FoC Covid19 Update

resurrection-5019777_1920
CHURCH REMAINS CLOSED-   Until we are able to open our doors, we will offer LIVESTREAM worship Sunday’s at 10am (see below) as well as distance Sunday School (email Teri Burns to receive materials) and implement unique ways to stay virtually connected (read our Family Newsletter below).
FAMILY OF CHRIST YOUTUBE CHANNEL-   Weekly worship and other devotional videos are being posted to our church’s YouTube Channel.  If supplemental materials are available for the services (song sheets, bulletins, etc.) they will be posted below in the “Worship” section of this page.  Also, we ask that you please take the time to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
DAILY “CLOSING TIME” EMAILS-    Along with our weekly Friday morning Ponderings, we are sending out devotions we are calling “Closing Time”.  These emails are sent out at 5:05pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  If you know someone who would like to be receiving these communications but aren’t, have them text “FAMILYOFCHRIST” to 22828 or email Lynn Winkleman, Media Communications, and ask to be added to the email list.
PASTORAL CARE & SUPPORT: CONTACT THE PASTORS-   Reach out to Pastor Josh or Pastor Kimberly.  If there is something we can do to help you, we sure will try, and that goes for the church staff and the church council too.  Use our emails, or text us, or leave a message on the church phone (952-934-5659) and we will get back to you.
TAKE OUR “CHECKING-IN SURVEY”-   Do you need help or have help to give?  This survey will let us know how to best serve the needs of our community. By working together, we can continue our mission of “making disciples, making a difference”.

MENTAL HEALTH & WELLNESS PAGE– Please check out our new Mental Health & Wellness page on our website where we list a variety of resources as well as contact info for a Mental Health Navigator who can connect you with the help you need and educational opportunities for you to stay mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy during these challenging times. We will be updating and adding to this page often so be sure to check back to see what may be new.

Take-Care-Tuesdays

TAKE CARE TUESDAY (care for self, care for others) is our way of emphasizing the need to take care during this pandemic. We will post a short devotional, tip, exercise or prayer that can help you frame your day in a positive light. The morning post will be on FB, Twitter and Instagram (search #takecaretuesday). In addition to the Tuesday morning posts we will focus our Closing Time Devotional on Mental and Spiritual Health taking it to a deeper level.

WORSHIP:

SUNDAY- May 31  LIVESTREAM Worship on our YouTube Channel at 10:00 am

PENTECOST PARADE  After worship on Sunday, come enjoy a fun drive out of the house and through the church parking lot!  Plan now to be part of our Pentecost Parade at 11:30 am on Sunday, May 31, where, as you enter, you’ll be greeted with music.  You can decorate your car, remembering that red is the color for Pentecost, and since it is a contest, you might even win our prize!  We’ll be handing out craft kits for kids and have a table with  prayer shawls if that is something you’d like (we won’t have you get out of your vehicle, but we’ll have volunteers in masks ready to place items in your trunk).  Wave to your church staff (who miss you lots) as you go by, and even get a car-blessing from the Pastors as you exit.  It’s just a fun way for us to keep being a faith family together – plus celebrating how the Spirit keeps breathing life into us all!

HOLY COMMUNION  We’ll offer communion the first and third Sundays in June: June 7 and 21.

Family News Logo

Figuring Out When to More Widely Re-open FOC

by Pastor Josh Nelson 5/26/20

As we are all wishing and wanting to regroup at church, in person, we do want you to know that your staff and lay leaders are working on this issue.  We all pray for that day when we can get back to a semblance of normal, and worship again in person.  But many of us, me included, are hesitant to more widely re-open until the risk for getting together as a group has been lowered to a more demonstrable level.

You deserve to know that I am, by nature, a rule-follower and will definitely be listening to our Bishop and Synod, as well as local, state, and national government leaders, as well as epidemiologists such as fellow Lutheran, Dr. Michael Osterholm. Though we are starting to regroup and regather, there are many precautions which need to be set in place.  In the first part of June, the FOC elected lay-leaders and our church staff will continue studying and learning to determine when the right time will be for us to start re-grouping in person.  We hope to learn a great deal over the next few weeks as to how to safely do this, while keeping our risk as low as possible.

Throughout our own congregation, there will likely be a wide variety of opinions on this matter, with some desiring a return to our regular worship experiences more quickly than others.  But it is important for you to know that I won’t be among the religious leaders who will be the first to encourage congregating in person.  We want to mitigate the risk as much as possible, not only for our staff and volunteers, but also for any of the more vulnerable members of our faith family.  We want them to feel safe, and to keep taking good care of themselves throughout this summer.

Do note that, even with our restrictions in place, we are still being the church.  We’ve never truly closed.  We’ve changed the ways we are expressing our faith, yes, that is true.  But we are still being believers who are creatively enacting their faith.  We may not be gathering in large assemblies as we were a few months ago, yet we are still able to do so many of the things that are meaningful to us as disciples of Jesus.  We can pray, all of us, at any time.  We are not kept from prayer, but I trust and hope that you are daily praying for a whole host of concerns embedded in your hearts.  We can praise, and we can and do worship.  We are having communion.  We can serve others within restrictions, and we can live out our generosity, our kindness, our forgiveness and our love.  O sure I wish we could do that together and in person, and that time will come again.  But in the meantime, we can keep being faithful followers of Jesus.  You are still able to be a believing person, and walk in joyful discipleship.  Yes, we are being the church, even in this frightening time of pandemic.  In that sense, we have never closed, have we?

Do look at both of these links to learn more about the encouragements that faith communities are being asked to follow:

Minnesota Guidance for Faith Based Communities:  https://mn.gov/deed/assets/worship-guidance-ACC_tcm1045-433301.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0Oy88jA6x9JTv6SACvrqGv-LAxYNnv0Qw8vB-UaQ4ZHWnCH4xzpL1-Ask

CDC Guidance for Communities of Faith:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/faith-based.html?fbclid=IwAR1TByPCiBMmwo_xhqC8Jw8paTNR_487KzbKRyDEz-BoraA7xshhYtF8mgg