Update: March 31, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ at Faith Lutheran Church,
“This is the Lentiest Lent I have ever Lented.”  That was meme shared online during the last week and it perfectly captures the experience of the church and the world during this time.  Today is day 30 of 40 in our Lenten journey. For many of us, the conversations of what you would “give up” or fast from during Lent seem like quaint conversations.  Abstaining from dessert, caffeine, alcohol, or some other item you love hardly seems like a challenge when compared to being asked to give up social gatherings, church, the gym, stores, parties, work, school, and normal day to day life.  Now, with Holy Week just days away, we are acutely aware that even the celebration of Easter will be different from the way it has ever been. Soon our Lenten fasts will be over, but our social sacrifices will continue in order to protect our neighbors from illness and bodily harm.
Even though the celebration of Easter will be different, the day of Easter and the message of Easter will remain the same.  Christ has risen from the dead, just as he had promised, and nothing- not a plague, a war, famine, hardship, or even COVID 19- can change that truth and the promise that it gives.  Just as our Lenten fasts are coming to an end, so too the day will come when our social fasts will come to end. What a day that will be. As families and friends are reunited. Hugs will be given.  Hands will be shook. Smiles will be shared. We will be reminded of the importance of the community in which we live and the lives that we share. This year, we will miss the community celebration of breaking the Lenten fast together, but we pray and look forward to community celebration that will come when community is once again present in our lives.

As we look to Holy Week, the new schedule of livestream services are as follows:
Palm Sunday: 8:00 a.m.
Maundy Thursday: 6:30 p.m.
Good Friday: 12:00 p.m.
Easter Sunday: 8:00 a.m.
 
These times are for the live viewing of the livestream via flcgb.com.  All services are recorded and available for on demand viewing immediately after the service concludes.  Again, to abide by the Safer-at-Home declaration, services are only available over the internet or by picking up a cd recording from our entryway after the service concludes.
Just a reminder, if you need assistance with grocery shopping or other errands, please contact the church office.  Some members have volunteered to help as needed. Please continue to visit flcgb.com for educational materials, updates, and other resources to use during this time.
God bless,
Pastor Errer
 
 
 
 
 
Update: March 25, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ at Faith Lutheran Church:
 
Devotional Thought:Today is the Annunciation of our Lord, the feast that commemorates the day Mary was visited by Gabriel and learned that she would be the Mother of our Lord (and a reminder that there is only nine more months until Christmas). As we transition from life as we used to know it to our new "normal" of social distancing and staying at home, we are reminded on this day that even when it might feel as if we are alone, or even if we are frightened over what is to come, we can know this for certain- God desires to be with us. He sent his son to be born of a virgin and laid in a manger so that he could be in our midst and live a life that lead to his sacrifice on the cross so that we could be taken to live with him for eternity. He rejoices in being with his people. So as we mark this day of God's work in our midst, I pray that the words of Gabriel would provide you with comfort in an uncertain time, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"

Worship: Due to the orders of the Governor to stay at home, we will no longer be gathering for worship in the sanctuary.  We will still worship together, via our livestream, available on our website, on Wednesdays at 4:00 and Sunday mornings at 8:00.  You may watch a recorded version of the service at a later time, also available on our website. Due to this order, communion will not be available until further notice. If you would like to "check out" a hymnal from church, they are available in the front entrance at church.

Education:  As you are spending time at home, please take the opportunity to check out our online education offerings.  Sunday School, catechism, and adult Bible study options are all available on our website
.
Fellowship Events:  All fellowship events, including the Easter breakfast are cancelled.

Church Office:  The church office is closed until further notice.  As a result, Scrip sales are also suspended. If you have an emergency, please contact Pastor directly.  The church voicemail will be checked, mail will be gathered, and e-mail is still available.

Shut-ins, and the Vulnerable Population:  In order to prevent the spread of germs, shut-in visits and hospital visits will be limited to end-of-life care.  If you are a member of one of these groups and need help with grocery shopping or other out-of-the-house activities, please call the office.  Some individuals have volunteered to help with these needs.

The Community:  As you are looking for ways to help and support those affected by the Coronavirus, please check our website, flcgb.com, for ways to be of service.

Financial:  Please remember that the church will still have expenses during this time.  If you are not already doing so, please consider giving online or signing up via autopay on our website.  Donations may also be mailed to the church or saved until that time when we are once again able to reassemble as a community.

Youth Mission Trip:  The mission trip is still being planned for this summer.  The fundraisers have been cancelled so the youth groups need your help.  Please make a special donation designated “mission trip” so that we can make this experience affordable for those who plan to attend.

