McFarland

Updated April 22, 2020

MLC Building Closed Through Monday, May 25

The MLC building and all ministries will remain closed through Monday, May 25, or until further notice. We are all encouraged to continue to practice physical distancing to diminish the spread of COVID-19 virus in our village, county and state. If the conditions are safe to re-open the building at the end of May, we will gradually restart some of our ministries. The pastors and council leaders will continue to keep the congregation informed as we look forward to the time when we can gather again in-person.

While physical distancing is hard and can be frustrating and isolating, we need to remember that we are not alone; we remain connected through the Holy Spirit. We continue to be the body of Christ at MLC, and are socially connected through Facebook Live worship, videos and devotions on our website, and email, texts, phone calls, and video meetings. We live in the promise of Christ’s resurrection, and nothing can separate us from his love. The risen Christ reminds us of this: “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

In this time of uncertainty and change, may we continue to worship and pray, live and serve together, in the enduring, hope-filled promise that Christ is with us forever.


Update April 1, 2020

Dear friends in Christ at MLC,

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” (Psalm 23:1)

We continue to hold you and our entire faith community in our prayers during this unprecedented and uncertain time of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an email update to let you know that we are still connected as the body of Christ, even when we cannot meet physically.

Building Closure

We want our community to be safe and healthy during this pandemic. In response to state and county directives, our MLC building will remain closed through April 26, 2020, or until further notice. All building activities and ministries, including in-person worship services, are cancelled through this date. This is especially hard to say with Palm/Passion Sunday on April 5 and Easter Sunday on April 12, and we will deeply miss gathering with you in person for these special days. However, it is vital for public health that the building remain closed, and that we all take important safety steps as outlined by public health officials.

March 17, 2020

Dear members and friends of MLC,

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) For the safety and well-being of all, and in response to state and county mandates
concerning the coronavirus pandemic, we will be closing the MLC building, beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020, through Sunday, April 5, 2020.

In addition, worship services will be cancelled the weekend of March 21/22 and March 28/29. In consultation with staff and church leadership, I will make a determination about services the weekend of Palm/Passion Sunday, April 4/5, and future worship times, as developments unfold in our county and state.
During this time of closure, all programs and activities in the MLC building are cancelled, including Shared Table, Lenten meals and worship, all ministry groups, and all outside groups who rent the space.

These decisions are not made lightly, but they are made with the health and safety of all members of the body of Christ in mind. In order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we will practice “physical distancing” from one another. However, we remain “spiritually connected” through the presence of the Holy Spirit, our shared baptism into Christ, and our commitment to prayer and service.

Pastor Kelli and I will have our usual “on-call” schedule and can be reached by phone or email for pastoral care and conversation. Other staff will be in contact
through email. In addition, our website, Facebook and answering machine will provide updates and devotional resources during this time.

Below is a prayer from national ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, which has provided me some spiritual strength in this crisis:

God, our peace and our strength, we pray for our nation and the world as we face new uncertainties around coronavirus. Protect the most vulnerable among us, especially all who are currently sick or in isolation. Grant wisdom, patience, and clarity to health care workers, especially as their work caring for others puts them at great risk. Guide us as we consider how best to prepare and respond in our families, congregations, workplaces, and communities. Give us courage to face these days not with fear but with compassion, concern, and acts of service, trusting that you abide with us always, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Help us to remember, gracious God, that you abide with us forever, and nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Tim