We know that yesterday's announcement about suspending gatherings at the Church may have come as a shock, and you probably have a few questions.
We want to reiterate that these decisions have not been made out of fear or panic. Instead, they have been made from rational love. We want to heed the call to love our neighbors, and part of loving our neighbors is to help protect and prevent illness. We also know that there are a lot of unknowns with the Coronavirus. We trust those in authority and who work in high levels of public health. We humble ourselves to recognize that we are not fully aware of what it takes to contain an outbreak, or what the effects of a possible outbreak would be, and will join with them in their desire to be proactive against COVID-19.
Therefore, we are heeding recommendations from the Wisconsin Department of Public Health. They recommend that gatherings (even under 250) consider cancelling if there are people from a wide variety of age groups, vulnerable populations who might attend, and if the gathering is not immediately essential.
While worship and gathering together is an essential part of the Christian faith, we do not believe that we only follow Jesus through those activities. Our faith is not minimized if we miss church a few times. In fact, what a great opportunity to intentionally think through our own personal worship practices in our homes. And this is also an opportunity to help us consider broader ways we can show love to our community. Can we offer to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor? Can we give up some of our stash of sanitizer and clorox wipes to the neighborhood school? Can we offer to watch a neighbor's child if schools or events are cancelled? Can we be intentional to reach out in friendship to fellow believers and build stronger relationships with each other, outside of meeting at worship?
Here are some decisions we want you to be aware of:
- There will no gatherings of any kind at the Church building through March 29th. This includes Bible Studies, worship, youth events, and outside groups who use our facility.
- The two exceptions to the above statement are: counseling services through LCFS and what is needed to ensure the essential business of the Church can continue.
- We support lifeGroups who choose not to meet together during this time, but understand this is the choice of each lifeGroup.
- The staff is still available. Please email or call should you need something. We are still working, but may be doing so from our homes a little more than usual. (contact information is below)
- We will make future decisions by March 27th and will inform you of those as soon as possible.
- Our preschool classes are also cancelled through March 27th.
- Please check the homepage of our website (livelifetogether.com) for livestream worship (9am on Sundays) and other announcements. Our facebook page will also have information and links.
Again, this decision was a difficult one to make. In the end, we have decided that caution and helping to be part of preventing a more serious health situation in our community was more important than conducting business as usual. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, please let our office know so that we can help support you and your family.
Staff Contacts, and where to direct specific questions:
Pastor Jeff (Lead Pastor, general operations, worship, spiritual growth)
Pastor Matt (discipleship, care ministry)
Jess O'Malley (giving, building availability, administration)
Amy Meyer (lifeGroup)
Elsa Gumm (lifeServe, community connections)
Emily Powers (youth, children, family ministry/events)
Karen Hettenbach (preschool)