In response to the coronavirus pandemic, and in conformity with Governor Walz’s “shelter in place” directives, St. John’s is closed until further notice. There will be no Sunday or Holy Week services, classes, meetings, or activities. Wee Care will be closed through the end of April. The governor’s “shelter in place” order is in effect through Good Friday, but other orders keep businesses closed through the end of April, so decisions about when St. John’s can reopen will be made when appropriate. At this time it is doubtful that we will be able to have Easter Sunday services.
In the meantime we are recording “mini-church services” for members and friends to watch online. We are publishing devotions for people to read. Wee Care will provide items for the students and we will also connect with our high school students. We are grateful for the gift of technology which allows us to stay at least somewhat connected in this time of crisis.
While we treasure the opportunity for the body of Christ to come together around God’s word and Sacraments—and nothing is more important than God’s truth and faith in Jesus Christ—that same word also tells us to obey the governing authorities when they are operating within their sphere. Those authorities have made their decisions and now we live with them.
Accordingly, the church office will also be closed at least through April 10. However, staff will continue to check email and the telephone answering machine and work from home as they are able.
If during this time there is anything the church can do for you, please call the office or email us. This is a time when the church can help in significant, and still safe ways, those who are in need. Do not hesitate to ask. Call the office at 533-4420 or email us.
Through all of this remember the presence of the Lord to comfort, give strength and peace. Call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you, from Psalm 50:15, are not just empty words, but the Lord’s sincere invitation to us to ask for his help with the promise of deliverance.
Most merciful and gracious God, we come before you in a time of trouble for our land and our world. The sinful world has produced another threat to our well-being. We pray that you stop the spread of the coronavirus. Heal those who are infected and comfort the families of those who have died because of it. Protect the family members and health care workers who minister to the ill. Keep them strong and healthy as they do your will for others. Get necessary equipment to our medical providers and grant wisdom to researchers to better understand the virus and develop vaccines and effective treatments.
Bless our political leaders with insight and direction as they make decisions that affect millions of people. Cause a spirit of cooperation and love of neighbor to flow throughout our country. We pray for business owners and employees who are losing so much income as places of work shut down. Bless them with what they need for daily life including also relief from their fears and worries.
Above all, cause all people to turn to you in repentance and faith, trusting you not only for the physical things we need, but for every emotional and spiritual good as well. Give us peace, comfort, security and hope during this time of crisis.
O God, you gave your Son to die for us. By his wounds we are healed. May this truth be uppermost in our hearts and minds.
To you be all glory, praise and thanks. Amen.
From the Minnesota Department of Health:
Underlying medical conditions that may increase the risk of serious COVID-19 for individuals of any age:
- Blood disorders(e.g., sickle cell disease or on blood thinners).
- Chronic kidney disease as defined by your doctor. Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because kidney disease, or is under treatment for kidney disease, including receiving dialysis.
- Chronic liver diseaseas defined by your doctor. (e.g., cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis) Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because liver disease or is under treatment for liver disease.
- Compromised immune system (immunosuppression)(e.g., seeing a doctor for cancer and treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, received an organ or bone marrow transplant, taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, HIV or AIDS).
- Current or recent pregnancyin the last two weeks.
- Endocrine disorders(e.g., diabetes mellitus).
- Metabolic disorders(such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders).
- Heart disease(such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease).
- Lung diseaseincluding asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or other chronic conditions associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen.
- Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions[including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability, moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury].