LCMC Blog [COVID-19 Topic] http://www.lcmc.net/blog/feed?topic=72 Read the the latest news, announcements and articles from LCMC. en-us Conflict Coaches Workshop Rescheduled http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/conflict-coaches-workshop-rescheduled/a903.html Tue, 28 Jul 20 00:00:00 -0600 COVID-19 forced the cancellation of our initially scheduled Conflict Coaches Training event last March. Now, it may actually give opportunity for more LCMC pastors and leaders to be able to attend an online training through Zoom!

The LCMC Conflict Coaches Training event has been rescheduled for those who are interested in assisting congregations with conflict resolution. 

The training will be offered twice (individuals may choose to attend either of the events):

  • Wednesday and Thursday, August 19 - 20, 2020 (10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. CDT)
  • Monday and Tuesday, August 31 - September 1, 2020 (10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. CDT)

The online version will have training, an opportunity to discuss case studies, and plans for utilizing what we learn in congregational settings. 

The hope is to develop LCMC conflict coaches throughout the country who can be an initial contact for LCMC congregations who are experiencing conflict.

Coaches will receive basic training for diagnosing congregational conflict and assisting congregations who need limited help in working through conflicted situations. 

There will be NO COST associated with this event! 

We will host it through Zoom (participants will need to download zoom to their computer to attend).

Click here for an event brochure with the basic information.  Feel free to share it with someone whom you feel may serve well in this capacity (generally meaning someone with a non-anxious presence and some basic knowledge in conflict resolution or psychological systems). 

To register, please reply to perry@lcmc.net with the basic registration information included in the brochure. 

We highly recommend participants having attended an LCMC Conflict Resolution workshop with Pastor Perry Fruhling, Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry for LCMC, or other conflict resolution and peace-making workshops. If not, a participant may download a previously recorded workshop video to view before the event.

Attending does not obligate or guarantee a person in any way to serve as a conflict coach.  But, as there is mutual agreement about being equipped and called for this purpose, perhaps God can use us to bring restoration, health, and wholeness to a neighboring congregation.

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COVID-19 Response http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/covid-19-response/a897.html Wed, 01 Jul 20 00:00:00 -0600 Since the COVID-19 pandemic descended upon our nation, everyone and everything has been affected, including our congregations.  People have become quite creative in their response. Even though we were required to avoid meeting in public, the church did not stop being the church.  Here is how some of our congregations responded to the lockdown and “sheltering in place”!


Brodie Taphorn, Mill Run Campus Pastor, Upper Arlington Lutheran Church

Seemingly overnight almost everything that we did – practically speaking – as a church…had to change.  No more face -to-face pastoral calls, no more sacraments and baptisms as we have always practiced them, no more worship services, no more church council meetings (ok, things could be worse).  Everything changed.  Everything was complicated.  Everything needed to be rethought.  There is no magic formula to this kind of thing. 

Good leadership is good leadership regardless of the circumstance.  We collaborated, we got creative, we empowered people to figure things out, and ultimately we came up with a lot of new, creative, and hopefully temporary ways to be the church in a global pandemic.

Perhaps the best thing that we have done is figured out a way to connect with our people in a regular and deliberate way.  We call it UALC Live on the 9s. We do a Facebook Live event every day at 9:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M.  We have used staff, council members, and regular church folk to share something substantively for about 20 minutes, twice a day. It has helped our people feel connected to the church much the same way that morning and evening prayers did in yonder year.

Again, it is not a magic formula. It doesn’t have to be twice a day, [just] something regular and purposeful that has broad ownership and demonstrates to the church that we will figure out, by God’s grace, how to be the church regardless of what hardship comes our way.

I’m confident that churches across our association are coming up with other creative ways of being the church.

May God be glorified as we figure out how to ‘love one another’ as a responsible, social distanced, church body!


