March 2020, Congregational Updates
Subject: Re: Posting notice re no worship or gathering
To: Redeemer Lutheran Church council members,
On behalf of all council members at Redeemer Lutheran Church, I am officially making a statement “In response to our Bishops letters regarding the COVID-19, Redeemer Lutheran Church is following the ELCIC and MNO Synod guidelines. At this time, the ELCIC Bishops have strongly encouraged congregations to suspend all public worship services and other gatherings effective immediately. We are cancelling the council meeting and all Church services are cancelled until further notice.”
If you could send me your reports respectfully from the 3 committees, just so we have them in our files, that would be greatly appreciated.
If there are any other questions, please contact me directly.
This will be put on the website as well as social media pages.
Please continue to pray for all who are affected and who are all struggling in this time of need. Thank you and please stay safe and healthy
Chair, Redeemer Lutheran Church
March 16, 2020
Dear members of the MNO Synod,
Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ our Saviour.
The Bishops of the ELCIC issued an updated response to COVID-19 on Monday March 16, 2020. My prayers are with you all as you contemplate that letter and make ministry plans for the next several weeks.
In addition to the directive from the Bishops for congregations to suspend worship and other gatherings, I am applying this decision to our committees, councils, and affiliated ministries.
This has been an extremely difficult conversation and decision, but please know that we are making this decision for the protection of the most vulnerable in our communities – both inside and outside of the church. We see this is a faithful and loving response to the current pandemic.
We live in a world with almost limitless options for connecting with each other through technology. I urge you all to leverage that technology in any way you can to maintain the community of faith that you are a part of. Please do not leave this to your pastor or leaders alone. Each of us has a responsibility to live out our faith and build up our community through our care and concern. If ever there were a time to be Christ to one another within the congregation, this is it.
The MNO Synod’s offer of partnership to provide live-streamed worship services and other resources is still open. Please let me know how we can help. Leaders, please check in with each other so that we can all mutually support one another in ministry and share resources for the sake of the church. The ELCIC National office has also assembled a list of streaming/ videos/ resources that individual congregations are making available. You can find that information here: http://www.elcic.ca/publichealth It will be updated daily.
One last reminder. This pandemic, beyond a health crisis, will have a significant impact on the stability of our congregations. This is an especially important time to be generous in your giving to your congregation. Please continue to give your usual offering through mail (don’t send cash) or electronic means. The Synod office is working on a solution to assist members in online directed giving at this time. Hopefully we will have something in place in the next few days.
In order to stay informed, I am encouraging all members to like and follow our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MNOsynod/) and to sign up for our newsletter (http://mnosynod.org/newsletter-subscribe/)
I also understand that with so many closures and dire news each day, it is easy to live in fear and to lose hope. Remember that we are people called to live in hope because of the life we have in Christ. Even as we are being physically distanced from each other, God holds us firm and remains faithful to us. In the book of Romans, Paul writes:
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or 37 persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … No, in all these 38 things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things 39 present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I am praying for you all. Please continue to pray for each other as we adapt and address this challenge that we face, knowing that we face it together as the body of Christ.
God’s blessings to you all.
Yours in Christ’s Service,
Rev. Jason Zinko
Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
March 16, 2020
Dear friends in Christ,
As coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continues to escalate domestically, so does the requirement that we continue to review and adjust our current practices. With new information being received daily, we have received requests for further communication, specifically concerning the most recent pastoral letter issued March 13, 2020.
With the information we have today, we feel it is both prudent and responsible that our congregations suspend all public worship services and other gatherings effective immediately. Some of you have already made this decision. We hope that we will all be strongly encouraged to do likewise. We understand how difficult some of these unprecedented decisions may feel. These important considerations reflect a deep concern for those most vulnerable – particularly elderly and those with compromised immune systems. At the Synod and National offices, we are looking at how we can make alternative arrangements for upcoming meetings and gatherings. Questions we are asking ourselves include: can these meetings be held differently (via web conference), or do they need to be postponed or cancelled?
Your congregation members may be asking a lot of questions right now. We all have a lot of questions. This is uncharted territory for us all. Please know that your synod office is available to contact and support you in your work. While social distancing may be required at this time, we must do all we can to avoid social isolation. Each of our synods are looking at what this means within their context and will communicate with you as there is more information to share. Please continue to be vigilant in your prayerful support of those who are ill and those who are most fully engaged in the public health efforts that are underway across the country and around the world. May God grant us generous gifts of courage, faith, and compassion.
Blessings in your ministry during this time.
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Susan Johnson The Rev. Dr. Greg Mohr National Bishop, ELCIC British Columbia Synod
The Rev. Dr. Larry Kochendorfer The Rev. Dr. Sid Haugen Synod of Alberta and the Territories Saskatchewan Synod
The Rev. Jason Zinko The Rev. Michael Pryse Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod Eastern Synod
2020 Elected Executive:
Chair: Heddy Mueller
Vice-Chair: Rick Norberg
Secretary: Kathy Maxon
Envelope Secretary:Sharolyn Molnar
Treasurer: Dorothy Raynor
Financial Committee:Rick Norberg, Don Wrobleski, Marvin Hollender
Mission Committee:Kathy Maxon, Jan Cuggy, Sharolyn Molnar
Parish Committee:Shelley Kretchman, Jerry Erickson, Tyler Foster
*Our Mailing Address:
Redeemer Lutheran Church
114 Ashgrove Blvd
Brandon, MB R7B 1E1