UPDATE – MAY 21, 2020
Dear Members and Friends,
During the coronavirus pandemic, Good Shepherd is exploring every possible means to keep us connected. As we enter a new phase where the quarantine is being gradually lifted, we still must caution against rushing back into public gatherings that could endanger us. Until a vaccine has been found, we should seriously adhere to social distancing guidelines.
However, this means we must be all the more attentive and sensitive to each other’s physical and spiritual needs. If you or anyone you know are experiencing unexpected anxieties, or need food, prayer, conversation, or other forms of community and support, please let me or your shepherding group liaison know, and we will treat your needs with the utmost confidence and care.
Our church now has a Zoom video account that accommodates up to 100 participants of which I serve as host. My hope is that through this and similar virtual meeting platforms owned by church members, we can coordinate more interactive meetings among us.
This time of separation continues to test our tolerance and character. But as a body of Christ, let us remain spiritually connected so that no one is overwhelmed. During this time, I find myself singing the lyrics of Jeremiah Rankin that are particularly fitting, and I offer to your patient endurance:
God be with you till we meet again;
By good counsels, guide, uphold you;
With a shepherd’s care enfold you.
God be with you till we meet again.
Be safe, healthy, and blessed.
An Announcement from our Church President ~ March 4, 2020
Dear Friends and Members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church,
The Church Council has decided after much thought, to suspend all Church Sponsored events, group meetings and Church Services at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church effective immediately. The only exception at this moment will be Food Shelf, which is working on a plan to distribute food in a such a manner that it will have minimal risk of spreading Covid 19 to its members, recipients or impact to the Church.
Why are we taking such measures? Council has made this decision to limit not only the risk of Friends and Members of GSLC getting Covid 19, but also reducing its spread in the broader community. We feel strongly about keeping everyone safe and healthy and believe that this is the direction that we must take.
How Long will this be in place? For the time being this will be in place until the end of April. The Council will be discussing the situation weekly, or more frequently as the situation will be changing daily or by the hour.
When will we know when it is time to return to our normal schedule? This is unclear, but we are confident that there will be clear indicators and direction from the CDC and WHO, and the Vt State Department of Health that will indicate when we can safety resume our normal Church Schedule and allow group and organizations to meet at the facility again.
What is our plan to have spiritual outreach to our friends and members? The Worship committee will be discussing on Sunday the possibility of live streaming or videoing Pastor’s sermons starting 3/22. Our hope is to have a means by which we can get the message of God to as many people as possible. More to come on this and we will keep you all updated on the ideas/decisions that the Worship committee has.
What will happen with Easter Brunch, the Mediterranean dinner, etc? At this point the Easter Brunch is cancelled and the Mediterranean dinner will be postponed to a later date.
Should I continue to contribute to the Church? Yes. Even though our doors will be closed, we will continue to incur the same costs as we have before this crisis. Staying financially healthy will allow us to resume our activities smoothly when the time comes. You can mail your pledge envelope directly to the Church or you can reach out to the Financial secretary, Gary Gildemeister, for other ways to continue your contributions.
What if people need/request pastoral care? Pastor Arnold and the Council realize that this is a critical part of our Church, especially during this time. Our first and foremost concern is the safety and health of our friends, members and Pastor Arnold. Members and friends are encouraged to reach out to Pastor Arnold for pastoral care. In-person visitation might be limited as this health risk unfolds and will be at the discretion of Pastor Arnold. Pastor Arnold will be available via phone and email.
This is a unique time and Council would like to reiterate that we have not made this decision lightly. We are praying that the Congregation, its friends, the community and the world are safe and healthy during this pandemic. If you have questions or comments please feel free to reach out to me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or the council directly and we will do our best to answer them. The Council will continue to keep you all informed of any change in our decisions as our main focus right now is to continue Pastoral Care where possible and to establish a means by which we can video sermons and get them out to the congregation.
Thank you for your understanding and God Bless you all.
President, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Council
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church – 273 Vt Route 15 – PO Box 495 – Jericho, VT 05465
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