"Abiding in Christ through grace, we are gathered to grow and sent to serve"
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Dear People of Grace,
Happy June! It is finally June. Did anyone else feel as though May was 597 days long?
Much has changed in the past few months, even as many of us have had our routines and lives drastically curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Initially, when we had to move to live streamed church services, we envisioned coming back together in a big Easter party. We planned to postpone the Easter breakfast, bring flowers, and celebrate together.
Instead, we find ourselves tiptoeing toward being back together slowly and cautiously.
Last month, Gov. Walz announced new guidelines for churches and for live worship during Covid. Fortunately, these new guidelines lined up with some plans your Church Council had already made for worshiping at Grace.
Here are some important things to know as we move into a cautious stage of reopening:
- Live stream worship will continue from Grace each Sunday.
- Beginning this Sunday, June 7, we will open in-person worship to a small number of people, following social distancing, CDC, and governmental regulations to avoid spreading Covid at church.
- Beginning this Sunday, June 7, we will open in-person worship by invitation (for those who don’t have good internet access to streamed worship) and by request. If you are interested in attending, please notify me or Council President Keith Tongen. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via phone or social media.
Here are some important things to know about in-person worship in this initial stage:
- Unfortunately, it won’t feel like “regular” worship.
- Worshipers will be asked to enter the sanctuary, sit in designated pews spread far apart from other worshipers, and refrain from conversation.
- Worshipers will be asked to wear masks.
- Worshipers will be asked to listen silently and not participate in communal singing or recitation, which can be a uniquely dangerous vector of viral spread.
- There will be no Fellowship time before or after services.
- At this time, we have pre-ordered pre-packaged communion kits containing a small cup of grace juice and a wafer. When these kits arrive, you will receive one upon entering the worship space. You will consume them during the communion liturgy and will not come forward for communion. Everyone will remain in pews throughout the service.
A huge thank you to Council leadership for volunteering to help with special cleaning each week as well as volunteering to help us follow these important guidelines as we welcome a small number of folks back to in-person worship.
As you can see, in-person worship right now will not be the in-person worship so many of us cherish, miss dearly, and know and love. We all have reason to continue to grieve in this moment what we have lost, and also to pray for continued vigilance against Covid so that this suspension of our beloved church traditions will not last forever.
Many of you may wish to continue live streaming after reading this note. This is why we have purchased equipment to improve our live stream and want to prioritize providing worship to you in this way, with a big thanks to our musical leadership and volunteer soloists.
Another bonus: you can even live stream this summer while camping or away at the lake 🙂
But truthfully, I long to be together again with you in person. Please join me in prayer for healing for our country and our world.
In Jesus’ love,
We are still practicing
Join Us for an online Sunday worship experience which is timely in these unprecedented times.
Click on the link below to watch live streamed services:
Know that Pastor Angela is available for you by emailing her at email@example.com, or 320-328-5533, please, leave a message.
You also may call Church Council President Keith at 320-260-1726.
Meet Rev. Angela Denker
Pastor Angela is thrilled to serve as Grace Brownton's new Pastor, continuing on a tradition of rural Midwestern Lutheran pastors on her mother's side, that tends to skip a generation. Pastor Angela comes to Grace after serving as interim teaching pastor at Easter Lutheran Church in Eagan, Minn., a call she took while writing her first book, Red State Christians, which was published by Fortress Press in August 2019. Prior to moving back home to Minnesota, Pastor Angela served as Pastor of Community Life and Discipleship at Messiah Lutheran Church in Orange County, CA, and as the solo pastor at St. Philip Lutheran Church outside Chicago. She served her pastoral internship in Las Vegas at Community Lutheran Church.
In addition to her work at Grace, Pastor Angela is a frequent contributor to Christian websites and magazines, as well as occasional writing for national newspapers and magazines. She blogs at A Good Christian Woman ... Not that One. Pastor Angela is a sought-after speaker and podcast guest and is currently working on a proposal for her second book, about hope in America. Prior to attending Luther Seminary and becoming a Pastor, Angela was a sportswriter based in Naples, Fla., so look out for those sports analogies in her sermons! She covered the Super Bowl in 2009 and the NCAA Final Four in 2005. When she's not writing or serving the church - or teaching courses at Luther Seminary - you can find Angela wrangling her two small boys: Jacob, (7) and Joshua (4); or trying not to get clobbered on the tennis court by her husband, Ben, a mechanical engineer who she met playing basketball at the University of Missouri.
Pastor Angela grew up in nearby Maple Grove, Minn., where she attended Lord of Life Lutheran Church. She serves Grace 3/4 time and is typically available in the office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and other days by appointment. Reach her anytime via phone, text or email. Her days off are Thursdays and Fridays.
What's Coming Up?
June 14th 8:45am Worship at Grace limited to a smaller number of people.
June 21st 8:45am Worship at Grace limited to a smaller number of people.
June 28th 8:45am Worship at Grace limited to a smaller number of people.
July 5th 8:45am Worship at Grace limited to a smaller number of people.
July 12th 8:45am Tenative Outdoor Worship at Grace with more members can be accommodated.
Aug 2nd 8:45am Tenative Outdoor Worship at Grace with more members can be accommodated. Possibly celebrate high school graduates too.
This site was updated on June 9, 2020.