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News You Can Use 3/12/2021

Dear Church,

How is your Lenten journey going? I don’t know about you, but for me it seems like we have been on a Lenten journey for an entire year! This coming Sunday marks the anniversary of when we basically “closed down” all in-person worship services and activities at Peace Lutheran due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been a challenge to figure out how to be the church in these unusual and unprecedented times. I am grateful for the leadership here at Peace that has been consistent and steady in doing all that is possible to keep this worshipping community safe. Doug, our Council President, the Executive Council, along with the rest of the Church Council has been very thoughtful each step along the way – seeking always what would be the safest path for us to follow.

I am thankful for the individuals who, a year ago, immediately responded to my request to assist in producing on-line worship services. We went into this venture with extraordinarily little experience! I believe we have managed to produce quality online worship for members of Peace Lutheran and beyond!!! Thank you to Abby Bretz, Jan Ambrose, Adam Miller, Brenda Peck, Mike Barker, Jim Newbanks, Linda Rice, and Janet Kocis.

Although it has been a year unlike any other. And although we have not physically worshipped together for an entire year (except for a few Sundays last Fall), we have proven ourselves to be the church! Our online worship attendance far exceeds our in-person attendance. Folks have zoomed in for weekly bible study and book studies. Our youngest children have continued to be involved in Sunday School thanks to the Faith Formation Committee and Annie Jones. Drive thru Communion has a consistent attendance. Thank you to all who assist with this each week. We have carried on our service to the community and beyond with food drives, gifts to the children at Blackhawk at Christmas time, quilts to Lutheran World Relief, collection of soup for Souper Bowl of Caring given to Grace Food Pantry, stuffed animals and blankets donated for Hope for the First Nation, and so much more!!! Truly, it would take a good deal of time to include every good work and project that we have been involved in during this past year of pandemic.

As we move forward toward another Holy Week and Easter on-line, I ask that you hold the leadership and me in your prayers. We are doing our absolute best to provide meaningful worship even as we diligently work on re-opening the church building and return to in-person worship. Our hope is to maintain an online presence even as we transition back to in-person. I want to be clear…opening back up is proving to be more complicated than closing down – we know so much more about COVID and there are so many more variables to consider. Please be patient and pray for God’s guidance for all of us.

A reminder: Easter Sunday will be premiered on our YouTube channel at 9:30 a.m. Easter morning. In addition, we will have a parking lot service complete with Easter Hymns, Scripture, a Message, and Holy Communion at 10:30a.m. Be sure to watch for more information.

May God continue to bless your Lenten journey.

God’s Peace,

Pastor Mary

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