March 24, 2020
Dear Companions in and with Christ:
Thank you for your faithfulness and loving in witness in these days marked by such disruption. As fears are stirred, the people of God are always seeking to journey by a gentle, yet bold, faith. "The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand," the Psalmist writes (Psalm 121:5). The Lord of heaven and earth be with you.
Our leaders are continuously refining and adapting, learning and sharing ways to share information and be church together in these days. As human beings, we need one another. As of March 24th, corporate worship services at St. John’s are suspended through Palm Sunday, April 5th. For now, here are several ways we are able to connect and be together:
1) As you may know, our mailing address at St. John's 212 N. Clover St. As a way of staying connected as church together in these days of physical distancing, you are certainly invited to pause from whatever you might be doing at 2:12pm each day and to be in prayer together:
+ Make the sign of the cross
+ Pray for family, neighbors, the community
+ Pray for our extended neighbors living in the world
+ Pray for our leaders in this strenuous time
+ Pray for good soul-care for yourself
+ Pray for those who are particularly vulnerable in these times of physical distancing
+ Pray for health care workers and others who continue to work on behalf of the well-being of others
There's no end to prayerful need...
2) An adapted ‘Service of the Word’ will be shared at 9:15am on Sunday mornings via Facebook Live via our church’s Facebook Page. In addition, on Tuesday and Friday evenings, 9:30pm, Pastor Matt Wheeler will lead a Compline prayer service (prayer at the close of the day) also via Facebook Live. As always, all are welcome.
3) Our church’s Youth and Family Ministry Coordinator, Dave Shoub, as well as our our church’s Children’s Ministry Coordinator, Sue Lawrence, are putting faith-in-the-home materials together. These great resources for practicing faith in the home are, and will continue to be, posted on our website. Some teams and groups are able to meet via Zoom for prayer and study as well.
4) As St. John’s is a part of LIFT (Living in Faith Together), a collaboration and team of churches seeking to love and serve Christ, some wonderful faith formation resources are being provided at LIFT’s Facebook page (prayer, study, etc.) Check it out. LIFT’s Director of Discipleship and Outreach, Pam Kensler, is helping provide everyone with access to online faith formation.
5) Our council leadership has set up and initiated a phone tree within the life of our church. We’ll seek to connect via our phones, listen to needs, pray with one another, and share spiritual care the best we can. Keep checking in on one another as you’re able to do so.
6) Our staff is continuing to work remotely from our homes in these days of the pandemic. We can still be contacted via our phones, email, etc. Check out our phone numbers via the church’s directory, or, you can call the church, 419-332-7341 for info.
7) Mail is still being received via the church’s mailing address (212 N. Clover St. Fremont, OH 43420). Mail, although not as fast and immediate certainly as some technological ways of communication, is one way to stay in touch, share offerings, and share pertinent information.
Please be safe, be well, and do get rest. It’s much more than ‘okay’ to pull back, pause, and catch our breath in these difficult days. Good and holy rest is a gift of God, a commandment, and a vital need for all people.
"Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving." (Colossians 3:2)
Christ's peace be with you always, dear companions on the Way,
Pastor Matt Wheeler +