You probably read about Governor Little’s plan to begin reopening Idaho. Worship centers are included in the first round. Know, we will not be gathering next Sunday, May 1.
The FLC Council has an unofficial meeting on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. by Zoom we had scheduled before this announcement. We will review the state order, our insurance policies, the larger church’s recommendation, and what makes the most sense for you, Luther Park, and the resources we have available to be good stewards of everyone’s health.
We will keep you informed.
First Lutheran has been a polling place in the past. This year, all voting will be done by absentee ballots. This means you will need to apply for an absentee ballot either online or mail by May 19. This is not automatic.
It is better to apply sooner rather than later, because your ballot needs to be returned by June 2!
You can find everything you need to know to vote here. You can apply online: idahoVotes.gov/absentee-request/. Or to request a paper form: call or write Bonner County Election Office and ask for paper absentee ballot REQUEST. 208-255-3631.
This week we are starting a new worship series called “The Heart of the Matter”. With it we are offering both at home, self-led services and ways you can participate in faith formation activities for all ages, to do together throughout the week.
Online worship led by Pastor Steve and Pastor Lori via our website and Youtube will continue to be posted and ready for your participation at 9:00 a.m. on Sundays. Make sure to tune in this week. We have the unique opportunity to hear God’s Word preached by Bishop Kristen Kuempel, the Bishop for the Northwest Intermountain Synod of the ELCA (our synod).
Today, we decided to suspend all worship services until further notice. Also, the church office will be closed. If you have questions, call 208-263-2048 and leave a message. We will regularly check in, as the church staff works from home.
The Church Council and Pastors will be calling everyone connected to the church in the next couple days to check in. Online and other worship resources will be developed and shared in the days ahead as we better grasp what you need and how best to stay connected.
Remember, church has not been canceled. The church is the people. Together, we will find ways through this ever-changing time through the love and light of Jesus Christ.
This letter was emailed March 13, 2020 and will be posted to all members of First Lutheran Church.
March 12, 2020
Dear People of First Lutheran Church,
After prayerful discussion, the Church Council wants to be proactive in our efforts to address the Covid-19 virus pandemic. As people of faith, we are called to be stewards of one another’s health and care for the Body of Christ. God also tells us over and over in scripture, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”
With that in mind and our ministry with Luther Park Assisted Living and Memory Care, the Council has voted to do the following for 30 days:
In addition to these scheduling changes, we will increase the regularity of cleaning all frequently used surfaces with recommended disinfectants. Online worship resources will be offered. Sermons are already posted on our website: www.firstlutheransandpoint.org (Praising God - Sermons - 2019/20). The photos and reflection questions for each Gospel reading is available too (Nurturing Faith - Lenten/Holy Week - 2020). We are looking into streaming or Facebook live sharing the worship, so those who want or need to stay home can participate.
Luther Park has enacted precautions as well. The door between the buildings has been closed. Residents may access First Lutheran this way for worship, but everyone else should avoid entering Luther Park unless you are family or close friends. Signs are up and letters sent to residents and their family describing entry requirements.
What else can you do?
Peace to You in Christ,
First Lutheran Church Council,
Pastors Lori Morton, and Steve Neuder