Holy Week in the Face of Covid-19
April 5th - April 12th
, the last Sunday we worshiped together in person in our sanctuary, I began my sermon with the following words,
Neither 4 years of seminary training, nor 30 years of parish ministry has prepared me for the challenges of today's coronavirus.
I have thought about these words often in this last week- especially as I have contemplated preparations for the holiest week of the year for Christians. Normally, the week would be filled with a procession of palms, a pancake breakfast, Sunday School children searching for colored eggs in the parsonage, parishioners in bright spring dresses, choir rehearsals, meditative moments reflecting on the wonder of the cross all culminating with the good news of Christ's resurrection. How different Holy Week will be this year. No, neither 4 years of seminary training, nor 30 years of parish ministry could have prepared me for the challenges of
in the face of the coronavirus.
Yet, in my most reflective moments, I am struck with the thought that everything that I have done so far has prepared me for the reality of the week ahead. Odd vocational opportunities, hardship, disappointment, bad weather, and living abroad without family anywhere near have all played a part in helping me to shepherd our flock through this daunting Holy Week. No doubt, you have had experiences that have prepared you as well.
Thirty-nine years ago, I was asked by the principal of Austin High School to be the substitute teacher for a class on radio and television broadcasting. Three months later, when the teacher returned from sick-leave, I could have never imagined using that bit of knowledge again. How many times, have I experienced the disappointment of ice and snow preventing a well-planned worship service from happening? Sub-zero temperatures on Christmas Eve often kept us from gathering as a family. Surprisingly, I first heard myself referred to as Grandpa Haug on a computer screen eating my meal from KFC while my family back in Minnesota was enjoying their Thanksgiving dinner. We have all had these experiences in life, that I trust have made us stronger and more confident in what we believe is ultimately important. Of course, that doesn't mean it is easy.
In my years serving as a missionary in the former Soviet Union, I heard countless stories from pastors and church workers who were nurtured in the faith by their families. Their churches were shuttered, and when they were allowed to gather secret police were often waiting at the door. These families kept the tradition alive by telling the story and singing songs within their own homes. That is what you and I are called to do this year. In turn, our staff and Lake of the Isles is working to provide you with resources that can help you deepen and share your faith the coming Holy Week.
Palm Sunday Worship will stream at 9:30 on Sunday morning, April 5th, on our YouTube channel. We realize the bulletin, with its extended reading of the passion story, may be difficult to print. Additionally, palm branches were delivered to church in spite of the coronavirus. So, on Saturday, April 4th, from 10:00am - 2:00 pm, if you are out buying groceries, or walking by the church, you will find Palm Sunday bulletins printed for you, as well as palm branches for your family- and Purell. They will be in the cloister on the south side of the church. The donkey will be there too. (There is also a special gift for the children since there is no egg hunt this year.)
In addition to the Palm Sunday resources, you will find a service order for a Maundy Thursday meal for your family. It suggests a special meal where families may remember other meals in their life and readings appropriate for the night. It is important to note that both the ELCA's Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, as well our own Minneapolis Area Synod Bishop Ann Svennungsen, have encouraged congregations to refrain from celebrating Holy Communion at this time. They have included these words, God comes to us in all these ways and is really present. Holy Communion is not the only way that the Word of God is communicated- it's not even the preeminent way that the Word of God is communicated. In spite of this, some pastors have experimented with virtual communion services. I am following counsel of others whom I respect and we will celebrate the Lord's Supper again when the congregation can gather at the table.
Finally, a printed Good Friday service will be available this weekend in the cloister as well. The meditative service follows the Scriptural Stations of the Cross which was developed by John Paul II for a Good Friday service in the Coliseum in Rome. It will be broadcast at 12:00 on April 10th but will be appropriate for Good Friday reflection throughout the day.
