Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus,
These are extraordinary times. Extraordinary times don’t just require extraordinary measures but extraordinary faith in Jesus. Thankfully, we have a God who has not abandoned us. His love for you does not waver. He has handled far greater things than the corona virus. God’s got this.
Last weekend’s worship and the Lenten worship last Wednesday were all powerful testimonies that there is nothing in this world like live worship with fellow believers in the body of Christ. The Spirit showed up and was moving. I value worship so highly that I never want to cancel any worship experience. But these are extraordinary times. After seeking and receiving the godly counsel of our congregational leadership, I have decided to cancel all live worship at St. Michael for the next three weeks, through Palm Sunday. My hope is that we might be able to gather together again for Holy Week and Easter, but we will need to reevaluate our next steps at the end of these three weeks. Our concern right now is your safety. We always want to ensure your safety, and if we cannot reasonably do that, it is time to find another way to worship together.
Thankfully, we have the means for us to worship together electronically. Beginning with this week’s Lenten worship, we will provide a worship experience for you and your family that is entirely virtual. Wednesday’s Lenten worship can be viewed at our normal time of 7:00 pm online at https://smlucanton.org/sermons/live-stream. This will include the Lenten testimony and our video drama, as well as other elements of our Lenten worship service. We will also “livestream” the weekend worship at all three worship times with the exact same worship experience. This may provide some sense of normalcy for you as you will be able to worship online at your accustomed time of 5:30, 9:00, or 11:00. That video will also be posted at https://smlucanton.org/sermons/live-stream You may watch just the sermons after the worship service at https://smlucanton.org/sermons If you do not have the capabilities of watching us online, please contact me to request a DVD of the worship experience. With a DVD you wont be able to watch that worship experience at the same time as others, but you will be able to experience it at a later time of your choosing. Only request a DVD if you cannot watch through the website.
Other ministry continues in its own way. It is important to remember to remain current with your offering during this critical time. The expenses of this ministry will continue and in some ways even be increased. You may consider giving online at www.smlucanton.org/donate Or, if you would prefer, you may mail your offering in to: St. Michael Lutheran Church, 7000 N. Sheldon Road, Canton, MI 48187. We also now have a Prayer Line for you or anyone to call in and speak and pray with a real, live prayer warrior at 734-459-8541. This Prayer Line will be staffed from 9 -9 seven days a week. Also, while the church office is closed with staff working from home, the church phone will continue to be answered by either Diana Collins or Karen Peoples from 9 – 5 weekdays. Through them you can reach staff members and pastors as usual. You may also reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org Finally, the families of those with children in Sunday School will receive a monthly newsletter beginning in the next couple of weeks called, Parenting Christian Kids from Group Publishing. It is also my hope to get you home worksheets that you can work on with your kids as they are missing Sunday School and Children’s Church.
I pray that you will remain safe and that you will seek Him more than ever during this Lenten season to remember. I will see you in (online) church.
In Jesus’ service,
Pastor Dave Denzer