Mark Schimmel, Pastor, Zion Lutheran Church

Staying in touch while staying distant is the most challenging part of this whole experience. I’ve been making many more phone calls than usual.  The group of rugged individuals I minister to here in central Texas is usually not very demanding of this pastor’s office time, but in the midst of this event I think they appreciate the calls that I and our council members have made to just stay in touch and see how they are doing.

In terms of worship, I’ve been a bit ahead of the curve in presenting an online option as we have been doing Facebook Live broadcasts for over two years now and have a system in place.  The change to a virtual-only service took a bit of adjustment, but it was a fairly easy transition for us.

I’m not comfortable with the idea of “online communion”, so I really wanted to get us together physically on Easter Sunday. 

Fortunately, the governor of Texas and our county judge put out some guidance in the weeks before Easter that churches were to be considered essential services and specifically authorized the use of drive-in worship services and even drive-through communion, citing the fact that drive-throughs are permitted for many types of businesses (restaurants, pharmacies, and even liquor stores). 

I got to work early in making sure that I had the technical equipment needed to put on a drive-in service (primarily the FM transmitter to be able to send the audio to car radios) and lined up our members who are medical workers to assist with communion so folks would have confidence in their aseptic handling of the elements. 

I also made sure that we could stream the service on Facebook Live so that members who were unable to attend would still have the option of attending online.

Our church is located directly across the street from our local school and the school has a much more suitable parking lot, so I got permission from the school administration to have our service there rather than in the church parking lot.

The service went great and many people commented on how meaningful it was for them to be able to attend church, even if it meant that they needed to stay in their cars and remain “socially distant”. 

We’ll be doing this drive-in church probably once a month going forward as long as the quarantine life is with us.

Fear not!


Laurel Swanson, Lutheran Church of the Cross

At Lutheran Church of the Cross in Altoona, IA, much like at your churches, March 13 was the day that we had to stop talking about all the things we should be doing to empower our members to BE the church, and actually put some of those ideas into action. 

While this wasn't a choice, and it definitely wasn't easy, we are seeing God at work in some miraculous ways.  If you want to check out any of our video options, they can be found at www.lccaltoona.org/watch

Some of the things we are doing to keep connected include:

  • Pre-recording our weekend worship service and making it available on-demand by Saturday afternoon.  We are asking members of the congregation, not just staff, to participate in video segments, and finding unique places to shoot the video. This picture is from our Easter service opening of "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" recorded at a staff member's pond.
  • Kids Connect Videos - Our Children's Ministry coordinator, Kristie Kolsrud, along with her family, records a 5 minute "Kids Connect" video with a "big idea" and activity.
  • Virtual Wednesday Youth Nights - Our Discipleship Pastor, Noah Ruppert, records a 10 minute message and worship segment for our Wednesday Night Youth.  Our youth small group leaders set up zoom calls with all of our 6th-12th grade youth to check-in.
  • Daily Facebook Live - Each weekday, one of our ministry staff leads a 20 minute Facebook Live session.  These have ranged from live music, to scripture reading, to devotionals.  Whatever the staff member chooses.
  • Phone Call Team - We have a team of members making weekly calls to our 65+ age group to check in with them and make sure they are doing okay.
  • Virtual Small Groups - Our group leaders are encouraged to connect with their group virtually.

We continue to consider ways that we can improve how we are reaching the community and the world in meaningful ways.  We know that this is not going to be "over" or "back to normal" any time soon, and our desire is to see God glorified in ways we never could have imagined.


Kip Tyler, Pastor, Lutheran Church of the Master

At Lutheran Church of the Master in Omaha we have leveraged technology and social media in ministry and worship during the Covid19 pandemic:

  • We use Zoom for meetings, confirmation, youth Bible studies and keeping in touch.
  • YouTube is used for sermons, Bible studies and general teaching announcements.
  • We send out electronically a bi-weekly/weekly letter on congregational updates due to current governmental advisement.
  • We have launched a Facebook page called LCM Coronavirus Outreach FB Group which serves as a ministry, idea, inspiration and outreach site for the congregation and others where they can participate in encouraging and informing each other in service to our neighbors.
  • We video both contemporary and traditional worship with a joint sermon which can be accessed either through our website, app or Facebook.
  • A South Sudanese service is posted in Nuer on Facebook.
  • We have phoning and card contacts to shut-ins by members, Stephen Ministers and our youth.
  • Unfortunately funerals have been extended gravesite gatherings, usually of just family members.  
  • Members are making non-medical masks, holding a blood drive, raising funds to help people who have lost jobs and have financial needs, getting resources to Pine Ridge Reservation and taking supplies to shut-ins who are unable to leave their homes.

