March 17th Updates

The pastors and the church council have made the difficult decision to cancel the next two Sunday services, along with the rest of the Wednesday Lenten services. The President of the United States and the CDC is recommending that no more than 10 people be gathered at one in one place. For sake of the safety and health of our brothers and sisters in Christ, we will move our worship online for the next couple of weeks. Praise to the Lord that we have the technology to do that.

Every weekday, Pastor Tullberg will be releasing a short Bible study on the Small Catechism. Pastor Burger will be putting out videos that deal with anxiety, worry, death, the future, etc. Please share these videos with your friends. This is a great time for outreach, because God has answers to so many questions that unbelievers are asking.

On Saturday night, you’ll be emailed a family Bible study that can be done on Sunday.

On Sunday, we’ll have on YouTube a truncated worship service. https://www.youtube.com/user/sothlansing1

If you need to meet with a pastor, please make an appointment. Office hours might be sporadic.

One last note – the work of God’s church hasn’t stopped. We will continue to preach the Gospel. We just need to adjust to the current conditions, as Christians have been doing for 2,000 years. We pray to God that we will be back to our normal way of worship quickly, but we trust that God is in control of the timetable.

Don’t forget that our church must continue to pay its bills, and that our synod will also most likely face a shortfall because of this. You can mail your offering to the church, or donate online at https://www.sothlansing.org/give-online/

Below is a list of daily devotionals and websites:

The WELS has daily general devotions, as well as devotions for teens.
 
Our sister synod, the ELS, also has daily devotions
 
Peace Devotions has really good video devotions
 
What About Jesus has good articles and devotions, especially articles to share with unbelievers.
 
Time of Grace has devotions, sermons, and articles
 
WELS News YouTube has thousands of recorded sermons
 
WELS Radio has music from WELS bands and choirs
 
 

Temporary Changes at SOTH

March 12, 2020

Dear Member of SOTH,
Your church council spent some detailed time in our March meeting discussing the COVID-19 virus, recommendations from government and health officials, and have decided to make some temporary changes.
 
These changes take into account the fact that health officials suspect, that while this new Coronavirus is mostly spread in the air (coughing and sneezing for example), it is possible the virus can live on surfaces for some time, and be taken into the body by hands touching the eyes and face.
 
The virus is also peculiar in that, while it poses a minimal danger to children, they can become some of the most active transmitters of the disease. For the elderly, the effects can be life-threatening, as well as to anyone whose immune system is weak.
 
Here specifically are our encouragements, recommendations, and temporary policies in response to the situation as of today:
  • If you feel ill, have a cough or sneeze, or are immune-compromised, we encourage you to refrain from worship temporarily. We will have our service posted online, usually by Sunday afternoon. We are evaluating other worship options as well if the situation changes. The pastors can also come to you and bring you the Lord’s Supper, or you can stop by the church during the week (please call ahead).
  • We would like to encourage our older members to attend the 8:00 AM Sunday services.
  • We would like to encourage our younger members, and families with children, to attend the 10:30 AM services.
  • There will no Bible study or Sunday School between services until further notice, as cleaning and sanitizing will take place between services.
  • We will not be passing the offering plate. A box or boxes will be set up for you to place your offering on the way out of the church. Please investigate also our online giving options. https://www.sothlansing.org/give-online/
  • On Communion Sundays, we will suspend the use of the common cup for now. For the same reason, we will encourage you to extend your hand to receive the wafer dropped into it.
  • After services this Sunday, the hymnals will be removed for cleaning and sanitizing. (This needs to be done anyhow!). We will use a printed bulletin for all hymns and liturgy for the near future. When the health risks have passed, we will return to our hymnals. We are asking you to take the bulletin home and not return to the back desk.
  • And we have learned a new and foreign concept to SOTH: “Social Distancing”. We are a very friendly church—so now we are asking you to be more aloof, but to be aloof with a smile and a nod. This will pass. So, when you leave the church, try to avoid the normal hugs, handshakes, and closeness we have as the body of Christ.
John 14: 27 “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not let it be afraid.” In that peace which Jesus gives, let us continue to serve our Savior in our lives and callings. We trust these temporary changes reflect both our trust in God’s care for us, and in his encouragement to take care of the bodies and lives he has given to us.
 
William Stiefel – Congregation President