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St. Luke’s schedule and COVID-19

 

**UPDATE March 14, 2020**

Dear St. Luke’s,

LINK TO 10AM WORSHIP LIVESTREAM
LINK TO ONLINE WORSHIP GUIDE

I wrote to you in my email yesterday (below) that St. Luke’s council and staff made the difficult decision to move worship online this weekend. There will be no in-person worship, and instead we’re inviting you to join us online. We’ve spent the last day preparing to worship in this new mode, and I’m excited to share our plans with you!

You can access your Online Worship Guide for Sunday, March 15 at this link, or by downloading the attachment at the bottom of this email. This PDF contains all the worship texts and music you will need to follow along with our worship.

The livestream is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. and can accessed here on our Facebook page. We think you should be able to access the livestream even if you don’t have a Facebook account–simply click “Not Now” when you’re asked to log in.

After you’ve made sure you have the worship guide and access to the livestream, I want to invite you to prepare the space in which you’ll view worship tomorrow. It might be at your kitchen table, with the windows open and a cool breeze. It might be on the couch around the TV. Light a candle and make yourself comfortable. Wherever you are, you are in a place of worship. It is a good and holy thing to pray at the same time in different places all over the city. Since we won’t be able to share communion in the usual way, please also bring your breakfast so that we can eat together. God promises to be present however and wherever we gather in Christ’s name.

We haven’t done online worship before, so we ask for your patience if things don’t go according to plan, and for your feedback as to how we can improve the quality and accessibility of our online worship.

See you ONLINE tomorrow morning at 10am!

Warmly,
Pastor Erin

+++

March 13, 2020

Dear ones,

I want you to know that the staff and council of St. Luke’s have been in faithful prayer and conversation about COVID-19 and our communal response. We care about each other and the community at St. Luke’s. We want each other to be well. We want to be connected.

This evening the staff and council made the difficult decision to adjust our schedule of worship and activities. We do not do this in fear. We do this out of an abundance of caution in an effort to “flatten the curve” of the spread of COVID-19 and in solidarity with healthcare workers and those most vulnerable to infection.

Worship this Sunday, March 15th will not take place in person, but instead online via Facebook Live.

Our livestream will begin around 10:00 a.m., and a video will also be sent out via email on Sunday afternoon for those who miss the livestream or do not use Facebook. You will receive another email from me tomorrow with instructions for how to participate in that worship service.

The decision to move worship online is in line with the decisions of numerous church bodies, including several local Lutheran churches, the entire Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, and the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. While it is sad not to gather together, especially in difficult times, it also provides opportunities for us to be creative, to live into our Christian calling to care for one another, and to build up the resilience of our community.

In addition to adjusting our worship schedule, we will also be adjusting other activities. The council and staff already have some really creative ideas about how we can engage in prayer, testimony, and conversation via internet and phone. I’m eager to share those invitations with you as they take shape in the days to come.

Meanwhile, as we prepare for our first ever online worship, I’m asking for your input. Without you, worship is a Pastor Erin monologue, and no one wants that! Please send me an email with a quick check-in: How are you, emotionally, physically, spiritually? How can the community pray for you or support you? Especially if you need community care, or want to be part of providing community care, please let me know by emailing me at pastorerin@stlukesls.org.

All day long I’ve been singing the Taizé song Nada te turbe. The lyrics translate:

May nothing disturb you.
May nothing frighten you.
Those who have God lack nothing.
May nothing disturb you.
May nothing frighten you.
God alone is enough.

This is my prayer for you.

In hope,
Pastor Erin
pastorerin@stlukesls.org

PS – For COVID-19 spiritual resources, check out this blessing for washing hands, this article entitled “Loving Your Neighbor in a Time of Coronavirus,” this video from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, and this list of sample prayers for COVID-19.

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