A congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
November 11, 2020
The Spring Garden Executive Committee made the decision last night to cancel the Congregational Meeting scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 15 and to suspend all in-person worship services until further notice. Discussion around the topic included the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in the county and the state, the lack of hospital beds for those severely ill, yesterday’s announcement by the Governor that initiated restrictions on gatherings of people. While a restriction requirement for churches was not specifically identified by the Governor and Department of Health, it appears the need to return to on line worship is inevitable and the most responsible course of action to keep people safe.
We want to thank everyone in the congregation who was able to join in with outdoor in-person worship throughout the summer, who came to inside in-person worship through the fall, and everyone who used masks and distancing to keep one another safe throughout this time. Everyone’s willingness to stay with the protocol that our Pandemic team and council established, speaks of a generosity of spirit and deep care for one another as congregation members that has been uneven in other parts of community life.
As we regrettably return to on-line worship, we will be recording services which will be available through our YouTube channel every Sunday morning. From Sunday November 15 on, confirmation classes will return to Zoom format. And in light of the coming holiday season, we look forward to our families with Sunday School age kids creating a virtual Sunday School Christmas program which ought to be quite fun! We also will be creating a beautiful Christmas Eve virtual worship service that will be available on Christmas Eve for your household gathering. We are planning an early evening outdoor Christmas Carol sing-a-long around the log cabin if it appears safe to gather in that way. Details will come out for that at a later time.
For those of you disappointed to not be able to gather in our church home because of the on-going pandemic, we truly feel your pain. The Executive Board and Church Council have tried to carefully weigh the metrics for decision making that make the most sense and demonstrate the most care for our people. When conditions improve and it is safe, we will eagerly join together again in person. Jesus says in the Gospel of John 18:9—'this was to fulfill the Word that he had spoken, I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.” ‘ This is also our charge as the people of Spring Garden.
We thank you for your on-going support for Spring Garden—first of all, for your prayers that we might remain whole as a congregation and keep our people safe. We thank you also for your on-going financial support which has helped us weather 2020 well despite the extraordinary stress and challenge this year has placed on all of us. If you or your family have needs or concerns, please don’t hesitate to speak with your council leaders or the pastors. We’ll all do our best during this challenging time and thank you for your understanding and support in the midst of it.
Theron Pagel, President Pastors Nick and Cindy Fisher-Broin