Sue Gunderson, Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church

We realized right away that not gathering with our Bible School and Confirmation students every Wednesday afternoon was going to be a huge loss during the lockdown. 

An important thing we do during that time is to gather around the table for snack time after school.  So, our idea was to help families create that time together but around the family meal.

Through some funds donated to us we have been able to provide a pizza a week for our families.  We have a member that has a gas station with pizzas and sandwiches to order. The families call in their order and when then pick it up they receive a devotional guide for the week along with their pizza. 

The devotional guide is created by our education leaders.  Holy Week’s devotions focused on different parts along Jesus’ journey to the cross, so the devotional came with pictures depicting each step along the way – from Jesus entry into Jerusalem, to his crucifixion and burial. 

Families were encouraged to make palm branches by tracing their hands and cutting them out to make a palm branch; then to place the pictures for each day on the palm branch as a way to mark the journey to the cross. 

It has been a great way for our families to stay grounded during this time while creating a meaningful family devotional time and hopefully a pattern for their lives that will last long after Covid-19 is gone.


Barb Baker, Morningside Lutheran Church

For Easter this year, the Morningside Lutheran Church staff threw around the idea of some sort of drive-up service or special interaction for our church family.  

The MLC Food Pantry is currently offering drive-up assistance for those who need food and the process has been working well.  We strongly believe that connecting with one another is vital, so with the state regulations and weather forecast in mind, we decided to have drive-up communion!

MLC’s Easter Services were prerecorded in the weeks leading up to Easter.  Both a traditional and contemporary version of worship was uploaded to our website and Facebook page late Saturday night, so it could be viewed at any point on Sunday.  

From 9:00 -10:00 A.M. Sunday morning, we offered drive-up communion at the church building.  One at a time, vehicles would pull up next to the church front doors and roll down their windows.  Drive-up communion consisted of receiving an individually packaged communion wafer and juice cup, time to pray or talk with one of the pastors, drop off an offering, and pick up a child activity bag for those in 5th grade and below.

Weather did not cooperate with us on Easter Sunday (as you can see in the picture), but it was a wonderful experience and we had a lot of great feedback from those who were able to come out.  

Moving forward, we will be offering drive-up communion the 1st Sunday of each month to accompany our live streamed services.  Of course, we are still constantly thinking outside the box on ways we can reach all in our community!


Larry Kassebaum, Pastor, Victory Lutheran Church

At Victory Lutheran Church here in Mesa, AZ, our response to the “physical distancing” requirement of the COVID-19 pandemic has four key components:

  • We videotape an abbreviated version of our regular weekend worship service and make it available for replay on our website and through Facebook
  • We offer three “drive in” worship options in our parking lot for those who don’t use technology or who just desire at least some measure of real community. We purchased an FM radio transmitter and worshipers turn to an assigned FM radio station available only in our parking lot
  • We create two versions, one audio only and one video, of a daily devotional by Pastor Steve Lien or me that we call “Daily Hope.” In these devotions we share a reading from scripture, our personal reflection on that scripture, a prayer and any virus-related updates to our scheduling or activities. For those with cell phones and e-mail, we send a link to these messages at 8:00 A.M. For those without this technology, we created a dedicated phone line that makes the same pastor-led daily devotion and information update available on a “call in” basis.”
  • We have created an intentional pastoral (phone) call system to provide an opportunity for us to just “check-up” on our members.

To share what your congregation is doing in response to COVID-19, please visit our Facebook Page and share your story in the "COVID-19 Megathread" post pinned to the top of our page. 

