Saint Mark Evangelican Lutheran Church - Saint Mark Cares
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Worship Schedule

We invite you to worship:

Saturday Evenings: 5:00PM

Sunday Mornings: 9:30AM

Lenten Service

Sunday Worship

St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church

Our mission is: St. Mark Cares: welcome, worship, witness

March 16, 2020

Dear St. Mark Members and Friends,

Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who is, who was, and who is to come.

Daily we are hearing information about COVID-19 virus (Corona Virus). With each announcement information, guidelines, recommendations, and best practices are updated and changed. At our worship services the weekend of March 14/15 th , I announced that we will be cancelling all gatherings through March 31 st as a precaution when the CDC and our Local Health Department was stating no gatherings of 250 or more. By the end of the day on March 15 th the CDC had changed the number to 50 and has given a timeline of 8 weeks. Yesterday, Governor Reynolds, announced that she is recommending that schools should close for 4 weeks. With conflicting “advice” from leaders and professionals that change with each news conference and announcement; it is very difficult to discern what is best corporately for the members and friends of St. Mark.

Although many churches and members are hoping that the restrictions would be lifted before Holy Week or Easter Sunday, it looks like with the CDC guidelines extension that we will not gather again until AFTER Easter- sometime mid-May. This is to help slow down or stop the spread of the virus and to keep those most vulnerable from hospitalization and possibly death. At this point I will not state a date when will gather again; because that is likely to change many times over. At this time, we will not plan on any activities through Mid-May. Please keep an eye on the website, and St. Mark Facebook page for further updates.

We are in a time of uncharted context in ministry. The St. Mark Church Council will be meeting in one form or another on Thursday to talk about what future planning and our next steps during this time of social distancing and for how long based on current recommendations. There will be an abbreviated worship placed on the website www.stmarkcares.org each week. We are also talking about some form of Bible Study or Christian Education that individuals and families may do in their own homes.

Your St. Mark staff will be working from the office or from home during this time. We welcome all electronic communication and phone calls. We will make emergency visits at the request of you or your family; if appropriate. If you find yourself in need of a phone conversation, some reassurance, or a prayer don’t hesitate to call Bev, me, or one another. I encourage you to reach out to one another in place of the conversations that would normally happen when we gather or to reach out to some of our older members; especially those who may live alone.

As we continue our journey this Lenten Season and knowing what happened on Easter morning, we can be confident as Christians that Christ is with us, even in this time of unknown, fear and struggle. In the Bible, “Fear not” is used many times over and Jesus said to his disciples and to us: “remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” We hold onto our faith in this time of trial and tribulation. May Christ’s presence bring you comfort and peace.

Journeying with you,

Pr. Travis M. Fisher-King

 

St Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church is a congregation of
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. ELCA
in the Southeastern Iowa Synod (hotlink: seiasynod.org)

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