health care workers and any who are ill, teachers, administrators, students, and first responders.
  • Take the extra time that you would have been filling out brackets and watching basketball games to read your Bible, catch up with your family members, friends, and neighbors in non in-person ways.
  • Talk to your kids about their lives. Watch movies together. Play board games together.

Pastor Aaron is still healthy and intends to continue to provide pastoral care as needed. This may simply be a phone call as he is currently not permitted to enter many health care facilities, but he is your pastor and intends to provide you with blessings and prayers in the best way that he can.
Please reach him on his cell phone (call or text) at 614-570-8807 with any concerns.

Thank you, in advance, for your understanding and cooperation with these matters which, going forward, will be revisited and communicated to you weekly. Being community together, looking out for the least of these - especially in uncertain times like these, gives strong witness to the trust we have in the God who leads us out of fear into life through Christ our Lord.

Yours in Christ,
Rev. Aaron Layne, Pastor
Craig Dame, President
Staff at AdventELC
ELCA Presiding Bishop
addresses concerns about COVID-19
Noteworthy News
In-Person Midweek Lenten Series and Soup Supper Suspended
Worship will be Online and Live Streamed
AdventELC has suspended our midweek Lenten Soup Supper & Service on Wednesday nights out of an abundance of caution over the COVID-19 pandemic, HOWEVER, this does not mean we will not worship together!

Join us for worship via Live Stream only at starting at 7:15pm on Wednesday. Sing along, pray along, hear God's Word read, and hear the sermon just as you would in person from the comfort of wherever you are, as we will have the graphics for hymns and readings all on the screen!
Women's Bible Study
Please join us. All women of the church are welcome. We meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 10:00 the church. Contact Julie Page 614-519-1014
Jane Moore 734-735-1216 to see if you are meeting.

Fill out the order form in your bulletin or at the usher's stand in the Narthex.
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