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SUMMER WORSHIP SCHEDULE

July 19 – Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
Service of the Word online at 10:30 AM – Sermon: Pastor Ralph Carl Wushke

July 26 – Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Service of the Word online at 10:30 AM.  Sermon: Andrew Blake

August 2 – Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Service of the Word online at 10:30 AM.  Sermon: Pastor Katharina Möller.

August 9 & August 16
No Sunday Zoom Services from First Lutheran Church. Please visit another service, see ELCIC listing

August 23 – Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
Service of the Word online at 10:30 AM.  Sermon: David Berg

August 30 – Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Service of Holy Communion online at 10:30 AM.  Sermon: Friedrich Brunzema

September 6 – Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Service of the Word online at 10:30 AM.  Sermon: Ralph Carl Wushke

LINKS TO RECORDED WORSHIP SERVICES

If you want to check-out what our ZOOM services are like, here is a sample from June 21, Third Sunday after Pentecost
Recordings are also available on our Facebook page

CONGREGATIONAL CARE COMMITTEE

We encourage members of the congregation to stay in touch by various means. If you are aware of anyone at First who needs support please contact Pastor Ralph Carl Wushke

 

ZOOM WORSHIP SERVICES

For the forseeable future,  First Lutheran will continue to offer ZOOM Sunday morning worship based on the Revised Common Lectionary texts. We plan for these to be about 45 minutes in duration. While we can’t re-create a worship service in a teleconference we hope that this will be a time of spiritual sustenance and community life. We will evaluate these sessions and adjust as we go.
 
Some of you already follow our Sunday morning services online or by telephone using the ZOOM teleconference link.
 
Please call or email Pastor Ralph Carl if interested, and he can provide detailed instructions.

VIRTUAL HOLY COMMUNION DISCUSSION

In preparation for our first online Holy Communion, you my wish to read Pastor Wushke’s discussion paper –  click here to read it .

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

During this time when it is impossible to meet in person and contribute in the offering plate, fixed expenses for our ministries continue, and we invite people to consider other ways of supporting First Lutheran Church financially at this time.  Thank you.

COVID-19 Update

First Lutheran Church will be suspending worship services and face-to-face activities until further notice in accordance with COVID 19 directives from health authorities. This pandemic is both a material and spiritual challenge, as is any health crisis. We pray for those who have died, for the bereaved, for the care-givers, for the researchers, and all who are affected by COVID 19 around the world.  Please take note that Audio Worship Services are available – do stay connected! We will post updates as they evolve. If you are feeling isolated or lonely and would like to have a conversation with Pastor Ralph Carl Wushke, please use the contact information on the web site.

SPIRITUAL RESOURCES

Although we can’t worship in the church building let’s continue to hold one another in prayer and practice our faith in our other ways. 

For those who would like a daily spiritual reflection during Lent, Lutherans Connect is a very fine resource. Follow this link:  LutheransConnect  and sign-up for a daily email.

The ELCIC Council of Bishops has shared this prayer from the Lutheran World Federation which we commend to you: Lutheran World Federation Prayers during COVID-19

COVID-19 Security, Insecurity and Confidence

Many years ago a feminist theologian told me, “Ralph: security is a myth.”

While I have never forgotten her words, they take on a new relevance in light of the COVID-19 crisis. As citizens of a wealthy, stable country, most of us take “security” and predictability for granted. A delayed flight or an out of stock item can leave us annoyed, but we know that the flight will leave eventually, and we can normally make a different choice from well-stocked shelves. COVID-19 changes everything: the familiarity, stability, reliability, and dependability with which we are familiar is suddenly disrupted. Flights are cancelled. Our familiar plans and patterns are cancelled. We don’t know where this insidious virus is lurking in our city and whether or not we, or someone we love has been exposed. We also don’t know how long the crisis will last, and if things will soon be back to “normal.”

While no one would have wished for this pandemic, and we all pray for its quick end, one can ask if COVID-19 is a reminder that all of life is contingent. This is not to suggest that we should worry more during normal times, but rather to live with a faith-based mindfulness in good times and bad. Looking at the COVID-19 crisis through the eyes of faith will help us to see God at work in the incredible dedication of health care professionals, and all who work in the food supply system, communications, transport, utilities, which must be kept running smoothly. People on these front lines don’t have the option of “self-isolation” and face extra risk. Let us give thanks.

One of the most-loved hymns of German Lutherans around the world “Jesus, meine Zuversicht” (EG 427) or “Jesus lives, my sure defence” (ELW 621), came to mind as I tried to keep abreast of all the COVID-19 information.

“Zuversicht” is rendered as “defence” in most English translations; “confidence” comes closer to the heart of “Zuversicht.” As I think about the immeasurable uncertainties created by COVID-19 I also take it as an opportunity to remind myself that my ultimate security rests in God acting through Jesus Christ. This enables me to face these days with confidence, show love to those in need, and do my part to “flatten the curve.”

Pastor Ralph Carl 

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