March 19, 2020
Our Church has officially gone online! Never thought I would say that in my years of ministry, but here we are.
A few things to bring to your attention.
We will mostly be able to communicate through these three formats: Eblasts, Facebook and our website: immanuelstcharles.org Please if you have an older adult in your life this is a great time to help them see our information.
*Each week you can be on the lookout for the same things. We wanted to help you create an easy rhythm in your life that you could look forward to everyday. Ministry is not done we are still acting!
*Each day around noon you can be blessed by our music directors posting music to encourage you. These can be found on Facebook as well as our YouTube channel.
Sunday: Each Sunday our services for that week will be posted at 8:00 a.m. You can find them on our YouTube channel. On our website and Facebook we will link the bulletin and our weekly Connections.
At 9:30 a.m. we will have a Bible Study online! Here is how to do that on a computer/phone/iPad (you will have to download an app), you can go to this link: https://zoom.us/j/259935423 it will automatically put you in. If you do not have that capability you can call in to this number: 1-253-214-8782 when asked put in this meeting ID number: 259 935 423 and you will join our Bible Study.
(We will be doing all Bible Studies this way so please be on the lookout for a few more throughout the week.)
Monday: Look for an Eblast from our Senior Pastor. Then that evening around, five we will post a devotional from one of our staff members.
Tuesday: Around 5:00 p.m. we will post another family devotional on our Facebook from one of our staff members.
Wednesday: We will post our Lenten services at 3:45 p.m. along with the bulletin from the services on the website. This service will include a children’s message.
Thursday: We will sent out a devotions at 5:00 p.m.
Friday: Chapel! We will be posting chapel on the websites above.
Saturday: Day of pray take time to pray with your family
We pray these things will be a blessing for you and your family. Things continue to change hourly, so we will keep you posted. It is my goal to keep us connected and in God’s word at this time.
Pastor Ryan-Associate ~ Pastor of Discipleship Immanuel Lutheran
March 17, 2020
God IS our refuge and strength, an ever present help in time of trouble.
Dear Members and Friends of Immanuel Lutheran Church and School,
Yes, everything has changed because of the Coronavirus. Yet we know and believe that whatever happens God loves us and is with us. God’s presence, promise and peace is the very definition of our Church and School name: Immanuel = “God is with us!” This is why we move forward--not in fear--but with faith following our Good Shepherd and Savior, Jesus.
IMPORTANT: Because of precautions related to the Coronavirus, ALL public group worship services, Bible classes, meetings and events will NOT meet until further notice.
VIDEO WORSHIP: Please view Immanuel worship services being live-streamed and archived on our YouTube channel.
- Our Sunday 8:00 worship service will be live streamed and archived for later viewing.
- Watch our Lenten service live streamed at 3:45 on Wednesdays. NOTE: There will be NO Midweek Lenten Jambalaya dinner or food this week.
BIBLE STUDIES: Pastor Ryan will lead a Video Bible study this Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Other Bible studies will be offered online very soon…
ONGOING SUPPORT: How can we support God’s important work at and through Immanuel?
Offerings may be given online on our website: www.immanuelstcharles.org/giving
Or you may mail offerings to: Immanuel Lutheran Church 115 South Sixth Street St. Charles, MO 63301
Thank you for your ongoing generosity and thanksgiving during this time of uncertainty as we continue sharing Christ’s Good News.
Please watch for ongoing updates on our Facebook page and via Eblasts.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
March 15, 2020:
Dear Immanuel Families,
As indicated in the press conference held by Missouri, St. Louis, and St. Charles government officials, it is recommended that we close school from March 18th through April 3rd… at the very least. They will be re-evaluating the risk during this period.
Due to the extraordinary nature of these circumstances, we will also adjust our spring break to March 18 through the 25th, with remote learning starting on March 26th and going through April 3rd. Our prayer is that we will be able to return to school on April 6. In the event we are able to return on April 6th, we will still take off Friday, April 10th (Good Friday) and Monday, April 13th.