For more COVID-19 resources, click here

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Getting to Know Firmly Rooted Ministries http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/getting-to-know-firmly-rooted-ministries/a898.html Wed, 01 Jul 20 00:00:00 -0600 Greetings from Firmly Rooted Oxford, MI and Greendale, IN.  What a blessing it is to be able to communicate with our brothers and sisters about the Kingdom work that is going on in our little parts of the world!

Last time we gave you an update, it was specifically about the history of our church plant, the ways that we were reaching out to the community, and how God had been starting that work for years before.

Dan Clites was so integrally involved in both the challenges and the successes that we experienced in those years of growth, and we are so thankful to him and the LCMC for their support.

This time our update is focused on how we’ve been trying, like many of you, to navigate our way through the first half of 2020. 

If there are a few words that would describe our ministry activity since the beginning of March, they would be: discernment, agility and flexibility. 

Our timeline in March was:

  • March 8: Regular worship at our worship rental space at the local high school, but we took out passing the offering basket (collection in the back of church), and added hand sanitizer for communion distribution.
  • March 15: Live stream Bible study and worship from our home with a few members of our worship team there in person - all done live.
  • March 22: Live stream Bible study and worship from our home, but worship team had individually pre-recorded songs from their homes and those were added into the live service.
  • March 29: All elements of Bible study and worship service were pre-recorded and edited together during the week and broadcast “live” on Sunday morning.

That’s how we continued until May 31 when we were able to get together again on a limited basis and in a new location.

During this time we had our fair share of challenges, and while those challenges have minimized, they still exist. Our Executive Board and Elders were an excellent support to these transitions as we had to make tough budget decisions, such as:

  • We turned our leased office/meeting space back to the landlord at the end of April, and moved all of our operations into our home
  • We also reduced our administrative assistant’s hours to just working from home 8 hours a week from 26
  • My wife took on more of the administrative workload, simply because she was part of all of the moving pieces in real time, and she’s a full time member of our church staff already

As we shifted focus to live streaming, we worked hard to incorporate as many others as possible from their homes for things like worship songs, readings and prayers, so that worship experience could be effective at home, and also let those that really enjoy being part of worship do so.

These additions were very well received by our church family!

In addition to Sunday mornings, we felt that it was important to have more consistent contact with not only our Firmly Rooted family, but also opportunities for those in our local community as well as across the country, to be fed daily by our ministry. We added a daily live stream devotional entitled “90 seconds with God” at 8:30 A.M. Monday - Saturday, and a segment offered the same days at 9:00 A.M. called “Let’s Just Pray.”  Each of these segments is on both Facebook Live and YouTube.

Interestingly, even though society has started to “open up” a bit since COVID-19 restrictions, our participation in these segments has not decreased.

My wife and I also took our men’s and women’s groups that were meeting in person and moved those to online, so that the spiritual feeding of these groups would not be cut off while we couldn’t gather. Both groups have grown from originally 10-20 that met in person to up to 250 in Facebook groups that are now getting daily devotionals and posts. Many of these were not previously affiliated with Firmly Rooted at all, but were searching for something positive and spiritual.

Please know that if you aren’t currently involved in live streaming and ministry in this way, it may seem easier on the face of it, but actually, my wife and I are working harder than ever before.

In order to do it well, we are working on this with our Minister of Outreach to better our software and our technology. It’s a continuous process, and something is tweaked almost daily as we continue to work towards excellence in this area.

What has been the outcome of being discerning, agile and flexible, along with a lot of hard work?  Our ministry, and we ourselves, have been blessed beyond measure these past few months!  Each Sunday we are involving more folks in Bible study, worship, and our other live event opportunities.  Every marker shows an increase.  God has used this technology to expand the Kingdom exceeding our hopes and dreams in every way!

We now have more involvement than ever before!  We often receive testimonials about families changed as one member live streamed something on the television where the rest of the family could hear it.  We have heard of more than a few conversions and folks seeking baptism soon! 

