Pastor Szep's email to the congregation 7/1/20
We have not yet received a date for Asphalt Seal and Repair to carry out the maintenance work on the parking lots. Their sales rep is supposed to let us know where we are on their schedule. They have been told they must not come on a Wednesday. Special offering envelopes have been put into everyone's mailbox for any who would like to give a special gift to help pay for this necessary maintenance. If you are not yet comfortable coming to church, call the office and all the information in your mailbox can be sent to you.
WELS Aid and Relief has been helping many people in areas around the country and the world as natural disasters bring loss of property and other hardships into people's lives. The help offered is given through local WELS congregations, if possible, and can serve as a way to show people our Christian love even as it presents opportunities to tell others about Jesus' love for them. Anyone who would like to give a special gift, whether it is now or later, can use the special offering envelope in your mailbox at any time.
St. Luke's Mission Festival emphasis will focus on the work being done through Wisconsin Lutheran Child and Family Services, also known at WLCFS - Christian Family Solutions. Pastor Jim Mattek is scheduled to be our preacher on Wednesday, August 12 and Sunday, August 16. He will bring material to share about the many ways WLCFS, which we help support as a congregation, helps people by using God's Word as they work through the difficult times in their lives. He plans to conduct a Bible class after the Sunday service and share an example of online counseling that has proven to be very helpful for people who cannot go to a WLCFS office. We have a special offering envelope in the mailboxes for that ministry as well.
A concert by the Christian band, Branches, is planned for Tuesday, August 11. It will be that evening, beginning a 6:30 p.m. The outreach team is discussing ways to share the news in the community. The option of an outdoor concert, with a tent, is being investigated to help people feel more comfortable about social distancing. If health concerns increase, the concert will not be held.
The many questions about the coronavirus and COVID-19 continue to disrupt our lives and the life of your congregation. We have had a few more people in worship services. Many people continue to watch Facebook Live or the recorded video of the worship service. The technical problems this past Sunday, June 28, seem to have been on Facebook's end of the attempt to have a live broadcast of the worship service.
We will continue to distribute the Lord's Supper with the modification of prepacked bread and wine and continuous communion. The procedure will be reviewed at the beginning of each worship service to remind any who have communed with this new approach what we are doing and to inform those for whom it will be the first time they have communed this way. Time will tell when we can return to the way we were accustomed to celebrate the Lord's Supper prior to COVID-19.
Sunday Bible class is meeting after the worship service. We have been able to maintain social distancing. Plans for an online Bible class have not yet been finalized. As soon a that is ready, information will be sent out.
As we approach the 4th of July weekend we keep our nation, its citizens and our leaders in our prayers. These truly are unsettled times. Through it all we have the confidence of God's love for us in Christ. The message that all people are sinful by nature and deserve God's punishment is a reminder of the reason for all the problems in this world. The message that Jesus paid for every sin and whoever trusts in him as their Savior has the forgiveness of sins is the one message that gives people peace. Only the message of God's love in Christ can lead people to value other people, respect authority and change hearts so people live in a way that reflects God's will rather than follow their sinful desires and attitudes. Live your faith. Feed your faith. Share your faith. You have the only message that brings true comfort into troubled hearts and lives.
Spend some time considering the following Bible references:
Psalm 139:1 - 3
Isaiah 40:28 - 31
Isaiah 43:1 - 3
John 15:1 - 5
Romans 8:38, 39
2 Corinthians 12:9
Think about what you read. Ask how it applies to you. Ask how it comforts you. Think about how that comfort and the lessons God has for you in those verses can be a message you share with someone else.
I trust the Lord will care for all of you giving you strength, patience and peace.
The Lord be with all of you,