I write today, in the midst of an extraordinary global pandemic shut-down, in order to introduce the first of a series of communications which we will call “Epistles to St. Paul”. This series of Epistles will begin today, March 18, 2020 and will conclude on that day in which we shall meet gathered in community in the physical presence of one another in worship on Sunday morning! (The date for this, of course, remains to be determined.)
This word epistle simply means “a letter”. We are accustomed to hearing about and learning from the biblical Epistles FROM St. Paul. (These written to the Christian communities in Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, etc.) These epistles offer encouragement, support, direction, exhortation and news “updates” from the apostle Paul for life as Christian people in the midst of community, specific to that community.
Likewise, these present day epistles will also include words of encouragement, support, direction, exhortation and news updates. However, these letters will be TO St. Paul. St. Paul the community, (which is currently the “virtual” community,) of our congregation, St. Paul Lutheran Church, of Winterset, Iowa.
Please look around you. Is there anything of your normal day to day existence that does not feel totally “up in the air“ these days? Because of how fluid our current environment, we do not have a fixed schedule for this plan. Epistles will be sent out as needed, or as deemed beneficial. Some will be coming from me, your intentional interim pastor, and some will be coming from other Saint Paul church family members, including lay leadership.
Bottom line? We wish to make certain that we do not define Christian community with the shortsighted vision that it solely means those who come together physically on Sunday morning for worship. During these days, we see great need and opportunity to nurture this community of faith. And yet we cannot be together. But by being intentional in our communication and doing the very best we can connectivity-wise, we can be the church.
These are unprecedented times and circumstances, with unforeseeable outcomes. Accompanying these times and factors are a gamut of emotions, sufferings, challenges and yes… opportunities! Let’s process these things, to the degree possible, together.
I look forward to sharing more thoughts on these things in the Epistles to come!
In the meantime, remember and relish the peace that only God can give. I pray today for you all, that amazing peacefulness in your heart and mind that is so profound that it even passes our own capacity to understand it. And it comes from Jesus our Lord.
More to come very soon!
In Christs love,
Brian Mortenson, Interim Pastor
Church office phone: 515-462-4270
Church office email: StPaulLutheranChurch@hotmail.com
Pastor Brian Mortenson email: StPaulPastor1941@gmail.com
Pastoral Emergencies: 605-351-0867
Other Announcements pertaining to St. Paul
Blood Drive | Tuesday, March 24 ● 1:00 – 7:00 pm
Life Serve Blood Bank will be here March 24th from 1pm until 7 pm. We always need cookie bakers and volunteers to help at the canteen. This is a very busy Blood Bank and we can always use more help. Its a fun afternoon visiting with members of our community who come to donate blood.
Covid-19 Common Sense
Common sense things you can do to remain healthy and protect those around you.
- Regular hand washing. with soap and water or alcohol solution.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your mouth with your upper arm if you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
- Clean and disinfect all surfaces that are often touched.
- We will be temporarily suspending passing the peace at both worship services.
- Be sure you have a flu shot. Do it for the herd.
Charles W. & Lois H. Taylor Scholarship
A reminder that the Charles W. & Lois H. Taylor Scholarship application forms are now available. Only residents of Madison County, Iowa who are also graduates of a high school or equivalent located in Madison County are eligible to apply for financial assistance to attend any accredited technical school, community college, college, university, graduate or professional school.”
Contact: First Christian Church
103 W. Green Street, Winterset
Deadline to submit applications is May 1, 2020