I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
–Psalm 91:2, 5-6
Dear Members of St. Paul, To do our part in helping to limit the spread of COVID-19, St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church and School have cancelled worship services, school sessions, Bible studies, and all scheduled in-person events until further notice. This includes the food pantry distribution scheduled for Friday, the school cleaning that was planned for next week, Easter for Kids... Everything. However, in order to continue serving you with the Gospel of Jesus, your church leaders have developed the following plans for the near term: For midweek Lenten worship today, Wednesday, March 18, HERE is a PDF file that includes an adjusted worship folder and the sermon that were planned for this afternoon and evening. Open the file on your devices or print it to use for in-home devotion time. Families, you might make a plan for leading, for reading the responses and the passion history, for singing the hymns or reading them together... What a great opportunity to be in God’s Word as a family! (Sorry, we can’t provide you a take-out Lenten Supper; you’re on your own for that.) Plans for midweek Lenten worship in the coming weeks are still in development. We may have a guest pastor livestream in place by next week. Regular Sunday worship will be streamed and a PDF of the service shared with those who have internet access (Those without internet will get worship resources in the mail). This Sunday, March 22, at 8:00 a.m., you can watch a livestream on our YouTube channel (click HERE). After that time, you will continue to have access to the video (same link as above) to watch/worship as your schedule allows. Stay tuned for details about online services in the coming weeks. Now is a good time to check out what other spiritual growth you can do online. Pastor Nass posts devotions regularly (click here). Our synod also posts and sends out daily devotions by email (click here). Here’s a timely message from synod president, Mark Schroeder, addressing the situation. Consider going to our church website (click here) to set up online offerings; just click on the DONATE ONLINE link at the top of the page and follow the instructions. As always, we rely on your thankful, firstfruit, and proportionate offerings to support the Gospel-spreading mission of the Church -- even when you aren’t able to be here in person. Thank you in advance for your continued gifts, either online, by mail, or by drop-off in the church office. Yes, the office and ministry teams are still operating as usual for now. Feel free to call, text, email, or stop in if we can assist you in any way. Still to come: information about how we might offer Holy Communion, what will happen for Holy Week… and lots more communication from your church. Further plans will be made as the situation develops. Watch for another comprehensive mailing in the next few days and for more emails. In all this, we want you to know that you are all in our prayers. We ask that God keeps you safe and that you find comfort and reassurance in his promises during this troubling time. In Christ's name and on behalf of your church leaders, Peter