12 March 2020
Greetings People of Grace,
Due to the need for caution among our community, all groups, meetings and gatherings at Grace Lutheran Church are cancelled until further notice. This includes groups who use the facilities of Grace. COVID-19 (coronavirus) will cause “a significant number of deaths” among the elderly and other high-risk groups, according to today’s statement by the Chelan-Douglas Health District. Another report states that by the time the virus runs its course, up to 70% of America’s citizens may be infected.
This decision has been made with a great deal of thought, care and prayer. I consulted with most of the staff of Grace, with our cluster dean Pastor Dave Haven, and with our congregation president Chad DuLac. I have also kept a close watch on the Chelan Douglas Health District’s website, and our denomination, the ELCA. It’s important to honor the wisdom and expertise of others in our community. There is sadness that opportunities to come together have been, in a sense, taken away from us - but we want to do our part to slow down the progression of this virus. We want to care for one another by limiting the chance that we are passing along a sickness that could be deadly to some. As the health district’s statement says: “The time to get serious about every available preventive measure is right now, today. Failure to do so will result in more deaths among neighbors and relatives, even though most of us will come through OK. To save as many precious lives as we can, WE NEED EACH OTHER.”
How will we worship? We need to be creative about this. Livestreaming will be an option as often as possible. Here’s the church schedule, starting this weekend:
· Worship (one service) 10:30 am, Sunday mornings. Some staff will be present in the sanctuary for worship, and we are exploring ways to livestream the service online in ways that are accessible to as many as possible. Our worship service will be a very simple format, and we are still figuring out those details.
· No 8:30 worship
· No Wednesday vespers
· Please check our website for changes (www.glcwen.org).
Please stay tuned about further developments and opportunities to be in touch with one another and with us. We want to stay connected with one another and not feel spiritually isolated. Do you have ideas for ways to build new connections with your siblings in Christ? We would love to hear them!
Pastor James Aalgaard