On behalf of the entire Church Council and the staff of Paynesville Lutheran Church, we want to extend God’s blessings to you in this time. We all miss seeing one another at service where we can hear God’s Word, share our God-given gifts through music, and take part in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. While we will have to be apart for several more weeks, we invite you to remember that while the church building may be closed, the church itself is alive and thriving within each of us.
On Sunday, March 29, 2020, the Church Council convened through video conferencing to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and how we can best provide for you, our congregation, and bring all of us together to worship Christ during this time. After careful consideration of the recommendations by the federal and state government, Centers for Disease Control, Minnesota Department of Health, and in discussion with local CentraCare representatives, the decision has been made to extend our building closure and suspension of ministry and worship until at least the end of April. We will continue to follow these resources and will always err on the side of caution with an eye towards the safety of our Congregation and community.
During this time apart we remain committed to our mission to Point others to Jesus, Love generously and gracefully, and Cultivate disciples. We hope you have been able to worship with us remotely via our church’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. These services, video content, and other resources are also available on the Coronavirus Resources page on our website. This page also includes a Helper Hub signup where we can all volunteer to help our neighbors along with many resources for family faith formation at home during this time.
As we continue our efforts to provide for the immediate needs of our congregation, we’re also looking ahead to a time when we’re together again doing the ministry we’re called to as the body of Christ. As a church, we are blessed to be able to help our community and our world, through your generous gifts, in many ways. In the last year, your gifts helped to keep people warm through the creation and donation of over 150 quilts and put food on your neighbors’ tables through your donations of more than 120 pounds of food during the community food drive. Your gifts helped to spread the joy of Christmas where almost $2,500 was raised as part of the Senior High Youth’s “Operation Christmas Outreach.” Because of your gifts, our church leads around 140 children every week in building a closer connection to God through Sunday School, Crosswalk Confirmation, iQuest, 6th Grade Sowers, and Senior High Youth Group.
In order to maintain the strength and impact of our ministry together into the future, we humbly ask for your continued generosity. The offerings from our weekly worship services account for the majority of the church’s operating budget, offerings that are not being collected right now as we’re unable to physically gather. We know that finances for many of our members are tighter than they have been in many years and that the future for many is uncertain. But we know also that through your generosity, we can continue to share the love of God as a congregation with our community and the world. No matter what you are able to give, we are deeply grateful for your generosity now and always.
You can set up online giving through the church’s website where a link has been provided on the Coronavirus Resources page. Otherwise, you may mail your gift to the church office or drop it in the dropbox outside the main door. If you have any questions, please call or email the church office. You may also reach out to either of us, anyone else on the Church Council, or your pastors if a need arises or you’re having difficulty accessing any of this information.
May God be with you. Stay safe. God bless each of you.
Nathan Martinson Shawn Reinke Council PresidentCouncil Treasurer