Giving has been a miracle!  Our giving was actually down below our budgeted needs in January and February.  In March, it started increasing, many donations coming from folks that we don’t know and still haven’t met.  They found us online.  In March, April and May, the giving exceeded our budgeted needs, to as much as our budget +50%!

This is all evidence of a God of abundance, not a God of scarcity.  While we weren’t able to gather together, He was working to multiply in each and every area!  All glory to Him!

We are so thankful that we are part of a ministry that is discerning, agile and flexible. If we hadn’t been nimble enough to do the things we thought we were being called to do, even though they were labor intensive, we don’t believe that we would be seeing the way He could show off for the Kingdom during a challenging time.

We always conclude our worship services with the phrase, “God is good,” and the congregants, in person or online, reply with, “All the time”.  We say, “And all the time,” and they reply, “God is good.”  We have never seen that phrase lived out before our eyes more clearly than these last several months! I t is our prayer that each of you is seeing it now, too.

If Firmly Rooted can ever be of service to you, please let us know.


"Getting To Know" is a regular column in BY THE WORD, the quarterly newsletter for LCMC.  For more information and to view past editions, click here

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Annual Gathering Registration is Now Open http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/annual-gathering-registration-is-now-open/a896.html Thu, 25 Jun 20 00:00:00 -0600 Our 20th Annual Gathering & Convention is going to happen, just not in the same way we have gathered in the past. 

We will still be meeting at North Heights Lutheran Church in Arden Hills, Minnesota, but for one day only, on Monday, October 5th!  

Because of the restrictions placed on large group gatherings by the State of Minnesota, we must limit our gathering to 250 people.  Registration is first come first serve, limited to delegates to the convention only, and participants must register online. 

The gathering will be live streamed, and we are asking congregations, districts, fellowship groups, and networks who have the technology available, to host gatherings so people in their area can come together and participate via the internet. 

Plans are in the works to make the online event interactive so people who are tuning in via live stream can ask questions, make comments, and be a part of what is happening at North Heights.  We want to include as many people as possible! 

As the date draws closer, we will be sending out more information, but for now, please keep all of this in your prayers. 

This may be a very different gathering, but just like the printing press facilitated the Reformation, so also may technology and the internet facilitate even more people being a part of the Annual Gathering & Convention than ever before possible.

To learn more and register, click here


Get Updates:

If you'd like to be notified when new information becomes available, please download our moble app and subscribe to Annual Gathering push notifications in the app settings [here's how].  Alternatively, you can subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, follow us on Facebook, or read blog articles about the Annual Gathering here.

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2020 Youth Event Canceled http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/2020-youth-event-canceled/a890.html Wed, 01 Apr 20 00:00:00 -0600 Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ's Called 2: Love youth event, scheduled for July 21-24, 2020 at Grand View University, has been canceled. 

"The deadline for registration was today and as of 11 am CST we had only 77 people signed up and needed 200 to break even," said Mark Vander Tuig, service coordinator of LCMC.  "This is understandable for youth groups and youth leaders with the days ahead to be so uncertain and the current climate quite restrictive.  Groups can’t even meet to have a discussion, nor able to raise funds to make the trip.  Travel plans are constantly changing and we simply can’t make the necessary financial commitments without the numbers required."

Called 2: Love participants who have already registered for the event will be contacted by LCMC and issued a refund for any deposits that have already been paid. 

Going forward, the LCMC Staff and Board of Trustees will be working together to determine whether to move the event to 2021, or to try something completely diifferent. 

"I am disappointed to say the least.  This has been a great event and I think a real blessing for all of us who have been involved, both those who have made it happen and those who have attended.  But, I am convinced that God still holds the world and our lives and ministries in the palm of His almighty hand and the Lord will use even this for a greater good and for the Kingdom." Vander Tuig said. 

