shelter in place UPDATES


Online Worship Only, Sunday March 29

SUNDAY MARCH 29 ONLINE WORSHIP 10am
Dialogue Message - Pastors Andy & Emily
Music from Grace Alone
You can tune in here at 10:00 a.m.:
Facebook: FB.com/CambridgeLutheran
or
Youtube: Tinyurl.com/CambridgeLutheran


Worship with communion is Sunday, March 29, 10:00 a.m. on Facebook Live and Youtube. Both Pastor Emily and I will be giving short messages. Gather bread or crackers and pour some juice or wine prior to worship and gather around the table to be ready for communion. (We'll show you how to give the blessing for the kids as well). 

A man from my last church used to say, "You know God is gonna do something good if the devil starts messing with the technology." When I was preparing my parts last night, the power went out!  So, that raises the question: Is it God's doing when pandemics appear or the power goes out? We'll get into that in my message (albeit my parts will be "grainier.") 

Here are two things you can do when you tune in: 
a) Start a "Watch Party" by clicking on that button which invites others. We are a church that includes others. 
b) "Share" the video on your page. That also invites others. 

OFFERING
Philippians 4:19 teaches, "And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." That is good news! 

Here are Four Ways to Participate in the offering: 
a) Old-Fashioned: Mail your offering in to 621 Old N Main St, Cambridge, MN 55008
b) Text Messaging: Text 763.325.1924
c) Online: Secure giving through Vanco
d) Easiest: Automated. Call Mary Chapman, 763.689.1211 to set it up
Questions? Answers are HERE or cambridgelutheran.org/donate or call the church

KIDZONE
Parents, you've seen the information sent out about how to participate in KidZone online. Questions? Just reply to this email or email Amy Huntley,  AJH@cambridgelutheran.org

Pastor Emily will have a lot more about this and other announcements at the end of worship. 

This pandemic is a major interruption in our lives. But let's see how this strange new set of circumstances can help us learn how to strengthen ourselves in the Lord, strengthen us as families, as people learning to pray and as people who REJOICE in all circumstances. 

Blessings!
Pastor Andy

PS - Next week is Palm Sunday. We'll be adding a second service. Watch for more details. 

(Sometimes these emails end up in a "spam" folder. If friends aren't getting it, ask them to add info@cambridgelutheran.org to their Contacts List and/or check their "spam" email folder. Forward this to a friend to let them know. ) 



Update Emailed to Congregation, Wed., March 18


From Pastor Emily
Hello Friends, 

In light of our recent call for social distancing, and having to suspend worship services at the church, we are working around the clock to figure out how to best connect with you all, as well as share the good news of Jesus Christ. Here's just a short list of things to look forward to in the week ahead.

Tonight (Wednesday, March 18)- You won't want to miss Dr. Michael Chan's message on Galatians 5! We'll be posting it to both your Facebook page as well as to our website at 7 pm this evening. Dr. Chan is a dynamic speaker and a professor of Old Testament at Luther Seminary (yes, he had me as a student in a class called Lions and Eunuchs, and Kings, Oh My! A Study on the Book of Daniel).

This Week- We will be posting daily devotionals, prayer prompts, and faith-based materials to give you hope and comfort.

Sunday- We will be coming to you Live via Facebook Live at a time yet to be determined (we'll let you know).

Reminders:
  • The church building is closed for the time being. We are asking that all groups temporarily suspend meeting physically. 
  • Worship services are temporarily suspended. We don't know yet for how long, but we will continue to keep you informed. Not meeting in person is never an easy decision, and it's not one we take lightly, but in our call to love our neighbor with compassion, we felt this was the most Christ-like thing we could do. 
Serving Needs
We are also in process of formulating plans to serve needs as they arise. We will be keeping you up-to-date on ways in which you can serve through our church. Two things that are developing.
  1. The God Squad Where people can submit their names and contact information to be matched with needs of people from our church and in the community as they arise. 
  2. Food Scarcity. Working both through the food shelves and in cooperation with other churches, we are making plans to meet the meals needs of people who do not have enough food with food to go.  
You can watch for more information on both of those as they are developing. If you have ideas of ways in which you wish to serve, feel free to reply to this email.

