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Pastor Jon’s Letter to PLC

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Pastor Jon’s Letter to the Congregation, March 17

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Prayerful, not fearful.

In the midst of the virus situation, Sunday, March 15, went really well as we gathered for worship, prayer, sharing the word, communion and fellowship. We were small and mighty in attendance as we made adjustments:

  • sharing the peace in alternative ways which avoid hugging and hand-shaking
  • people choosing to stay home to keep distance for health reasons
  • deep cleaning of sanctuary and fellowship hall
  • offering plate up front at the font to keep from passing and handling
  • communion assistance washing hands (as always) prior to distribution

While we truly missed seeing everyone, we certainly understood if you needed to keep your distance at this time. Please contact the office to let us know if you need anything or how we can be praying for you during this time. Though we may need to ‘keep our distance’ for now, we do not want anyone to be isolated from the community.

We will continue to be prayerful, not fearful. Our ongoing adjustments are done in love and with the confident hope in God who continues to rule and reign. Our house is built on the rock, and as such, though storms come, the house will stand (Matthew 7:24-25).

As of Tuesday, March 17:

Previously, the CDC had discouraged gatherings of more than 50 for the next 8 weeks. Then by Monday afternoon President Trump encouraged that Americans should not gather in groups of more than 10 for the next 15 days (through March 31). Our PLC Board discussed via email that afternoon these new developments and decided the following:

All gatherings at PLC will be suspended through Friday, April 10. This includes:

  • Sunday morning worship services
  • Wednesday Soup Suppers
  • Midweek Bible studies and Dorcas group
  • Outside groups who use our facility (TOPS, Chorale*, 4-H, etc.)
  • Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services
  • *The Chorale has decided to suspend the rest of their season including their spring concert, which means they will not be rehearsing at PLC through the end of May (the May 19 concert for us is now in doubt)
  • The NW District gathering, which PLC was scheduled to host on May 1-2 has also been canceled by the District. We hope to host next year. Thanks to our planning team for their work.

Staying connected

Keeping distance need not mean being isolated. We will be making arrangements to have weekly worship and messages available on the website at: peace-lutheran.com/audio-messages/. We will also be investigating other means of using technology to keep connected with one another during these coming weeks and keep you informed. Watch Sunday worship here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKlNKnU8Rdkx3WrJtTNEfRA/

We encourage everyone to use this time to serve others and to pray more earnestly for one another and the world. Here are some suggestions: 

  • Following the health protocols, consider who may need groceries delivered to their homes so they can avoid going out.
  • Make a list of those you know who are sick or those who work in the medical field in your area. Bring them by name before the Lord asking for His protection.
  • Pray for your city and state officials, as well as world leaders, that they would be humble and have wisdom as they make hard decisions.
  • Ask for God’s supernatural intervention to slow the spread of the pandemic and sustain those working on the front lines of the crisis.
  • Pray for those you know who will be in financial need because of business or school shutdowns. Ask God if there is some way that he desires for you to help.
  • Ask God to increase your and others faith and peace in the midst of the unknown.
  • Ask God to show you ways that you can demonstrate love to your neighbors.
  • Spend some of your prayer time in stillness, silently opening your heart to know God in deeper ways and listening for what he may want to say to you.

Many of our members are in locations which are not allowing them to leave or to have visitors at this time. Therefore, consider how you might pray and connect with one another over the phone, FaceTime or Skype. Following health protocols, you may even consider gathering in small groups of less than 10 to keep in touch, pray, read scripture and encourage one another. While socially isolated it becomes meaningful to hear someone’s voice rather than just written messages. Think creatively about how you can create community with one another.

A Call to a Time of Prayer and Fasting

Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) is inviting congregations to a time of prayer and fasting as we walk with Jesus through this season in our world, nation, and communities. It is truly a time for the followers of Christ to be light and hope to others. More details coming soon.

Your continued financial support of PLC is greatly appreciated at this time. You may send contributions by mail, drop off in our secure and locked mailbox outside during the week (only we have the key to access), or set up automatic draft through your local bank.

Update: Gov. Little announced a 21-day stay-at-home order for the State of Idaho On Mar 25. Please know we will be regularly updating you as they develop. There are many including myself, who remain available to visit with you in person, over the phone, via text or email. Please feel free to contact me personally (email, phone calls, etc.) if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions. 

There are many of us who remain available to visit with you and pray with over the phone, via text or email. Please, please, contact the church office or give me a call.

Our genuine hope was to resume gathering on Resurrection Sunday, April 12th – what a glorious day that would be to celebrate the risen Christ and to come back together with one another!

I love all of you deeply and look forward to how God will be glorified in and through each of us as we love and serve others, walking with Jesus, our shepherd, our hope, and our peace.

Pastor Jon