If you would like to be notified of future LCMC youth events, please opt-in for "Youth Event" notifications in our mobile app [here's how], "Like" and "Follow" us on Facebook, or subscribe to our e-newsletter

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Intentional Interim Ministry Workshop Canceled http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/intentional-interim-ministry-workshop-canceled/a891.html Wed, 01 Apr 20 00:00:00 -0600 The LCMC Intentional Interim Ministry Workshop originally scheduled for July 6-9, 2020 at Grand View University has been canceled. 

"There was a sense that people will be reticent to register and no one is sure at this point whether safe distancing will be at an end by July.  We also canceled the LCMC youth event which had been planned for later July," said Perry Fruhling, LCMC's coordinator for pastoral ministry. 

While the importance of social distancing during this time is being taken seriously, the need for intentional interim ministry training among our pastors has not gone away. 

"There had been a number of inquiries, so there is still interest in this important training." Fruhling said. 

If you would like to be notified of future intentional interim ministry workshops, please "Like" and "Follow" us on Facebook, subscribe to our e-newsletter, and/or follow our blog.

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COVID-19 Resources for Congregations - Join the Conversation http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/covid-19-resources-for-congregations---join-the-conversation/a888.html Wed, 25 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0600 In light of the recent coronavirus pandemic that has swept our nation and the world, we have put together a thread on our Facebook Page where LCMC pastors, leaders, and congregation members may share what they are doing in response to COVID-19 and offer any resources that they might have available to other congregations. 

As we adapt to this time of social distancing in order to help prevent the spread of the virus, please consider sharing what your congregation is doing in response to COVID-19, and if applicable, links to any resources that you have available in the comments below our "COVID-19 Megathread" post. 

By containing this information to a single thread, we hope to create one centralized location where anyone in need of ideas, information, support, or home-based worship resources can find what they are looking for. 

We plan to keep this post pinned to the top of our page for the next few weeks to help make this information as easily accessible as possible for anyone who might need it. 

For more information on COVID-19, please visit www.cdc.gov.

Like and Follow LCMC on Facebook >>
 


COVID-19 Relief:

Please visit our Relief Efforts page for the most up-to-date information on current relief programs. 
 


Additional Resources:

The resources listed below are offered for your consideration.  Inclusion on the list does not imply an endorsement by the Board of Trustees, the Ministry Board or the staff of LCMC.

Blackbaud
Resources  |  Contact
 

Church Doctor Ministries
Website  |  Facebook
 

Elisa Ashley
Website
 

Jeannie Miller-Clarkson
Website


Life Together Churches
Home-Based Worship Videos


Riverside Bible Camp

  • 1 Hour of Power LIVE (Every Weekday at 2:00 CST):  Facebook  |  YouTube
  • LIVE Bible Study (Every Weekday at 3:00 CST): YouTube


TechSoup
Website  |  Resources

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COVID-19 Pandemic - Pray Together With Us http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/covid-19-pandemic---pray-together-with-us/a886.html Thu, 19 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0600 AUTHOR'S NOTE:  On Thursday, March 19 I offered a call to prayer for this coming Sunday.  However, given the escalating nature of COVID-19, it was a mistake to suggest we gather in groups of less than 10.  Rather we need to do everything we can to limit the spread of this virus!  Please stay safe and do what every government agency and the medical professionals are telling us, stay home if you can, keep your distance, wash your hands...and pray. 

– Mark Vander Tuig, Service Coordinator, LCMC


Hello Friends, Pastors, Leaders, and Members of LCMC Congregations,
 
With a 24 hour news cycle and constant reporting about every movement of the corona virus and explicit and detailed ways of limiting its spread, you don’t really need one more person telling you what to do.  I would simply encourage you to follow through with the protocols that our federal, state, county and local governments and medical professionals are asking us to do.  This, however, is an invitation.
 
For the last 10 years I have been calling us in LCMC to become more and more a people of prayer.  We have a great opportunity to do so this coming Sunday, March 22.  I would like us to dedicate this coming Sunday to be a day of prayer and fasting.
 
Most of our churches will likely not be gathering for corporate worship, but as many have already said, the building is not the church, we are the church. 
 
