March 18, 2020

Dear Trinity Members and Friends~

 

Prayerfully considering all that we have been hearing, including especially the wisdom of our LCMS Council of Presidents, the Board of Elders believes the most responsible thing for us to do at this time is to temporarily suspend all public attendance at worship services, beginning with this evening’s Lenten Vespers (3/18).

 

I will still conduct the Divine Service at the regularly scheduled times (Sundays and Wednesdays) for the purpose of “live streaming” these via the Trinity website and Facebook. We encourage you both to view our service online and spread the word to others whose churches may have cancelled services that this is available.

 

If we can assist you in making it possible to watch services online, please contact the church and we will do what we can to help.

 

Remember: “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17 ESV). The Word of God is powerful and free to be preached and to accomplish the purpose for which the Lord sends it. The Word will forgive sins, nourish faith, increase love, and keep those who believe unto eternal life. That's true even if you watch a sermon delivered via a smartphone!

 

For now, Christian love and proper obedience to the governing authorities—servants of God for our good that they are (Romans 13)—require that we “meet together” only “virtually” for the sake of the weak and vulnerable among us, for the sake of ourselves and those entrusted to our care, and for the sake of a winsome witness to Christ in our community.

 

This is not a case of “neglecting meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25), but of doing what is best for others who may be harmed if we gather and someone in our fellowship is infected by the virus.

 

Please stay home and stay healthy. Join us online at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. each Sunday for the “live stream” at www.trinitysf.org. And please note that we need your continuing support through tithes and offerings, probably more so at this time. You may mail these to the church or make use of the online giving option through the Elexio Community mobile app. If you need help downloading and using the app, let us know and someone will get back to you to assist.

 

I am praying ceaselessly for all of you and your families and everyone involved in our shared ministry here at Trinity. May the Lord continue to bless you and yours with health and protection for Jesus’ sake!

 

Pastor Vaughan

 

 

March 14th 2020

Trinity Lutheran Church and School

Coronavirus / COVID-19 Response Plan

Dear Trinity Members and Friends:

The Psalm for this Second week of Lent reminds us to “lift up [our] eyes,” since

          “[Our] help comes from the Lord,
            who made heaven and earth”(Psalm 121:1,2 ESV).

That’s the reassurance I’ve been sharing repeatedly this week as news of the quickly changing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has been part of nearly every conversation.

On Friday, March 13, 2020, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a “peacetime emergency” and is encouraging that public gatherings be limited to less than 250 people, as a recommended guideline from the Minnesota Department of Health.

 

At Trinity we “live stream” our services on our web site. Here’s the link: http://trinitysf.org/our-church/media-center.

We will be having our regular Sunday services at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m., with Fellowship Time, Sunday School, and Bible study in between.

Our plan is for Trinity Lutheran School and Trinity’s King’s Kids to be open as usual on Monday, unless the situation changes. Keeping in mind that the governor of Wisconsin has closed schools in our neighboring state, we all should prepare for a similar decision by our state officials.

Trinity follows ISD 15, St. Francis Area Schools because many of our students ride the local district’s buses. Because we are state licensed for King’s Kids, we will abide by decisions from the Department of Human Services (DH) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) regarding operations.

 

What does the COVID-19 pandemic mean for us here at Trinity Lutheran Church and School, including King’s Kids, Manna Market, and our other activities?

First, it means that each of us ought to:

  •          pay attention to advice from health experts,
  •          take the simple, proven steps that help prevent the spread of disease,
  •          pray for those who are ill and those who care for them, and
  •          remain calm, trusting in the mercy of the Lord Jesus.

These recommendations are not presented here in order of importance. All are equally important; all can and should be done together.

 

Second, it means that we should all stay informed, because this is a fluid situation and some recommendations will change as facts warrant.

Currently public health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and others in the field are reassuring us that that simple personal hygiene is very effective in controlling the spread of viruses.

Third, it means thinking through what you and your family will do as the situation develops. Making a plan goes a long way toward alleviating anxiety.

At Trinity the leadership has been keeping up to date on information about COVID-19, the recommendations from federal and state health officials, and from the Synod and Minnesota South District.

We already have certain procedures in place because we operate a licensed childcare and school; now we are developing additional plans and procedures in the event that a temporary suspension of operations or major changes in how we do things is required.

 

We will do our best to communicate with you through emails, Trinity’s web site, Facebook page, and other means. You can help by forwarding messages like this to others who may not receive them. Also, please encourage everyone to update their contact information by notifying the church office (office@trinitysf.org / 763-753-1234).

 

Please continue to join us in prayer during this uncertain time and remember the promise of Psalm 121:

“The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore” (Psalm 121:8 ESV).

 

                        In Christ,

                        Pastor Vaughan