met on Thursday, June 18 to once again review and reassess our response to the Covid-19 pandemic and to make plans for the coming weeks.
We are tracking the number of new cases in Polk County and the State of Iowa, statewide deaths from Covid-19, and other measures recommended by various public health agencies. We are looking for a solid and consistent downward trend over a 14-day period before we make any plans to change our current course and begin to plan for a measured return to worship and building use. So far, we do not feel that the trend is obviously headed down for that length of time.
We also continue to discuss the quality of some return to worship and the practices of exclusion of at-risk members, need to "RSVP" to attend and other matters that make a return less than hospitable, but necessary. Just because we can gather for worship does not guarantee that the kind of gathering we can offer will be a good experience.
We are, in fact, making preparations for a return to worship in the building. Once we decide that we can proceed, it will take about one month to communicate the process and prepare for the first services.
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
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.
On-site worship continues to be
cancelled thru Sunday, August 16, 2020
. We will continue to provide video opportunities to worship each week. Watch your email and Facebook for information. Our
will be the places to find what is posted. Our
has both the videos and some helps for worship at home.
We will also be offering prayer gatherings via Zoom - the next one will be on Wednesday, July 1. Look for more details to come.
Funerals and other pastoral acts are right now only available under the very restrictive "phase one" guidelines outlined by the CDC and church leaders. Twelve or less participants, face masks, distancing, no singing, nor speaking from the congregation. Contact one of the pastors if you have questions.
LEARNING & SMALL GROUPS
VBS - "Superheros of the Bible" will be offered using video and kits that can be picked up and used at home. We currently have about thirty participants registered
The youth still meet 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.
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.
The office will continue to be
closed through August 16
. 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 has been rescheduled to
Sunday, July 19
. We will be doing this meeting virtually. Look for your annual report and instructions for participation int he coming weeks.
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.
Grace and peace to you in the name of the blessed Holy Trinity!