Affirmations:
  • A quick thank you to our custodial staff, Greg and Cathy, who have been working to make sure our building gets a deep cleaning so that when we do return to the building, it is safe and ready for us. 
  • A thank you to both our Finance Team and the Church Council who decided unanimously that all staff, while not able to work in the building, will still be paid their normal rate for their typical hours. 

We continue to think and plan on how to best do ministry in our community in the midst of all of this. Keep an eye out for future emails with more information.

Also, please let us know how we can be praying for you at this time. You can reply to this email, email us at info@cabridgelutheran.org, or message us through Facebook. 

Have a blessed day,
Emily
 
 


Update Emailed to Congregation, Monday, March 16


Dear Friends, "As I have loved you so you must love one another," said Jesus. (John 13:34)

The big question is this: How do we love one another in the midst of a global pandemic? 

The big opportunity is this:  How do we learn better to BE the church even without MEETING as a church? 

The big difficulty is this: People can be spreading covid-19 and not even know it, putting the neighbors we love at risk including at church! 

The big ask requested of us is this: The World Health Organization has asked groups like our church to act quickly to limit the spread of coronavirus (in order to "flatten the curve" allowing healthcare providers to keep up) by doing the following: 
a) "Social Distancing" 
b) Limit Social Contact

As Minnesota Governor Tim Walz declared today: "We must take decisive action to curb the spread of this pandemic and protect the health and safety of Minnesotans. That’s why I’m ordering a partial closure of restaurants, bars and places of public accommodation and amusement, such as fitness centers and movie theaters, by 5 p.m. tomorrow [March 17]."

Keeping with those goals, the pastors, staff and leadership have been reviewing what steps we can take as a church to reduce / slow the spread of the coronavirus. We have been in consultation with medical professionals from our church (including my wife Alison, a Fairview geriatric nurse practitioner who is dealing with the pandemic as it affects seniors). We are tracking the recommendations of the CDC

The following steps are in alignment with their recommendations:  

+ As previously shared, worship on Sundays will be ONLINE only, livestreamed via Facebook HERE and then later posted to our webpage under the WORSHIP tab HERE. What that worship experience will be is still emerging. 

Staff will work remotely including pastoral care. A guide to staff contacts is found on our website HERE. You may contact staff via the information there. The church will not be open during normal office hours for the reasons stated above as office staff and volunteers will be working remotely. If you have a need and don't know who to speak with, call the church at 763.689.1211 and if someone doesn't answer, follow the prompts to leave a message. 

Ministry programming is temporarily suspended including all children's and youth programming for the same reasons that our local school district #911 has suspended classes on-site. We're asking people NOT to meet face-to-face for the reasons listed above. 

+ Alternative means of discipleship and learning are being explored. Ways to serve those in need are also being explored, as previously mentioned. 

+ We are postponing the new capital campaign that had been previously scheduled. A global pandemic is simply a bad time. 

+ Committees, groups and ministry teams are encouraged to meet remotely rather than face-to-face. Pastor Emily has prepared a guide for groups to use a free teleconference service and/or Zoom, a free video-conferencing service. Pastor Emily is happy to send it to anyone requesting it. 

+ Pay attention to those in your sphere of relationships who may need support, attention and communication. Call people. Check in on them. 

+ We are asking all groups to adhere to these recommendations

+ During this time period, the lower level of the church will be closed. Cathy Bolton, one of our custodians who served in the school district for many years, will be initiating a deep cleaning of the lower level of the same sort done in the schools. It will remain closed until this episode has passed. 

We do not come to these conclusions lightly. Asking people NOT to meet is typically the last thing that churches would ever do. However, this is what is being recommended by our own people and by experts on pandemics. So, we ask your cooperation even if it is inconvenient or interferes with other goals and missions that we may share. 

Three Quotes I'm Finding Helpful: 

1. The Apostle Paul on rejoicing: Philippians 4:4-5 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near."

2. Michael Leavitt writing about society's response: "Everything we do before a pandemic will seem alarmist. Everything we do after will seem inadequate."

3. Seth Godin on being generous: "For members of the public, staying at home and sheltering in place isn’t selfish, it’s generous. Social distancing helps keep the virus from infecting others at the same time that it flattens the curve of the spread of the pandemic, giving health facilities a chance to provide care over time."

