Covid Virus19 Response

A message regarding COVID-19


March 16, 2020

 

Dear St. John’s family,

 

“Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son.”

-Acts 20:28

 

These words from the book of Acts help us remember that, as leaders (elected & called) of St. John’s, God is asking us to discern what is best for the overall health of God’s church. This is quite the meaningful calling that your leaders have embraced and do take seriously. As many of you have heard the SC Governor’s office closed the public schools from Monday, March 16 to Friday, April 3. After some prayerful discussion, we have felt God’s encouragement as we work together to navigate through these uncharted holy waters.

 

St. John's will be suspending worship and all programming from March 17th- April 3rd.  We will re-evaluate weekly according to the recommendations from the CDC, our State and Local government, our Bishop’s office as well as what is possible in this community.  WE ARE NOT CLOSING CHURCH.  We are the church, a body of believers, who do not need a building to be what Christ is calling us to be.  Staff will still be working and Pastors will still be pastoring. 

 

Your Leadership is currently pursuing a variety of ways in which we are being called to be church in this time. You will receive more details regarding this and how you can connect with the St. John’s community in the next day or so. Here is what is in process thus far:


Worship and Education…We hope to live stream abbreviated worship services on Sunday mornings, as well as a brief Lenten Services on Wednesdays. We will be adding a daily check-in and devotion from our Facebook webpage starting Thursday the 19th. Christian Education is currently working on ways that families can continue their faith education. Also, on the website there is a way to offer your financial contributions, just click on the “giving” tab for further information.  


Congregational Care…Our Health Ministries and Evangelism teams are working to get in contact with our more vulnerable members.


Preparing our Facilities for worship… We do not know how long this is going to be and we want to deep clean our facilities so they will be ready for worship.


Social/Outreach…We have been in conversation with Pine Street and Mary H Wright as well TOTAL Ministries. TOTAL Ministries is the most in need as they are distributing more food and they need us to be a collection center.


Prayer… Please start now praying for each other, for your leaders, for our community, our Bishop and other government and religious leaders, for the many and varied medical personnel on the front lines, for small business owners and for an end to this pandemic.


Reach Out…If you are in need, if you are feeling isolated, if you need support, please reach out to the church office. We will try to help in whatever way we can. We may not know your needs until you communicate them to us. And if you have other thoughts on how God is calling us, or how you are able to serve, please let us know.

 

We are confident that we can do what needs to be done and be the Church that Christ is calling us to be during these tense times. Over 500 years ago Martin Luther encouraged the church to keep active during the plague. I’m sure if he were alive now, he would be encouraging us to take advantage of the technology we have to stay healthy as we creatively experience and share the love of God.

 

Peace- 

Pastor Mike Shackelford, Pastor Erin Morris, Rick Sprang, Virginia Ingram, Alexandra Lautenschlaeger, Amy Mezger,    Nan Dempsey, Judy Drake, Edwina Otto, Frank Rudisill, Robert Barnes, Bob Scherer, Chad Dingman and Benji Mills.



COVID-19 Links

NovusWay Ministries COVID-19 Update  (LutheridgeLutherockLuther Springs, and Lutheranch)

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America COVID-19 Update

The South Carolina Lutheran eNews Special: Coronavirus

 

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