Gather with a small group of people from your church or even your neighborhood for prayer.  Do so in homes around the kitchen table or sitting in the living room.  Some of us have probably never prayed with our spouse, our children, or as a family.  And not just reading prayers, but simply talking with God.  You don’t need fancy language.  Just bring every care to the throne of Grace. 
 
Some officials have suggested that wherever we go we gather in groups of no more than 10 people—what a perfect size group for a time of prayer.  View Current CDC Recommendations >>
 
What prayer concerns might you have?  I have many, here are just a few: 

  • Pray for our government leaders (Romans).  Ask the Lord of Heaven and Earth that they would be able to come together to make wise and common sense decisions to protect the vulnerable and ease the financial burden on those affected by all the shutdowns.
  • Pray for those families who will be challenged to both continue to work to provide an income and at the same time care for their children who will not be in school, pre-school or day care.
  • Pray for the businesses in our communities who will be drastically affected by the mandatory shutdowns that they might survive, recover and thrive once again.
  • Pray for those who are working in the health care fields, those who will have direct contact with folks who are showing symptoms of Covid-19.
  • Pray for our congregations, leaders, and pastors that together we might be light in the darkness and salt to a world that still cries out in pain, hurt, confusion, and frustration.
  • And for all, in every nation that are suffering illness now because of this pandemic.

And fasting?  There are many ways to fast.  Not all of us can avoid nutrition without causing some serious consequences.  You can fast from watching television—might be a good idea to not be bombarded with troubling news 24/7.  You can fast from sweets, from broccoli, from anything else that takes up time and spend that time in prayer.  You can fast from Facebook social media, and even video games.  You can fast from your usual TV viewing and watch a Christmas movie. 
 
Fasting is not an attempt to show God what a wonderful person you are or to gain any stars in your crown, but it is a good discipline that gives us more time for prayer and getting in to God’s Word.
 
Maybe what we need is a longer-term perspective.  A year from now, this will just be a memory.  5 years from now some will have troubling remembering what it was all about, 10 years from now, no one will know and no one will care!
 
Here are some words from the Scriptures that I hang on to in times of trouble:

  • "Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares about you." – I Peter 5:8
  • "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." – Matthew 6 (the whole chapter)
  •  Let today’s trouble be enough for today (one day at a time).
  • Romans 8:28: In all things, God works for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
  • Psalm 23 
  • And finally, the three most often said words in the Bible: Be not afraid.

Let’s remember that God is faithful.  He is still the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Our God is greater than any virus or anything else in this world!  We will get through this, and there is a better day coming!
 
Let’s dedicate this coming Sunday to a day of prayer and fasting.

Mark Vander Tuig
Service Coordinator, LCMC

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An Important Update Regarding Our 2020 Youth Event http://www.solapublishing.com/blog/an-important-update-regarding-our-2020-youth-event/a885.html Fri, 13 Mar 20 00:00:00 -0600 Friends,

Thank you for your interest in our planned youth event this coming summer.  Obviously, events of the last few weeks, and the weeks going forward are having an impact on everything! 

The last day to register for the youth event is April 1.  If you are planning to register, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible to give us the best indication of our numbers at the deadline.

We need 175 participants to break even—and in LCMC, our goal is for everything to “break even”.  If we don’t reach that number by April 1, we will be canceling the event.

Some have suggested because of the pandemic that has rocked our nation and our world, and has led to the cancellation of all kinds of events, that we should cancel this event now.  We are not ready to do that at this point, but come April 1, we will make that decision.

If you have not yet purchased plane tickets, hold off until after April 1.  If you have already purchased them, most airlines are making refunds available.  If you have your tickets, please check with the airline now to find out about their cancellation policy.

We apologize for any inconvenience.  We are simply hoping to be good stewards of your time and expense and respond appropriately to the concerns shared by medical and safety professionals.

 

Rev. Mark Vander Tuig

Service Coordinator, LCMC

 


To learn more and register for this event, click here.

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