Normandale's COVID-19 Response Update

Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear people of the Normandale Lutheran Church Community,

As news about the spread of COVID-19 continues to develop, we find ourselves in a most unique time, and in the middle of a conversation that has not been required of pastors and church leaders within my lifetime, which makes this all seem a bit surreal. But now, it’s time to act together through social distancing. It’s time to respond with a powerful collective decision, and for people across the country to join in a unified response to this outbreak, so that we will minimize suffering, responding together in a way that displays our deepest understanding of our life’s calling—namely, to love God and care for our neighbors.

It may feel a bit like we’re building an ark on a sunny day, but we know that rain is coming.

In short, here’s our plan moving forward, along with what you can do.

  1. Following recommendations from the Global Health Network and the Center for Disease Control, we—along with other congregations—will suspend our in-person worship gatherings until at least March 29th. We will provide an online worshiping experience on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. You can find our worship on our website (normluth.org) and we hope you will continue to join us for corporate, virtual worship.
  2. We will be suspending all weekly activity. This truly means all weekly activity that happens in our building, as we maintain social distance for the next couple weeks.
  3. If you are in need of pastoral care during this time, please email Pastor Paul Pettersen at paul@normluth.org, or call him directly at (612) 703-2390.
  4. Please pray, pray, pray! Pray for families around the globe who are already suffering. Pray for those who have lost loved ones. Pray for those lying in crowded hospitals awaiting diagnosis or treatment. Pray for those without access to medical care and who need help. Pray for public leaders making important decisions on behalf of the people they serve. Pray for elders who are frightened within their care communities. Pray for medical workers, who put themselves in harm’s way as they care for and tend the sick. Pray for our congregation, as we adapt to a new way of being together during this time.
  5. Keep your eye on communications from our congregation, both on website and email, along with our Facebook and Twitter pages, as we learn and share more.
  6. Take responsibility for your daily behaviors, so that public health will be restored.
  7. And finally, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, let’s use this unique time to become more creative about community. Reach out to one another! Call those who live alone to offer assurance of presence. Send email notes and text messages of encouragement to those God puts on your heart. Social distancing does not need to mean isolation throughout these weeks!

 

As St. Paul wrote to the Philippian Christians, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

You are not alone! We are not alone. God is near! And may God act quickly to restore health to the people of God’s planet earth, and may we remain faithful in times like this.

To God be the glory now and always, and the peace of our Savior, Jesus Christ, be yours!