Dear Mount of Olives,
As you are well aware, on the recommendation of the Bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod along with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, and in consultation with the church council, Mount of Olives will refrain from gathering in public worship and group activities in the near future. We will re-evaluate this decision April 1st. Though it is possible that that this will go longer.
We must remember that we are still the Church of Jesus Christ. In this unusual circumstance, we are still the body of Christ and individually members of it. By taking these actions we are neither giving into fear nor acting as if we are invincible. The ministry of the gospel--of God's unconditional love in Jesus Christ--given through the Word and Sacraments, is still the center of everything we do. We have the promise that God is with us and will never abandon us. The question now is, how can we be little Christ's for one another. Water is thicker than blood, we belong to one another through our baptism. Therefore, I ask each member of this congregation to find ways to be together even if we can't physically be altogether.
I have been praying for you all in this time of trial. I want to share with you some things we are working on to keep us connected as a community of Christ. We have been asked to limit our contact so I wanted to share with you some ways we can continue to grow in faith and be close to God.
Here are some things we will do:
1. I will record a Service of the Word that will be made available online on Sundays at our usual time of 9am. We will upload it to our Mount of Olives facebook page--you do not need to have a facebook account to have access to it. (It is also on YouTube). If you have questions or need help, please reach out and we will do our best to help you with technology. The Service of the Word will include readings, prayers, hymns, a sermon, and a blessing
2. I will offer communion to people either through scheduled home visits or during our "Open House" times. Please reach out to me if you want me to visit your home.
3. Open House means the church sanctuary will be open to individuals and family units. At the prescribed times, the church sanctuary will be available for individual time for communion, prayer, reflection, a chance to share your offering, confession and forgiveness, or time with Pastor Levi. Of course, elderly and vulnerable people are invited to remain home, and Pastor can bring communion to them as needed. Times for Open House are (effective immediately):
4. If you need a home visit, please call the church office at 307-382-4511
5. Pastor Levi's phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. Feel free to call or text with prayer concerns or for a chance to connect.
6. If you have any needs, let us know and we will see how we can help each other as a congregation.
In closing, a verse: "Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). Lord, help us to think beyond ourselves and have an eye for one another. You, O Lord, are always faithful--even when it seems like everything is falling apart. Keep us together by your gospel, that your love, comfort, and hope may shine within us. In Jesus name. Amen.
Peace and joy,
Pastor Levi Powers