Our Easter Sunday worship service on April 12th will stream on our YouTube channel at 9:30 in the morning. If the availability of a printed worship bulletin is useful, we may try this for Easter as well. Easter flowers will be displayed on Easter Sunday in the sanctuary and will be available for you to pick up at the church after Easter.
My friends, God has prepared each one of us for this challenging time. Allow yourself the time to discover the gifts and experiences God has provided you and your family. Peace to you in this Holy Season. And may you live with the assurance of our Lenten verse:
Keep in mind that Jesus Christ has died for us and is risen from the dead. He is our saving Lord; he is joy for all ages.
Pastor Arden Haug
|A Season of Hope
Lutheran World Relief Personal Care Kits
This Lent, we're joining
Lutheran World Relief
A Season of Hope
to announce to the world the HOPE of Christ. Each week,
we'll collect a different item that we'll use to assemble Personal
Care Kits that give people around the world tools to stay healthy in
life's most challenging situations and provide assistance
for struggling families in fragile corners of the world.
Information will be included in the Sunday bulletin.
Our goal is to assemble 75
Personal Care Kits.
Contributions can be made in two ways:
- Cash donation to support purchasing in bulk.
- Items may be purchased by individuals and delivered to LOTI, when we gather after after Minnesota's shelter in place order is lifted.
We will schedule a date for
assembly and shipping preparation at that time.
Each kit will include:
- Two or three bars of soap
- One bath towel
- One toothbrush
- One comb
- One nail clipper
Contact Linda Nelson with questions or to let us know that would like to help.
- Be sure to shop for light or medium-weight towels in darker colors, which are easier for kit recipients to hand wash and air dry, take up less storage space and are considerably less expensive than the fluffier towels we may prefer.
- Please give new items only.
- Please do not donate items with any religious symbols, messages or a group's name.
- Please do not donate any items decorated with a U.S. flag, patriotic or military symbols, or references to the armed forces, including camouflage.
- Please do not add other items or leave out any of the items listed.
- All items should be new.
- Do not enclose kits or any contents in plastic bags.
|LOTI Virtual Worship Services
While printed copies of the Holy Week bulletins will be available, they will also be available online.
Go to: loti.org > Resources > Worship Service Bulletins
Special thanks to Joseph LaMere for filming, editing and uploading our videos to Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church YouTube channel. We couldn't do it without you!
A Great Big Thank You!
Thank you to the entire congregation for supporting our
Sunday School Service Day. While we weren't able to assemble the items together, they were delivered to
Lutheran Social Services at the end of
March. We donated six
New Mom Kits, (a bath towel set, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion and razors) and six
Baby Kits (a box of diapers, baby bath towels, a rattle, a book, two pairs of socks, and two packages of baby wipes). A total of 132 items in total were delivered - providing many items on
the most needed list from LSS.
Weekly Sunday School
& Family Materials
For materials to use at home for the weekly Bible stories and faith activities, please continue to check your email and visit:
for SS age
May they be a blessing
to your family
as you practice
faith at home
|Virtual Women's Bible Study
Our group meets
1st & 3rd Thursday
Our next meetings are
Thursdays April 2 &
This session's text is
Numbers: Learning Contentment in a Culture of More
by Melissa Spoelstra.
|Virtual Growlers & Theology
The informal study of theology and adult beverages continues
Following the model of Luther in his home in Wittenberg, Germany, Pastor Haug leads a twice monthly gathering.
This month's gatherings are
Thursdays, April 2 & April 23, 7:00pm
If you would like to participate in virtual
Growlers & Theology, please send your email address to
|Our Saviour's Housing Shelter Meal
Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church has provided a meal for 40 the first Friday of every month for many years. This is a wonderful opportunity for families or a group of friends to work together!
Thanks to the
Mechels & Amann Families
for serving on March 6.
Sign up to volunteer for an event in 2020!
& Marty Carlson
& Lars Olson
& Peter Van Bergen
Recipes are provided.
or phone (952) 431-5226 for more information.