No doubt you've read of the other churches (nearly all the larger churches) taking the same steps that we are. 

May we understand that our actions today may help save lives tomorrow. I'm sure we'll all in favor of doing that. 

I'd like to close with the "Prayer of Good Courage." It is the prayer which my father and grandfather concluded all of their sermons: 

O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessings!
Pastor Andy

PS - Feel free to pass this email on to people at church who may not be aware of it.


WORSHIP ONLINE ONLY THIS SUNDAY, March 15


The following email went out to the congregation on Friday evening, March 13, 2020. 


Friends, Last Saturday we shared steps we had taken to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This weekend, we will expand that effort by holding regularly scheduled worship services ONLINE, NOT as a gathered community at the church building. (This includes NO KidZone, Financial Peace, Alpha, First Communion or other Sunday groups.)


Going forward, please watch for communication from leaders of your ministries. Each ministry will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis as far as meeting. 


No doubt you're aware that, today, both the governor and the president declared states of emergency for our state and nation. As citizens, and as a church, we want to do what we can to follow those guidelines to work toward care for our neighbor through actions that prevent the spread of Covid-19. 


For some people, including those with impaired health, the coronavirus has caused fear and anxiety because of its potential to spread. In all things, we are to begin with scripture. 2 Timothy 1:7 declares, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." We always walk forward with faith in the one who has already demonstrated his love for us. 


It is rare as a church that we say the best thing we can do is NOT meet together in God's presence. However, that is the case here. 



What We Are Doing:


+ Temporarily suspending worship services (both Sundays and Wednesdays) until further notice. We will review this decision no later than March 27. We are one of many Minnesota churches doing the same. 



+ Livestreaming an abbreviated worship experience at 10:00 a.m. each Sunday. Pastor Emily will be preaching this Sunday, 10:00 a.m. on our Facebook livestream fb.com/cambridgelutheran on the topic of hope in the midst of crisis. (If you like our page, a reminder for the livestream will appear in your notices.) 



+ Looking at ways as a church that we can especially care for people who are in need of support. 



+ Evaluating on a case-by-case basis whether individual ministries will be meeting.



+ Note: If your ministry involves a large number of seniors (65+) - the group identified as the most at-risk from this virus - you can safely assume your ministry will not be meeting (i.e., NO PrimeTime Seniors, no senior communion services, etc.) Be watching for communication from ministry leaders. 



+ Increasing our ministry of prayer and intercession for the world and for one another. 



What Can You Do? 


+ Join us on Sundays at 10am for worship. 



+ Pray for everyone involved. Be specific about what you're praying for. 



+ Be safe. Wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer. Follow the CDC guidelines. Stay home if you're not feeling well. 



+ Look for people in your sphere of influence that you can love and care for as the hands and feet of Christ. 



+ Continue to support the mission and ministry of our church. You may give offerings online HERE from the link at

http://cambridgelutheran.org/donate or via text giving (763) 325-1924 (free one-time setup). You may also set up automatic giving through the office by calling 763.689.1211. Questions are addressed at cambridgelutheran.org/donate



+ Share with others (who may not be online) that we're suspending worship services and various ministries. There is always someone who doesn't get the message. 



We don't know how long this will last. 


We encourage and challenge every person in our church to determine who they can care for in the midst of this crisis. Christians have always made a difference by reshaping their circumstances. 


Dating back to examples of long ago, such as the plagues in Europe and other situations of societal distress, it has been the church of Jesus that steps into the midst of challenging circumstances to be change agents who make a difference for good when it feels like hope has been lost.



That is our (your) calling and challenge as a follower of Jesus Christ. 


What Remains the Same? 


As for now, office hours and other functions of the church will continue as normal until further notice. All activities are under review. Questions? Call 763-689-1211. 


I share with you this news in the spirit of love, not fear. Again, 2 Timothy 1:7 declares, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."


As graphs showing cases from around the world show, this virus is spreading and growing exponentially. So, let's be diligent in containment and mitigation. 


Our mission, identify and focus in life is Jesus Christ. In every circumstance, he is help for living and hope for life. 


Thank you for making our congregation a vital and effective outpost of ministry in the name of Jesus. 



Blessings! 


Pastor Andy


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