Small Gatherings This Sunday
Dear Grace Community:
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness... (Psalm 96:9)
As Christians, we are called to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth,
to not neglect our gathering but join together for encouragement and sharing in
the good gifts of our Lord.
That being said, the Small Catechism instructs us that the Commandments
are given so that we might seek to do good for our neighbor, to ensure our neighbor
enjoys the fullness of God's blessing.
We have modified our worship schedule to hopefully ensure that we may glorify God, receive his good gifts and love our neighbors as ourselves.
To that end, you will find attached a link where you are invited to sign up for a worship time this coming Sunday. We will gather on the hour and half-hour for prayer, song, hearing the Word and receiving the Supper in a form modified to minimize transmission of infection. The service time is estimated to be 20 to 25 minutes, so that a group may exit before the next group arrives.
YOU MUST SIGN UP FOR A SERVICE TIME, as we are limiting attendance to no more than 12 persons to ensure social distancing in the sanctuary. Walk ups will only be allowed in if the total will not exceed 12 persons. Please do not arrive early, for you will not be admitted until the next service time.
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT IF YOU ARE:
+ ILL, OR SUSPECT YOU ARE ILL
+ CARING FOR SOMEONE WHO IS OR WHO MAY BE ILL
+ RECENTLY TRAVELLED
+ IN A HIGH RISK GROUP
THAT YOU NOT ATTEND THIS SUNDAY.
There will be online and virtual opportunities to participate in worship that will be made more available in the coming days.
I am deeply aware of the concerns regarding people gathering unnecessarily, as it is vital that we limit exposure and slow the virus' spread. I am balancing that against the necessary good that is our Lord's presence, his Word, his Body and Blood which are wonderful and mighty spiritual medicines in times of grief and danger.
Above all, pray! Our Lord is gracious and merciful, quick to save. I share with you a text that is of particular meaning to me, both in its German version as arranged by Martin Luther and in English translation:
Verleih uns frieden gnädiglich,
Herr Gott! zu unsern zeiten
Es ist doch ja kein ander nicht,
Der für uns könnte streiten,
Denn du unser Gott alleine.
Gib unserm Land und aller Obrigkeit
Fried' und gut Regiment, daß wir unter
Ihnen ein christlich, ehrbar, geruhig
Leben führen mögen,
In aller Gottseligkeit und Wahrheit.
Graciously grant us peace
Lord God, in our time;
there is no one else
who could fight for us
except you ,our God, alone.
Grant to our princes and those in authority
peace and good government
so that we under them
may lead a calm and peaceful life
in all godliness and respectability.
Pastor Dave Brooks