NGMLC leaders have been keeping apprised of the continuing changes regarding COVID-19 and at this time we will continue with Sunday and Wednesday worship and programming, with a few modifications.
Sharing the peace is a time when we who gather recognize and acknowledge Christ’s presence among us, and we heartily embrace the passing of Christ’s peace to one another. As a precautionary measure we will not share the peace with one another at worship and please remember, this is out of an abundance of caution.
In the same vein, as a precautionary measure, we will not pass the offering plate through the pews, instead the ushers will collect the offering at the end of the pew, or we will have the offering plates in the back of the sanctuary for people to place their offering.
Communion is a part of our worship which will not change. Those serving communion will continue using hand sanitizer before and after serving communion. Also, as Lutherans, we believe that the crucified and risen Christ is fully present in, with and under one element if people choose to receive only bread.
As far as church attendance, please use your best judgment, people with compromised immune systems should stay home, people with COVID-19 symptoms should seek medical care, and all people should wash hands thoroughly and often.
Let’s take wisdom from those around the world who have figured out how to stop the spread of this disease, and to remember what Martin Luther emphasized in his response to the 1527 plague in Wittenburg Germany. Martin Luther emphasized the duty to care for the neighbor, the responsibility of government to protect and provide services to its citizens, a caution about recklessness and the importance of science, medicine and common sense. (Martin Luther “Whether One May Flee From A Deadly Plague”
We receive information on a daily basis and continue to refer to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention along with Wisconsin Department of Health Services and World Health Organization and further modifications will be made as necessary. Also, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has released a number of responses to the coronavirus and they can be found at : https://www.elca.org/
Lastly, let’s take a moment and pray:
God, our peace and our strength, we pray for our nation and the world as we face new uncertainties around coronavirus. Protect the most vulnerable among us, especially all who are currently sick or in isolation. Grant wisdom, patience, and clarity to health care workers, especially as their work caring for others puts them at great risk. Guide us as we consider how best to prepare and respond in our families, congregations, workplaces, and communities. Give us courage to face these days not with fear but with compassion, concern, and acts of service, trusting that you abide with us always, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Helen Brausen, Council President
Johnna Georgia, Council Vice President
Tricia Johnson, Council Secretary