FROM CHURCH PRESIDENT BETH HOHISEL:
March 18, 2020. Updated 3/23/20
Dear Messiah Family,
In an effort to follow the recommendation of the health experts regarding the Coronavirus, we have made several changes to our activities here at MLC. Most of these changes apply to a 15-day window, taking us to the end of March. Any changes beyond that timeframe will be communicated in a future notice.
Worship – HOW we worship is changing for March 22nd and March 29th. We will have the opportunity to worship together from our own homes through a streaming service. We will NOT have a service at the church building. Please see the letter from Pastor Kurt detailing our plans for 9:30 am worship, and Lloyd’s letter for the technical “how to” of joining the streaming service.
Adult Ministries – We will not meet through the end of March.
Youth/Children Ministries – We will not meet at church. However, we are working on finding ways to connect at home and will be rolling out these plans for some of the ministries this week. Other ministries not listed will be evaluated along the way and plans communicated later.
Head2Heart – confirmation classes will be through at-home and e-learning options. Those involved should watch for more information.
First Communion - classes will be through at home and e-learning options. Those involved should watch for more information. We are hoping to start this Sunday, March 22nd.
Awana – we are postponing Awards Night until May, and we will not meet for the remaining club nights. However, clubbers are encouraged to continue working in their handbooks at home with an adult as awards will still be handed out. More detailed instructions will be communicated to those involved for how to share their progress in handbook completion.
Easter Egg Hunt - cancelled
SonRise Easter Breakfast – this will be postponed to a later date.
De-escalation Training scheduled for March 28th – postponed to a later date.
Prayer Vigil – a Virtual Prayer Vigil is still planned for Saturday, March 28th between 6am and 6pm . The Prayer Vigil is designed for people to silently pray for the prayer requests that have been submitted. Please submit your prayer requests for this vigil to Christine at HERE or online HERE
Please continue to check your mail and email, along with our church website and Facebook page for further updates. Remember to keep your eyes on the Lord and pray for those in need.
Trusting in Our Lord,
FROM PASTOR KURT:
Hello, Messiah Lutheran Church,
I know you are scared. If we pretend that we aren’t we are just deceiving ourselves, the truth is not in us. But if we confess that these uncertain times have us worried, God who is faithful and just promises to be in control, to forgive our doubt and give us confidence to serve Him and each other daily.
It was no mistake that God gave us the topic of FEAR to wrestle with in this season of Lent. Who knew we would be called upon by our country to make such drastic changes to our daily lives? I want to encourage you. This is an opportunity. You have two things our world needs in this time of pandemic. Sacrifice and Prayer. You are the salt of the earth that will bring others out of fear in this time.
Jesus says we do not live by bread alone but by every Word that comes from the mouth of God. This is going to be a time in our country’s history that calls people who least expect it to worship and prayer. You have the opportunity to invite them into that worship in a new way. It starts with your commitment to gathering for online worship in your homes, as a family, each Sunday at 9:30 am. There are details on how to do that in the letters attached. People are looking for hope and you can invite them to get the information we are all seeking in this time from the best source. This is your opportunity to help someone reconnect with God. We have a real potential to increase the impact of our worship in a time when it seems like it might be lost.
God is also asking us as a nation to remember what it means to make a sacrifice. Social distancing can be done in many ways. On one side is the temptation to be a hermit isolated from the world. On the other side is the hard work of reaching out to others in different ways. Part of the ‘bread’ Jesus is referring to can only be given through human connection. Those connections have just become that much more precious. Be the shinning presence of God that doesn’t get sucked into negative conversations.
In a time when people horde toilet paper for a sense of security, being generous can be the largest of sacrifices. Your church has paid out benevolence to local charities early to help those most in need. Please continue to support God’s work through the church by giving electronically. The best way to do this is by setting up an ACH with your bank that deposits funds with each paycheck.
Church has not been canceled. God is once again dispersing us into our communities to be the salt of the earth. This is a real opportunity to check in on your neighbors, reconnect as community and make those phone calls we have been putting off. Worship as a family and tell others to check out your church online.
Pr. Kurt Hoover
To Messiah Members and Friends,
As we work to stay connected through this difficult season, our online presence has become more significant. Because we are not meeting at our campus on March 22nd and 29th, we will be worshipping together online at 9:30 am on these two days. Here is how you can stay connected to the church body using the various technological avenues that we use.
We have two Facebook accounts, one for the general public and one for members. On our Facebook page, we have announcements, events, links to past sermons and streaming live sermons. If you have a Facebook account, this would be the easiest way for you to access our live stream on Sundays at 9:30 am. To join one or both pages, simply search for Messiah Lutheran Church Joliet in the search bar in the top left corner.
We also have a newly set up YouTube page so that we can stream and hold other video content including past sermons. The web address (URL) is bit.ly/MLCJolietYouTube. Simply type this into the address bar in the top of your browser (Chrome, Edge, etc.) and this will take you to our page. Again, our stream will start at 9:30 am.
If you need help with using Facebook or YouTube for streaming, please call the church office at 815-741-4488 and we will be glad to help you. Links to both of these pages are available on our website, mlcjoliet.org.
We will be doing communion at one point in the service, and we encourage everyone watching at home to participate by using their own bread and wine/grape juice.
Prayer requests can be sent to the office via email at email@example.com, called in at 815-741-4488, or commented in the live stream comment section.
We will have an offering time during the service, but you can give any time during the week using one of the following ways:
1) Follow this link: messiahlutheranchurch.churchcenter.com/giving
2) Download the Church Center app on your phone or tablet and follow the instructions given.
3) Text your dollar amount (with a dollar sign in front of it) to 84321.
4) Mail your check to the church at: 40 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431
If you need assistance with any of these, please email or call the church office at 815-741-4488.
In His love,