Communication:  We will work to keep everyone informed via e-mail, Facebook, and our website at flcgb.com.  If you know of someone who does not receive electronic communication, please call them and keep them up to date on our behalf.  Due to the speed at which things are changing, please consult these resources often so that you may be kept up to date. We will begin sending out a weekly letter to those who do not have e-mail addresses on file with the church.

Remember:  The Christian church has survived pandemics in the past and we have learned it is not the time for the church as the Body of Christ to “shut down.”  It is the time when we must step up. Look out for the welfare of your neighbor. Share kindness and gentleness whenever possible. Live in the confidence your faith provides in the promise of the Resurrection of Christ.  Learn how best to protect yourself from the assaults of the pestilence and disease so that you are best prepared to serve those around you. Stay connected to the Body of Christ. Satan loves to separate the sheep from the Good Shepherd’s flock.  Don’t let him. Stay near your Shepherd. Listen to his Word. Follow his way. For he will lead you to green pastures and still waters so that you might live with him forever.

In God’s Peace,
Pastor Errer

 
 
 
UPDATE: MARCH 19, 2020
 
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ at Faith Lutheran Church:
           As with many things that have happened in the last two weeks, this Sunday will bring something new for many of our families; attending service at home. This will pose some interesting challenges as the context that normally guides our behavior has changed and so new habits and patterns will need to be formed.  For many, Sunday morning is not just about the worship service but also the community interaction that occurs when you are with your friends and family.
Keep in mind, that Christians are never alone.  God binds us together as the Body of Christ and even though we cannot see the Church as the community of believers, we can still see the characteristics of the church and know that we are surrounded by
the multitude of believers who are joining with us in hearing the Gospel, praying for one another, and encouraging each other as you live the Christian life.  Furthermore, we are reminded that we never worship alone, we worship with the “angels and archangels and all the company of heaven (the believers who have died and been taken to heaven before us).  Therefore, when you gather to
worship this weekend and watch the service over the computer, remember, you are not alone.  The Word of God is there,
which means the Body of Christ is there, and the whole church on earth and in heaven will be there worshipping by your side.
What follows are some suggestions of how to make viewing the service a more worshipful experience.
·Print the bulletin in advance or have it available on another device so that you can follow along.
·Participate in the way you would at church- say the responses, sing out loud, stand and sit where it is indicated, pray along with
the pastor.  Worship should never be a passive experience.  It is meant to involve you and your senses.  It might feel weird to do at home, but no one can see you anyway, so engage in the worship.
·Don’t play the service “in the background.”  Set aside time to worship as you would if you were coming to church.
·Consider “dressing for the service” to help set your mind on what you are doing.
·Create a home altar.
      -Place a purple or rose colored cloth on the table under the computer and light a candle on each side to make it feel different than watching a youtube video.
      -Have a child be the acolyte to engage them in what you are doing.
·Enjoy the flexibility and know it won’t be a perfect replica of normal worship.  Christians are meant to be together but when that is not allowed, we do the best we can.  By making an effort to watch the service, you will model to children that worship is important and we will do our best to receive that grace and gifts of God no matter what is happening around us.
·If you have children, don’t forget to “attend” Sunday School.  Alex has prepared a lesson complete with music and a craft for families.  This will also be available on Facebook and our website.
·After the service, call a friend or write a note of encouragement to someone from church.
They will be blessed to know that you have remembered them even when you were not together.
·Take advantage of receiving the Lord’s Supper.  Instructions on how to do this are provided below.
Blessings to you all during this time,
PastorErrer
 
 

Worship Service Plan and Guidelines 
During the COVID 19 Gathering Restrictions
For Gathering Limits of 10:
  •    ·Wednesday Lenten Services will be live streamedat 4:00.  Recordings will be available shortly after the service concludes.
  •    ·Sunday Morning Services will be live streamed at 8:00.  Recordings will be available after the service concludes.
  •    ·Bulletins will be available, in advance, on our website.
  •    ·Sunday School lessons will be pre-recorded and posted on the church Facebook page.
  •    ·No elders or ushers will be asked to be present for the services.
  •    ·Lord’s Supper:
         ~At the conclusion of the Sunday service (approximately 9:00), Pastor will begin distribution for those who would like to receive the Lord’s Supper.  Distribution will be available until 12:00 p.m.
         ~As families arrive for communion, they will be greeted by Vicar in the parking lot.
         ~All members will enter via the front entrance and Vicar will open the door for them.
         ~They shall then proceed to the sanctuary to receive communion from pastor.

  • Communion will be distributed while standing to avoid contact with the communion rail.
  • Pastor will wash/sanitize his hands between each family.
  • Please do not sit in a pew or touch any surface as you are moving through the building.
         ~After receiving communion, families are then asked to depart so that the next family may enter.
To maintain a limit of 10 people gathering in the building, members are asked to remain in their car until the previous family has left.
 

