Month: December 2020

Letter to the Congregation – 12/15/20

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FROM THE COUNCIL AND THE PASTOR
At the December 14th Congregation Council meeting, the Council approved a recommendation from the Worship & Music Committee to allow “virtual” Communion until at such point that we have access to the church building again.

Please understand that this was not an easy decision because a Lutheran understanding of Communion assumes that we are celebrating the sacrament physically together as a family. However, because of the length of time that we have been apart, and because we are not anticipating being able to open the church building in the near future, it was decided that offering Communion (although it not be physically with the family) is very important to the spiritual health of the congregation.

Please know that as soon as we have access to the church building again we will review our use of “virtual” Communion. Keep in mind that no one is ever forced to receive Communion, if you feel you do not want to receive Communion you are encouraged not to participate in that part of worship.

To receive Communion, we are asking that each member of the congregation prepare one serving of bread (any type, St. Andrew’s uses pita bread) and one serving of the fruit of the vine (grape juice or wine) before the start of worship. Pastor will consecrate the elements of Communion during worship. It needs to be understood that ONLY a single portion of bread and wine that has been prepared for worship will be consecrated. You cannot save some for later.

The congregation will commune together at the Pastor’s direction.

We hope and pray that during this time, receiving Communion (although it be virtual) provides an increased level of connection to God and to your church family, providing us a level of strength that we all need during this time of COVID-19.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Pastor Neel.

Letter to the Congregation – 12/7/2020

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FROM THE COUNCIL
At the December 6th Meeting of the Congregation Council, it was decided to keep the church building closed thru and including January 10th. These are always difficult decisions as the Council is painfully aware of the impact that a closed church building has on those people who depend on the church building to support the ministries that they are involved in.
The January 10th date was chosen as it is approximately two weeks after the New Year’s Holiday. In addition, the Council will continue to meet very frequently to address this situation.
Nevertheless, we felt that with the virus continuing to spike, we wanted to act in a way that would promote the health and safety of all of those who might use the church building.
To that end there can be no access to the building. As we did back in March, the only people allowed in the church building are Dori and Pastor who are only entering to check the building and make sure everything is okay, otherwise the church building is not to be accessed.
You are most welcome to join us at Council. We will be meeting December 14 at 7:00 (Monday), December 20 at 7:30 (Sunday), NO meeting on December 27, January 3 at 7:30 (Sunday). Of course, we meet by Zoom.

FROM THE PASTOR
I want to take a moment to express my thanks to St Andrew’s for showing up and supporting the congregation by taking part in the congregational meeting that dealt with the budget and the election of council members.
We can celebrate those who are joining the Council! We will be reaching 11 members on the Council! What a wonderful think to have that level of commitment to the leadership of St. Andrew’s.
It is also extraordinary that we had such a large attendance at the congregational meeting. Again, it was wonderful to see the level of support from the congregation for St. Andrew’s.
You continue to surprise me in so many positive ways, December 6 was just another positive surprise! Thank you
Pastor Neel