Ministry & Public Health Update - August- Sept. 2020
Grace and peace to you in the name of the blessed, Holy Trinity.
The Congregation Council met on Thursday, July 16 to review and reassess our response to the Covid-19 pandemic and to make plans for the coming weeks.

The Council and Staff are using resources from government, church, and public health agencies to guide us and assess the situation on a regular basis. (For a more detailed explanation of the guidelines and plans we are following, check out the GraceNotes article A Sanctuary in Waiting).

The whole Council is united in making sure we do what is best for the congregation and the health of the members. We are also committed to reviewing the situation consistently so we can alter our course as things change. Currently, none of the statistics we monitor are showing a clear downward trend for a two-week period. In fact, just the opposite is true. We will be reviewing these trends weekly.

We understand and share the frustration that many feel over not being able to gather - not just for worship, but in many venues. We too want to see one another and reconnect. We also know that risking unsafe returns makes a breeding ground for the virus and threatens the safety of all. Please understand we make our decisions with prayer and in faith.
   
WORSHIP
 
On-site worship will continue to be cancelled thru Sunday, September 20, 2020 . We will continue to provide video opportunities to worship each week. Watch your email and Facebook for information. Our YouTube channel and Facebook page will be the places to find what is posted. Our website has both the videos and some helps for worship at home.

When you worship with us, please make sure to fill out a virtual Welcome Card which can be found on the website, with the worship email or on the mobile app.

We will also be offering prayer gatherings via Zoom - the next one will be on Wednesday, July 29. Look for more details to come.

Funerals and other pastoral acts are available under the very restrictive "phase one" guidelines outlined by the CDC and church leaders. The pastors have permission to handle these events in a way that is safe and responsible.

LEARNING & SMALL GROUPS
 
The youth are meeting virtually each week and have had an outdoor gathering with appropriate distancing. Plans for confirmation/affirmation, while being adjusted, continue.

We are beginning to prepare video based classes and curriculum for Church School, Confirmation/Affirmation, Adult Classes for the fall so that we are ready for whatever situation we face by September. A new approach is being developed that focuses on teaching us all to love, God, love, neighbor, and love creation using the values and beliefs of the congregation.

We're formulating plans to use Zoom, social media, and very small gatherings (when that becomes more safe that it is now) to keep our small group ministry vital and strong through this time of pandemic.
 
Continue to look for David Fandrich's weekly From the Loft videos to give you hope. Check out Pastor Tim's weekly Beggar's Take videos for a little grace during the week. GraceNotes offers a weekly word of hope an grace. These and other resources to come hope to keep us connected to God and one another in this time.

PASTORAL CARE

Please know that the homebound, sick, and grieving members of our congregation are continuing to receive care in the best ways we can offer. We are actively reaching out to all our active members to provide care through phone calls, email, cards if we have the contact information available. Our prayer ministry and follow-up continues. Hospital visits and entry into care facilities are still off limits to clergy throughout the state.

Please let us know what prayers we can pray; what help we can provide. Simply check the staff website to contact us! In an emergency, you can reach the pastor on-call at 515-336-0811.

We also want to encourage you to encourage and support one another. God has made us all members of the body of Christ and, through baptism, made us all ministers of grace and hope.
 
ADMINISTRATION
 
The office will continue to be closed through September 20, 2020 . You can still reach staff by email. Go to the staff page of the website for email and phone extensions. You can call the church and it will be answered by the automated voicemail. Follow prompts to leave a voice mail for the person with whom you wish to speak. We can all access voicemail from our home and mobile phones.

We continue to depend on the generosity of our members to fund the ministry. You can give by mail or on-line at any time . We give thanks to all who have continued to give and support our mission!

Our Annual Meeting to adopt a budget and elect leaders takes place virtually, this Sunday, July 19 . CLICK HERE to access all the instructions you need for attending the meeting. Remember, we need 100 members to be with us to have a quorum.

OUTREACH AND SERVICE
We continue t o collect food for the Food Pantry (which is open from Noon - 4 PM each Tuesday. We will open the doors and make baskets available each Monday from 9-11 AM for food donations. You can also stock the Helping Hands boxes - at the east and west ends of the south parking lot. You can make a contribution to the food pantry to purchase what we need delivered.

Please check the weekly Epistle newsletter to find out how to help through the latest service opportunities.
 
Grace and peace to you in the name of the blessed Holy Trinity!
In Christ,
 
The Congregation Council
Timothy Olson, Lead Pastor for Mission & Vision
Pamela Schroeder, Pastor for Care & Community
Garth Englund, Pastoral Intern
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
515-964-4348
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
517 SW Des Moines St
Ankeny, IA 50023
515-964-4348

Worship Schedule - online right now
Saturdays: 5:30 pm
Sundays: 8:30 and 10:00 am
Wednesdays: 6:00 pm