Dear Sisters and Brothers at Christ,
 
Now that Governor Abbott has instituted Phase One of his plan to “Open Texas,” there are those who are wondering when things will return to normal or to the way things were before the coronavirus entered our lives. Honestly, I would suggest that the answer is probably never.

Never again will we walk through a crowd and hear someone sneeze or grab the door handle of a busy store without wondering if we’re at risk. Never again will we not have a mask on hand or let our stock of bathroom tissue or surface disinfectant or even flour run too low. Instead, we will find our way to a new normal; a new way of living. But don’t let this overwhelm you. Remember, we experience change throughout our lives which leads towards a “new normal.”
 
The challenge of the current pandemic is the threat and disruption to life and livelihood, impacting our families,    communities, nation and world in ways that most of us have never experienced before. This type of change can leave us feeling uncertain, fearful, frustrated and impatient. I mean, all of us long for the time when we can return to the   socialization that humans desire and need.

During the past few weeks we’ve observed both the best and the worst of human instincts. The worst happens when we allow these things mentioned to guide our words and actions. When we allow uncertainty and fear to lead us, we look for someone to blame for our troubles. When we act out in frustration and impatience, we can put ourselves and others at risk.
 
Yet, we’ve also seen the best of humanity as well. Our schools are using their food budgets to feed hungry people, as are community organizations and individuals, even when it is not their purview in ‘normal’ times. We’re learning new and creative ways to communicate, teach, learn, go to the doctor and even worship. We’ve begun to see value in those whose dedication and professionalism we used to take for granted, such as healthcare workers, teachers and those who work in pharmacies and grocery stores and as a result, our understanding of bravery and heroism has changed as well.

Yes, for people of faith there is a longing to gather for worship and ministry. How and when will we do this once again? 
 
Although Governor Abbott’s plan to open Texas offers some specific and restrictive guidelines, there is still concern about the spread of the coronavirus and the safety of people. Limitations in capacity, the age and vulnerability of those present, current infection rates and testing are just some of the factors that must be considered.       
                                                
Bishop Michael Rinehart of the Gulf Coast Synod reminds us that during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, a virus of similar virulence and infection, the virus appeared in the population in January and had its highest death rates in September and October. During that pandemic, one third of the population of the world became infected with 50 million deaths worldwide and 675,000 deaths in the United States. These numbers aren’t meant to scare you, but to remind us of the truth, “that those who ignore history, are bound to repeat it.”
 
Certainly science, knowledge, resources and technology have changed since then, but we know from experience that those communities that opened too soon saw a resurgence of infection. We do not want to be the catalyst for that resurgence.
 
So here’s what I actually know and can share. Although there has been no change in the expectations for our day school, the Board has set an interim plan for determining whether to open in the next few weeks for children of “essential workers.” This will include many limitations and protocols that still have to be established, as well as training for implementation. 
 
We will be gathering a few people in the days ahead to consider implementation of protocols for opening in-person worship and to discuss when that day will come. It will come. Please believe me when I tell you that we are all eager for that day to come and here’s why. Jesus Christ, by God’s Spirit, created His Church and calls us as a mark of our discipleship to gather for  worship. That’s why. 
 
But we must be cautious. Martin Luther wrote in a short treatise in 1527 about what it meant to be the Church during the deadly plague, (the second wave of Bubonic Plague), reminding us that, “we are bound to each other.” He suggests that putting others at risk is contrary to God’s will by reminding us that, “service to God is service to our neighbor.” 
 
So please, be patient. Worship online weekly or in the parking lot when we’re able. Continue to support your church and your community. Call others and check on them. Pray for those who place themselves at risk for our sake and continue, by all means possible during this time, to be Christ’s Church.
 
In and through Christ,
Pastor Mark
SPECIAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
April 12, 2020

  • The Paycheck Protection Program recently passed by the government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic will allow CLC to apply for a loan to cover payroll and utilities for the church and day school. If the loan amount is used for these purposes, it will be forgiven. The motion was passed with unanimous vote to request a loan in the amount of $154,700.00, which is 2.5 times the average monthly payroll for the Church and Day School.
  • A motion was made to request a one time gift from the Foundation in the amount of $83,000.00 to cover the cost of the roofs on the parsonage, Church and Youth House, the AC at the Church and parsonage and cleaning and painting the cross. The motion passed with unanimous vote.
COUNCIL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS                                 
April 21, 2020
 
