Current Covid Announcements

Monday, May 4, 2020
 
Siblings in Christ:
 
Greetings from the pastor.  While the closure of the church building has been challenging, we continue to be ministers in the world.  Our methods have adapted, but the message has not; we gather around Word and Sacrament to proclaim the love of God through Jesus Christ.  We trust the Holy Spirit continues to work in us, around us, and through us.  Yes, that means you, too, are equipped by the Holy Spirit to share in ministry. 
 
The church council has continued to meet, electronically, and make decisions for the sake of ministry.  At the directive of government officials, our church building will continue to be closed through May.  We will meet for worship on Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM (on Zoom), and have a mid-week prayer service every Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM (on Zoom).  The first Tuesday of the month we will gather for Faith on Tap at 6:30 PM (on Zoom).  For the protection of our account, the Zoom information will not be posted publicly.  To get the login information, contact office@elcarb.org.
 
You continue to remain in my prayers.  While I miss seeing you in person, I want everyone to stay healthy and well.  We will face this pandemic together. 
 
God's peace be with us all.
 
Pastor Paul

 

What Can I do?

  • Pray: pray for those who are lonely, isolated, sick, injured, ill, and grieving. Pray for those who have contracted the virus, for those in the medical profession, for those who are working to treat the ill. Pray for our leaders and government, for faith communities and leaders, for those who continue to share the love of God.
  • Read: scripture. Books you haven't had the time to read. Stay updated on what is going on in the world. Through EHappenings and Facebook, Epiphany will be sending out daily reflections and devotions; see what your fellow members of the church have to share.
  • Write: we are setting up a system of writing cards and letters to people who are isolated. Currently, we have a list of 12 people connected to our faith community, who will receive mail 1-2 times a week from the church. If you are willing and able, please let me know. For those who are required to isolate, these days and weeks will be difficult and lonely.
  • Connect: the internet has ample platforms to connect people. I will be trying to do "Coffee Conversations" via Zoom. Reach out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, Google Hangout, or other ways to converse, check-in, and stay connected.
  • Pick up Food: our neighbors who work in food service are hurting. If you have the financial capacity and ability to pick up food, please order from local restaurants periodically. Unfortunately, many in food service no longer have work.
  • Be Creative: many of us have this time at home that we did not expect. Find ways to be creative with your time, and to creatively reach out to your neighbors.

What If I Need Pastoral Care?

I am your pastor, and I am not on vacation. Feel free to call, text, or email me. Along with Zoom and YouTube, I plan on being online more, to provide opportunities for pastoral care. If you are struggling with life, faith, or fear, let me know. I will find a way for us to "meet," and continue to seek God's light in the darkness.

Where Can I Learn More?

Below are resources for you to check. As always, check your email daily, for updates from church. Also, check the Epiphany Facebook page for more information.

Denominational:

Local: http://www.sih.net/
State: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/
National: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/
International: https://www.who.int/

These are indeed strange and uncomfortable times. Our natural inclination during times of crisis, is to gather as church. We cannot do that in person right now, which is difficult. We will navigate the unknown, as community, trusting that God is with us. Know that nothing can separate us from God's love:

Paul writes:

"Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" -Romans 8:35, NRSV

Later, he continues:

"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord." -Romans 8:38-39, NRSV

I leave you with verse 3 of one of my favorite sending hymns, God Be With You Till We Meet Again:

"God be with you till we meet again; when life's perils thick confound you, put unfailing arms around you; God be with you till we meet again."