Thrivent members are eligible to apply for a Thrivent Action Grant to cover the cost of the meal and purchase supplies for Our Saviour's Shelter continuing needs.
Donation of the grant by Thrivent members, who are unable to make the meal, is much apprecitated! (4-6 weeks lead time)
If you have not served the meal, feel the cost is more than you can comfortably contribute, or would like to work with others, contact
LOTI Virtual Book Club
to Read with Us!
Our remains selections for 2019-2020 meetings are:
||Mary C Neal
||To Heaven and Back
||Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
A kayak accident during a South American adventure takes one woman to heaven-where she experienced God's peace, joy, and angels-and back to life again.
In 1999 in the Los Rios region of southern Chile, orthopedic surgeon, devoted wife, and loving mother Dr. Mary Neal drowned in a kayak accident. While cascading down a waterfall, her kayak became pinned at the bottom and she was immediately and completely submerged. Despite the rescue efforts of her companions, Mary was underwater for too long, and as a result, died.
To Heaven and Back is Mary's remarkable story of her life's spiritual journey and what happened as she moved from life to death to eternal life, and back again. Detailing her feelings and surroundings in heaven, her communication with angels, and her deep sense of sadness when she realized it wasn't her time, Mary shares the captivating experience of her modern-day miracle.
Mary's life has been forever changed by her newfound understanding of her purpose on earth, her awareness of God, her closer relationship with Jesus, and her personal spiritual journey suddenly enhanced by a first-hand experience in heaven. To Heaven and Back will reacquaint you with the hope, wonder, and promise of heaven, while enriching you own faith and walk with God.
Contact Deb Gilroy to be invited to the Zoom meeting
Easter flowers will be displayed in the sanctuary on
Easter Sunday and can be picked up at the church the week of
April 13th. The list of orders will be posted on the
Christy Room door.
Virtual Prayer Ministry Group
All are welcome to join us on
from 9:15 - 10:00 am
|Fellowship Hall Exhibition
Kay Christianson served for over 30 years in executive management at Minnesota corporations and nonprofits, including NCS/Pearson, LearningByte International, and Children's Cancer Research Fund. Throughout her years of employment, her love of photography was always a vital part of her life. From the early days of having her own darkroom and working with black and white images to her current work with digital photography, Kay's work has always been inspired by nature. Now retired, she developed her Enlightened by Nature Photographic Portfolio. This collection has been created from the many kayaking, backpacking, hiking, cross country skiing, and running adventures that she has had and continues to experience. As she says: It is always such a delightful surprise to take a turn in the forest or paddle around a bay and discover the next unforgettable view of nature. Her work has been exhibited and sold at art institutes, galleries and cafes in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Her work has received numerous awards including first place in the 2019 Minnesota Parks and Trails Photo Contest.
She is honored to be invited to exhibit at LOTI.
||Michelle McCreery or Marty Carlson
April 2 - 7:00 pm
Growlers & Theology
April 2 - 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Women's Bible Study
April 3 - 5:00 pm
Our Saviour's Shelter Meal
LOTI & Our Saviour's
April 3 - 5:00 pm
LOTI Book Club
April 5 - 9:30 am
Palm Sunday Worship
LOTI YouTube Channel
April 12 - 9:30 am
Easter Worship Service
LOTI YouTube Channel
April 16 - 7:00 pm
Church Council Meeting
April 16 - 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Women's Bible Study
April 23 - 7:00 pm
Growlers & Theology
Inspired by Christ, living and growing in faith, Lake of the Isles is a loving and open community of worship, witness, and service in God's world
Virtual Worship Service
|Rev. Dr. Arden D. Haug - Pastor
Diane LaMere - Children's Ministry
Al Aakre - Seminarian
Linda Nelson - Office Manager
& Social Media
We welcome your input to the our newsletter. Contact us if you would like to submit events, schedules or other information to share with the LOTI congregation.