  • Minutes and Finances Report - Received and approved.
  • Youth and Family Ministry - Confirmation is   meeting once a week via Zoom. The Day School is sending out activities for the kids to do.  Wiggle and Worship is continuing via Facebook and emails.
  • New Business - Since the response to the Live Stream services has been so positive, services will continue to be Live Streamed after the crisis is over. Dedicated funds will be used to purchase video equipment.
CHRIST LUTHERAN FOUNDATION GRANT APPLICATIONS  
2020 Christ Lutheran Foundation Grant Applications are due in the church office by June 15, 2020. 
THANK YOU FOR PROVIDING EASTER LILIES FOR OUR SANCTUARY
 Doris Koehne  - In celebration of our family
Ryan, Ziena and Jacob Miller - In celebration of finding our church home at Christ Lutheran
Willie & Wallene Ludwig - In celebration of the Resurrection
Carl & Joyce Bridges - In memory of our daughter, Debra Budnik
Don & Lois Holley  - In memory of our loved ones
Randy & Diana Markwardt - To the Glory of God
Kevin, Renee and Kaden Mutscher - To the Glory of God
Jack & Betty Schramm - In memory of our parents, grandparents and special loved ones
GROUNDS COMMITTEE FOR MAY
Grounds Committee #1 (Ron Kuecker, Daryl Ganske, Lisa Wellmann, Philip Zander and Ronald Bentke) will be maintaining the routine tasks of the church during May. Please let them know if you see anything that needs attention for repairs at the church or you are always welcome to call the church office.
RECYCLING AT CHRIST LUTHERAN  
Please visit the Information desk and sign up to help with recycling this year. This is a wonderful opportunity to help out the Church and Day School with recycling. Thank you to Cheryl Howk for volunteering in April.   Volunteers are needed for May.     
INFORMATION DESK
Portals of Prayer (April - June) are now available at our Information Desk.
OUTREACH FOR MAY
BREAD PARTNERS
OF WASHINGTON COUNTY
MISSION BOARD NEWS
Please bring your Barn Boxes by church or send a   donation towards our Rise Against Hunger project. We will eventually gather again for our food packaging event and fill those 10,000+ meals. In spite of the pandemic, the Rise Against Hunger ministry continues to serve the hungry poor. All warehouse supplies of rice are being donated to local food banks and feeding ministries in America, while packaged meals are being sent to Liberia and Senegal where the outbreak is taking a deadly toll.
During this time, God is working through us and our partners in ministry to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and bring water to the thirsty. Soon we will again gather in Christ’s sanctuary for worship and be God’s Hands, doing his work in this place and all the world.
The Mission Board 
YOUTH AND FAMILY MINISTRY      

Children’s Ministry: (3 years - 5th grade)
Wiggle & Worship - Virtually with families at home
 
Confirmation: (6th - 9th grade)
Thursdays - 3 pm Zoom Meeting
GOOD WORK!      
Christ Lutheran is honored to recognize the academic excellence of Diego Estrada and Thomas Morgan  at Brenham Junior High. We support the achievements of these young men through the gifting of a specially engraved watch from Christ Lutheran for their accomplishments. 
CONGRATULATIONS
KIMBERLY KENJURA
2019-2020 Brenham Junior High School
Teacher of the Year!
Kimberly is an Eighth Grade Reading and Language Arts Teacher and a member of Christ Lutheran Church.
ONE MORE THING...

IN OUR PRAYERS
Our Christ Family: Robert Abel, Jeri Bentke , Patt Crabtree, Verna Mae Druckhammer, Laverna Jacob, Kimberly Kenjura, Magdalene Knuppel, Willie Ludwig, Nathalie Luedke, Laura Metheny, Linda Priesmeyer, Jack Rhine, Kay Roberts, Jeanie Stepan, Allen Stolz, Katherine Wellmann, Diane Winters  
Personal Concerns : Steve Arndt, Bernice Boriack, Lana Childs, Scooter Dillard,* Jordan, John Exter, Jr.,* Shannon Heller,* Shirley Mueller (Renee‘s mother) ,* Shelby Stueber, Roosevelt Taylor, Ileene Zander,* Kathy Zelenka   *Indicates long term 
In Service to Nation:  Kyle Babbitt, David Crabtree, Bryan Franklin, Spenser Ganske, Johnathon LeBoeuf, Trey McNeil, Elijah Nemeir                  
STAY CONNECTED
Please go to facebook.com/christbrenham or youtube.com Christ Brenham to view worship services. Also, please watch your inbox for upcoming videos and worship opportunities. 
 
Mary Clare Ward, Office Administrator - maryclare@christbrenham.org
Doris Kohene, Financial Secretary doris@christbrenahm.org
Kandi Elliott, Youth Minister kandi@christbrenham.org       
             
If you need someone to run an errand for you, please contact the church. 
(979-836-5585)
Visit Our Website
christbrenham.org
Like us FB
LOVE GOD.   LOVE PEOPLE.   SERVE THE WORLD.
CHRIST LUTHERAN
1104 Carlee Drive, Brenham, TX 77833-5009
Church 979.836.5585
Day School 979.277.9008
christbrenham.org      
Rev. Mark A. Groves, Pastor 979-530-2515 (Urgent)
Kandi Elliott, MA. CYF, Youth & Family Minister  979.203.7539
Mary Clare Ward, Office/Foundation Administrator
Doris Koehne, Financial Administrator
Council President: Kyle Branham
Day School Board President: Diana Markwardt
 Foundation President: Butch Bugaj