Dear Scattered Flock of First Lutheran:
“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’” Yes, we will be regathering in the house of the Lord for worship beginning SUNDAY, JUNE 21st. All are welcome. Attached you will find information about worship and very, very important guidelines that we will be implementing. The decisions the council made are to protect all. Do not feel like you need to be present in worship if you are one who is considered a “vulnerable adult.” If you are feeling at all sick or uneasy about attending worship it is perfectly fine to stay home. We are trusting that you will know what is best for you and your family.
I am certainly looking forward to seeing people and hearing the voices of people praising the Lord. It is so different on Sunday mornings not to have people present or to see smiling faces and hearing the sounds of children. I am looking forward to worshipping with you in person again. I know that people are looking forward to being together and saying hello and being in the house of the Lord. There is something significant about being in the house of the Lord. Memories come back. The church is gathered people of God but our senses are also part of worship. Being in the worship space and seeing the candles, the cross, the altar area, the stain glass windows, all helps us to focus our attention, thoughts, and worship to God.
PLEASE READ the Reopening Guidelines that are enclosed. There are recommendations from the Southwestern Minnesota Synod and the Minnesota Center for Disease Control. They are not meant to be restricting us but to help us show love for our neighbor.
Know that the church council has had in-depth conversations about reopening the sanctuary. If you have questions please feel free to contact them. Know that the guidelines will change over time as we live into them and our life together as a community of faith.
“God of grace, you have given us minds to know you, hearts to love you, and voices to sing your praise. Fill us with your Spirit that we may celebrate your glory and worship in spirit and, truth, through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen. (Prayer Before Worship- ELW page 72)
We walk together on the road of faith,
First Lutheran Church Pipestone
Please note these are guidelines and are subject to change. The church council will be making decisions and changes as we move along through this process. We appreciate your patience.
1 Infection Prevention
a. Our church emphasizes infections prevention, with thorough hand washing by staff, members, and guests, using soap and water or rubbing alcohol of at least 70%.
b. Signs will be posted at the entrance and other locations concerning hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette.
c. Hands should be sanitized prior to entering Sanctuary or offices. Always wash hands before leaving the restrooms.
d. Masks should be worn while in the Sanctuary or in the church offices.
e. Avoid shaking hands.
f. Doors will remain open as much as possible.
2 Identification of sick persons
a. Avoid entering the church if you have or have had recently
i. Any fever over 100 degrees
ii. Recent long distance travel less than 14 days
iii. Exposure to someone who is sick.
iv. History of COVID 19
v. Shortness of breath, coughing, fever
b. Persons with the above symptoms should call the church rather than enter the church. Wait 14 days after recovery.
3 Seating and Entering the Sanctuary
a. Disinfect hands when entering Sanctuary.
b. Social Distance spacing 6 feet apart.
c. Ushers will help direct congregation to the available pews. Your
‘usual pew’ may not be available. We will seat in every other pew using center/side aisle spacing.
d. Families may use the same pew and ignore the social distance within their immediate family.
e. Ushers will keep track of number of members in the church.
f. May use extra seating in the balcony or Narthex.
g. No hymnals or children’s bags at first.
h. Offering envelopes will be collected in the Narthex. We encourage online giving.
i. Masks will be used in the Sanctuary.
4 During the Service
a. Congregation may speak if wearing a mask during minimal liturgy and prayers.
b. No hand shaking.
c. For Communion, members will maintain social distancing (six feet apart).
d. Congregation may sing final hymn, increasing participation as the weeks progress.
e. Ushers will usher members out by rows at the end of the service, following social distancing.
f. Congregation should not linger in the Narthex but directly leave the church.
a. Continue routine schedule
b. Report any new symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
c. Wear mask with less than 6 feet interaction.
d. Follow hand, respiratory, and cough hygiene.
e. Disinfect personal workspace, including phone, keyboard, etc. throughout the day.
f. Custodian will disinfect all door handles daily, and wipe pews following church services.
g. Staff and/or Council will have a communication and training period prior to opening for church services.
6 Church Services
a. Avoid hymn singing, initially.
b. Limited interaction during communion with no common cup or bread.
c. No hand shaking.
d. Offering online or envelopes in Narthex.
e. Continue Facebook Live, video-taping, and radio broadcast
a. Committee and Council meetings may be held in the church by following social distance guidelines.
b. No coffee and food will be served.
Reopening Guidelines will change as required
Now there are Four Methods to use Simply Giving
1. Your church offerings can be made weekly, every other week, or
monthly through electronic funds transfer from your checking or savings
2. Free Mobile Giving App enables your church offerings to be made
securely from anywhere, with1-tap. Plus, it's completely FREE!
3. Below is a Quick Response (QR) code. When you scan this barcode-like
QR code image with a smartphone's QR decoder, it will instantly connect
you to the mobile version of the church’s web page.
"Scan to pay or give."
4. You will be able to use your Credit card at the Church.
To: First Lutheran Church
From: First Lutheran Outreach & Missions Committee:
Watching the happenings of the last 10 days in Minneapolis has been difficult. Many of you have asked what you can do to help the people in the Cities. There is a plan in place! First Lutheran of Pipestone will be gathering needed items to be delivered to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Holy Trinity has been in the multicultural Longfellow neighborhood for 116 years. For example, a Scandinavian shop and a popular Latino grocery store are next to each other. The church has become a distribution point of needed supplies for the residents of the neighborhood due to the destruction of stores. Chaplains have also been made available, some coming from our SW MN Synod. One of the pastors at Holy Trinity is Rev. Ingrid C.A. Rasmussen. She was raised in Cottonwood, MN. Her mother is Gwen Arneson, the former Vice President of our synod.