Please do not come to the church to receive communion if you:
  • Have recently traveled outside of WI
  • Are running a temperature
  • Been in contact with someone who has, or shows the symptoms of having, COVID 19
  • Are sick or show symptoms of having COVID 19
Instead, please call the pastor for further guidance.
Thank you for your patience as we work to be faithful to our Lord and His commands while still abiding by the rules put forth to protect the vulnerable among us.
Pastor Errer
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Date updated: March 17, 2020
 
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ at Faith Lutheran Church,
 
Devotional Thought: Greetings to you on this St. Patrick’s Day; a day in which we give thanks for the bravery of St. Patrick and his willingness to face the threats against his life in order to share the Gospel with the people of Ireland.  At the end of his life, St. Patrick wrote a prayer we now call “St. Patrick’s Breastplate.” Within that prayer he offers these words that I find to be quite helpful in guiding my prayers and thoughts today. He prays, “I bind to myself today: God’s Power to guide me,God’s Might to uphold me,God’s Wisdom to teach me,God’s Eye to watch over me,God’s Ear to hear me,God’s Word to give me speech,God’s Hand to guide me,God’s Way to lie before me,God’s Shield to shelter me,God’s Host to secure me,Against the snares of demons,Against the seductions of vices,Against the lusts of nature,Against everyone who meditates injury to me,Whether far or near,Whether few or with many.”  As we face the uncertainty and the fear that is swirling around us, it is a good reminder that God promises his protection and care to his people and that he will provide the words and guidance that we need in order to care for and love our neighbor.
 
Worship: As of today, the governor has limited the gathering of people to a maximum of 10.  We will still worship together, via our livestream, available on our website, on Wednesdays at 4:00 and Sunday mornings at 8:00.  You may watch a recorded version of the service at a later time, also available on our website.
 
Education:  Launching later this afternoon will be our online catechism instruction.  Vicar and Alex have been working to make the curriculum and teaching available online.  Families with affected students will be receiving instructions soon. Sunday school and Bible studies remain cancelled for the foreseeable future.  We will be making Sunday school videos for families to use at home. We are also in the process of developing an online Bible study, and helpful material for families to use as Christian education is moved into your homes.
 
Fellowship Events:  As of Sunday, all fellowship events are cancelled for the next several weeks.  This will include the Easter Breakfast. Due to the preparation and organization needed for this event and the uncertain end of the instructions to avoid large crowds, we will not be able to join for this annual tradition.
 
Church Office:  At the end of today, the church office will be closed.  Angie and Angela have been instructed to work from home.  If you call, you will be able to leave messages for the staff or receive information about how to contact the individual you are seeking.  As a result, Scrip sales have been suspended. Due to the cancellation of all activities, there will not be an April newsletter.
Shut-ins, and the Vulnerable Population:  In order to prevent the spread of germs, shut-in visits and hospital visits will be limited to end-of-life care.  If you are a member of one of these groups and need help with grocery shopping or other out-of-the-house activities, please call the office.  Some individuals have volunteered to help with these needs.
 
The Community:  Keep in mind, that for many people, this will lead to a feeling of isolation and loneliness.  Please call people you know and send cards to our shut-ins and one another. This kind of contact will be essential in maintaining a sense of community.
 
Financial:  Please remember that the church will still have expenses during this time.  If you are not already doing so, please consider giving online or signing up via autopay on our website.  Donations may also be mailed to the church or saved until that time when we are once again able to reassemble as a community.
 
Youth Mission Trip:  The mission trip is still being planned for this summer.  The fundraisers have been cancelled so the youth groups need your help.  Please make a special donation designated “mission trip” so that we can make this experience affordable for those who plan to attend.
 
Communication:  We will work to keep everyone informed via e-mail, Facebook, and our website at flcgb.com.  If you know of someone who does not receive electronic communication, please call them and keep them up to date on our behalf.  Due to the speed at which things are changing, please consult these resources often so that you may be kept up to date.
 
Remember:  The Christian church has survived pandemics in the past and we have learned it is not the time for the church as the Body of Christ to “shut down.”  It is the time when we must step up. Look out for the welfare of your neighbor. Share kindness and gentleness whenever possible. Live in the confidence your faith provides in the promise of the Resurrection of Christ.  Learn how best to protect yourself from the assaults of the pestilence and disease so that you are best prepared to serve those around you. Stay connected to the Body of Christ. Satan loves to separate the sheep from the Good Shepherd’s flock.  Don’t let him. Stay near your Shepherd. Listen to his Word. Follow his way. For he will lead you to green pastures and still waters so that you might live with him forever.
 
In God’s Peace,
Pastor Errer