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A pastoral letter regarding the Coronavirus

3/13/2020

Dear First Family & Friends:

I am living deep in the words of Paul to the Romans these days:

Nothing, no nothing will separate you from the love of Christ.

Not death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39)

And no, not the Corona Virus (Covid-19) and not the anxiety and fear that such a pandemic brings with it.

You and I have been promised everything that matters.

And yet, it is also ours to be wise in times such as these, even as we seek to be the people God has called us to be.

Your leaders and staff at First Lutheran Church continue to monitor the situation in the wider community and have come to the following conclusions:

  • We will continue to gather for worship at 9 am on Sunday mornings and at 6:30 on Wednesday nights in Lent.
  • In order to provide a safe worship environment, the entire worship space has been sanitized. We will continue to do this every week before we gather.
  • As you enter the building, a greeter will meet you with hand sanitizer. Please accept this ‘gift’ as a way of keeping everyone healthy.
  • We will continue to share the peace ‘hands free.’
  • We will continue to receive communion with individual cups. Servers are washing their hands carefully before sharing the bread and wine.
  • The nursery will not be staffed, but it will be open should you need it.
  • Sunday School WILL be held.
  • We will NOT be hosting coffee hour for the foreseeable future. (It is just too difficult to control the spread of germs when food is involved.
  • For this Sunday only, Adult Forum will NOT Be held. Instead, you are invited to stay for a conversation in our worship space about how we are seeking to respond to this once in a life time challenge and to learn about ways in which those of us who are able can be of service here at church and in the community.
  • For those who simply cannot be with us in worship, we are experimenting with ways in which the service can be shared electronically via  Facebook Live and other means. Stay tuned for how to access that.

Other than what is specifically mentioned already, all other programming at First Lutheran Church is temporarily suspended.

All this being said, recommendations are that if you are over 60 you should avoid large crowds. If you are in this age category, please use your best judgment. (Click here for CDC guidelines.)

If you are immunocompromised, please stay home for now. We will miss you, but we want you safe and well.

If you are not feeling well, please stay home and get better soon! (And please, let us know if you are sick so that we can be of help in whatever ways are possible!)

We are looking for ways to stay connected with our most vulnerable people.  This will be part of our post worship conversation Sunday. If you personally know of anyone in need, please let us know.

Finally, if you are in a position to continue giving financially to First Lutheran Church, that helps us continue doing the important work we are called to do . You can download the app on your phone (Give Plus) to give electronically or simply drop your check in the mail.

 This is an ever-evolving situation and things may change quickly. We will do our best to let you know as decisions are made in the best interest of our First Lutheran community and beyond. Please follow First Lutheran Church on Facebook, check out our website at firstdekalb.org or watch your First Lutheran e-mail news.

In the meantime, you are in my prayers.

First and last, may you continue to know and experience the truth that nothing whatsoever can separate you form the love of Christ.

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Janet Hunt