First Lutheran will be collecting your donations until Friday, June 19. Please bring them to the narthex and place them near the center cross. The items will be blessed at worship on Sunday, June 21, our first service in the sanctuary since mid-March. Pastor Joyce is willing to deliver the items to Holy Trinity.
Here is the list—
Cooking Oil—Bottled Water—Laundry Detergent—Dish soap—Body Wash & Shampoo—Maxi-Pads—Diapers, especially large sizes—Gatorade—Masks—Baby Wipes—Paper Towels—Toilet Paper
Constant and Ongoing Needs
Toothpaste—Deodorant—Corn Tortillas—Chips—Canned Meats—Peanut Butter—Baby Formula—Pet Food—Hand Sanitizer—Tylenol/Children’s Tylenol—Ibuprofen—Sugar—Baby Food—Non-Perishable Food Items—Flour—Produce—Trash Bags—Cleaning Wipes—Snack Foods
If you would prefer to make a monetary donation, go to htlcmpls.org/donate/
Choose “other” and type justice in the designation line. 100% of the donations will go for supplies. On your statement if will appears as “Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.”
Check out the Holy Trinity Facebook page to see what the Holy Spirit is up to at Holy Trinity. There are some wonderful messages from the pastors, including a walking tour video around the church grounds.
Thank you for your support
From Pastor Joyce:
I am grateful for your partnership in ministry. We have supported many projects in my 7 years here at First Lutheran. To name a few we have donated:
-shoes to Soles for Souls,
-financial support to a new ELCA mission church in Montrose, MN
-Lutheran Disaster Response
-ELCA World Hunger,
-Southwestern Minnesota Synod,
-our local food shelf
-our local EMT Department
-a water project
-Shetek Lutheran Ministries
The women have been active as well:
-making quilts for Lutheran World Relief
- personal health care kits
-brought devotions to residents of Good Sam. and Ashton.
-supported the ministry at Veterans Home in Luverne
-St. Dymas- a Prison Ministry in Sioux Falls
-Lutheran Campus Ministry (Augustana, Southwest Minnesota State University, and SDSU)
-Hope Harbor in Marshall
-DAC in Windom by donating jeans for them to make rugs
-sent packages to our troops stationed throughout the world
Someone recently said to me, “If you want to get something done or help people in need contact the Lutherans. They know will make it happen.” I am so grateful to be part of a giving and supportive congregation. May God continue to empower us to be His hands and feet. You may also drop off financial donations at First Lutheran. I will also have a list of items needed here at the church. If anyone would like to go with me when I deliver the items that would be great as well. Let me know
Walk in the light of God’s Love,
Pastor Joyce Britts
There is much information some helpful and some not so helpful that is going around regarding COVID-19. The leadership of First Lutheran wants you to know that we are keeping up on information and will keep you informed through e-mails, web-page and Facebook regarding any information. If you have questions do not hesitate to contact Pastor Joyce, Paul Henriksen or Nancy Johnson.
Here are a few of the steps we are taking at First Lutheran:
1. Hand sanitizer has been placed in different locations. Wash your hands.
2. When anything with food is part of event, food will only be handled by kitchen workers with gloves.
3. Communion will be by individual cups and communion server will hand the bread and wine to you. Communion servers WILL sanitize hands before communion
4. Offering plates will not be passed. We will receive offering either at the door or when you come to receive Holy Communion.
5. Sharing of the peace no handshaking. Just a greeting. Wave, cross arms across your chest. Or simply say peace. Pastor Joyce will not be shaking hands following worship.
6. Pastor Joyce will be making visits only if the people are open to that. Boundaries will be respected. Phone calls and text messaging will be used in pastoral care.
7. Consider your spacing in the pews during worship. Spread out and come on to the front of the sanctuary.
8. No water will be in baptismal font unless a baptism.
9. It is ok to stay home.
10. Pastor Joyce will be checking in with people to see how there are doing.
11. Watch worship services on cable TV or listen on the radio
If you have any concerns please contact the COVID-19 hotline: (651)201-3920
Prayer during this time: Heavenly Father, we pray for you to intervene to stop the spread of the coronavirus. We pray the virus would recede and that the numbers of those infected would decline rapidly. We trust you to intervene today with your loving care. We pray for those who are sick, that they will have access to the care and treatment they need. We pray for those in isolation who are cut off from their normal routines and support systems, that they would seek their strength from you, Lord. We pray encouragement over the thousands in quarantine, waiting to find out if they have the virus or not. We pray for the health workers who are caring for those with COVID-19. We pray for their protection from the virus, for stamina during long or intense work hours. Pray for grieving families who have lost loved ones to the coronavirus. Even as their hearts are breaking, we pray they would know your nearness and comfort. Amen.
9:30 AM Sunday's
401 7th Avenue SW
Pipestone, MN 56164
On the Radio:
Tune in to 1050 am (KLOH, Pipestone) Sunday mornings at 10:30am to hear our radio replay of that day's service.
On Local Cable TV:
Our weekly service is broadcast on the Pipestone public access cable television channel 3:
Thursday's at 10:00am, 2:00pm, and 7:00pm.
If you have prayer concerns for our prayer chain, please contact Ellie at the church office (825-5837)
Coffee and fellowship are an important part of Sunday mornings at First Lutheran. We are in need of people to serve the next few Sundays. Please contact the church office or Pastor Joyce if you can help out.
We are all one body, one spirit, compelled by Christ to share his Word and the promise of salvation.
We welcome you to join us in worship.
We practice open Communion the first and third Sundays of every month at First Lutheran.
If you believe that Christ is truly present in the bread and wine,
his body and blood shed for you, you are welcome to our table.