Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I pray that you are all safe, that you are in good health, and that you are adapting to the changes that are being required to stop the spread of COVID-19. I pray regularly for all of you.
For the next several weeks, we will not gather together as a congregation. On March 17 the governor of Iowa made a proclamation prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. While this prohibition goes against the very essence of the Christian church, the Lord has instituted earthly authorities to keep order and protect us, so we will obey the proclamation.
On March 17, the Congregational Council met and decided that all programs and events in the church building would be canceled until further notice. We will not gather for worship on Sunday mornings. However, on page 4 of the newsletter (also on our website), there
is a service for worship in your own home, along with a message/sermon for the week. These services and messages will be sent out every week for as long as our public gathering is suspended.
During this time of crises and change, it is important to stay devoted to God and also to care for those around us. Please remember that even though many things are closed, charities and social services are still serving people. The need for monetary donations has only increased. If you have been giving to a food pantry, the soup kitchen, or another charity, continue that giving. You can also take whatever money you would have spent on restaurants, movies, and shows and give that to an organization that helps people in need.
I also share with you this message, which was a part of a letter that Bishop Lorn Halaas sent to pastors on March 16:
Finally, I encourage you to consider how much time you spend on social media and listening to the news. Be aware of how an overload of information, judgment, and misinformation is affecting you and the people around you. Take time to go outside, read the Bible, and pray.
Might we stop each day at noon and offer this prayer-
Eternal God, amid all the turmoil and changes of the world your love is steadfast and your strength never fails. In this time of fear, danger, and trouble, be to us a sure guardian and rock of defense. Guide the leaders of our nation and nations around the world with your wisdom, comfort those in distress, and grant us courage and hope to face the future; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
-A Prayer Book for the Armed Services”
I thank God for the protection that he has already given us–that the spread of COVID-19 has not been worse. I thank God for all the people who are working to protect people from this virus and those people who are caring for the sick. I pray that God would lead us all through this time of turmoil.
Your Servant in Christ,
Pastor Scott C. Egbers