Exerpts from the Newsletter
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A message from Pastor Laurie:
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Grace and peace to you through our Lord Jesus Christ! Many things are different now, but the saving grace of Jesus, the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit remain the same. Trusting in that promise we persevere. Fall is just around the corner and it feels as though the summer flew by! As of this writing, we have been blessed to share in outdoor worship every Sunday. Our worship space under the trees with our spacious patio has been perfect for maintaining social distance while worshiping together safely. Thank you all for observing all the safety rules. Worship is not quite the same – we miss singing, some other aspects have been changed to keep worship shorter, and we cannot socialize during coffee hour. Yet we are thankful that the ultimate outcome outweighs any disappointment.
We usually have visitors who are limited to virtual worship at their congregations and enjoy joining us for worship. After a long fast, our sacramental life has been renewed. Thanks to our awesome altar guild, fol-lowing the strict guidelines shared by a respected epidemiologist (who is a member of one our ELCA congregations) we can share in the Eucharist safely. It was a special joy to share with Elizabeth Smith as she received her First Holy Communion on July 26. We are looking forward to the baptism of Camryn Joy Reilly on Sunday, September 27. We were even able to hold a congregational meeting and get approval for capital improvement projects. Thank you, Janine Smith, for arranging for Mr. Softie so we could offer free ice cream cones to those who attended!
Thank you so much to all who helped prepare for our outdoor worship. The council gave us a $500 budget to pay for tables, speakers and other audio equipment, and new popups.Steven Aupperle, Jeannine Comito, Tom Dyer and Jim Hausle procured the needed items for us. Jim Hausle and Ed Cline have been running the sound and Tanya Behnke and Jeannine Comito record the service for all those who are unable, or do not feel comfortable, to attend. Our assisting ministers and ushers have done a great job adapting to our unusual situation. We take attendance every week, including contact information for visitors to comply with the regulations for tracking and tracing in the event someone should test positive. Thank you to Paul Elsener and Heidi Schneider for going above and beyond and arriving early to help set up. It is a big job! And thanks to the many folks who pitch in to clean up after worship.
Normally we would have congregational events and special worship all planned for the fall. Planning for Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas usu-ally begins at this time of year. But things are different now and we cannot plan too far ahead. We must remain flexible and we thank you for your patience and willingness to “go with the flow.” We have a few special, although modified, events planned. Tanya Behnke is planning a worship service highlighting our children for Sunday, August 30. After thoughtful discussion, it has been deter-mined that it would be difficult to hold our annual picnic on September 20 – aside from the logistics of finding a way to safely cater the food, a primary consideration is the fact that if it rained, we could not go inside and the food would be wasted. But it will still be Sunday School Rally Day and there will be a treat for everyone after worship.
I want to thank President Laura Aupperle for her dedicated work all summer, the rest of the executive committee (vice president, secretary and treasurer) and our council members for all their support during these challenging times. We have been trying to keep morale up while at the same time maintaining safety as our primary concern. I have renewed visitation to home bound members with whom I can observe all precautions. We still have time to enjoy cooler fall weather outside, and we are working on plans for when it becomes too cold. We will be asking for your input and we will keep you fully informed. Living in the presence of the Holy Spirit, we are still God’s church together and we remain strong even in our faith and commitment!