Students will be bringing books home on Tuesday. Each teacher will be in contact through email to provide the necessary directions and resources for their at-home learning activities. We will be communicating more information regarding the remote learning instruction as it becomes available.
Thank you for your patience and prayers for our Immanuel family, our community, our country, and individuals around the world impacted by the COVID-19. It is such unfamiliar territory for us as a society that we need to follow the advice of the St. Charles Co. Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). My prayers are also with you and your families during this very difficult time.
May the peace of Christ be with you!
March 14, 2020:
- We Pray During the Pandemic: Our Immanuel Sanctuary will be open this Monday (March 15th) from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. for a time of personal prayer. We will provide a “Prayer Prompt” handout with Scripture, hymns and other resources to help guide our prayers during these times of uncertainty and anxiety.
- Concert Is Canceled: Sadly, the Concordia Chicago Wind Symphony concert planned for Saturday at Immanuel is canceled. We hope to host them in the future.
SCHOOL related updates and information:
- ILS Eighth Grade Class Trip Canceled: Our Eighth graders will not be going to their annual trip in Springfield, IL.
- Cornhole Tournament Event is Postponed: Watch for future updates from our ILS Athletic Association.
- It’s a GO!--Our INSPIRE Class Business and Entrepreneur EXPO Will be Held Saturday from 10-Noon in the Fellowship Hall as scheduled!
- OASIS 2.0 – Dear friends, with the weather and other issues this winter, donations to our friends at OASIS were far less than we have sent in the past. To that end, we are having a second OASIS collection time in order to reach our goal… and to enjoy the fun of the PIE IN THE FACE event that typically concludes the food drive. Can you help? We will be collecting: Peanut butter, Jelly, canned fruit and soup. The collection will run through March 15. If we add another 350+ items during that time, the pastors/vicar will take a pie on March 15 at the end of the 10:45a.m. service. Can you help us reach the goal? Drop off locations are in the gym lobby, atrium and Fellowship Hall. Thank you for helping serve those in our community through OASIS!
CHURCH & WORSHIP related updates and information:
- We WILL offer all five weekend services this week on Saturday(5), Sunday(8, 9:30 or 10:45) and Monday (6:30). You are welcome to come. If you choose to stay away, please participate in worship at 8:00 or 9:30 on our YouTube channel. Go to www.YouTube.com and enter “Immanuel Lutheran Saint Charles” in the search box. Some past services/sermons are also archived to watch at any time.
- We will offer Holy Communion in our Fellowship Hall services this week as scheduled (you can choose between the common or individual cup).
NOTE: We are leaving one space between all individual cups in the Communion trays.
- Service bulletins and CONNECTIONS will be on tables or stands for you to take. Please take your copies home. We will NOT turn them back in or reuse them.
- We will NOT be passing offering plates during services. Offering plates will be placed at all exits for you to leave your offering to support God’s ongoing Ministry through Immanuel.
- NO Children’s Worship Bags: We will NOT be handing out the Children’s Worship bags for now.
- NO Sunday Snacks or Drinks: There will NOT be coffee or donuts in CONNECTIONS Cafe this week.
Yes, this Pandemic panic is completely CRAZY, but it is providing us with endless opportunities for Christian care and outreach!
As Christians, we go into ACTION, not isolation! We do as Jesus says by loving our neighbor and sharing God’s Good News and spreading the peace, comfort, hope, help, and love of Christ.
Our Pastoral staff met today to brainstorm ways we can be PRO-ACTIVE instead of just RE-ACTIVE. We planned NEW ways we can serve our members/neighbors and share Christ’s comfort during this time of fear and high anxiety. Here are some of our initial plans already in the works:
- Our Zillah Comfort Dog Team will continue being present with Christ’s comfort in our congregation and community.
- We plan to offer a Mobile Lenten dinner this Wednesday! We will have curbside Cajun Jambalya between our midweek Lenten services for the first 200+ people (or until it runs out) who pick it up in “To Go” boxes being distributed outside (watch for details). You can take it home to eat or eat it in the Fellowship Hall.
- We will be taking donuts and other food to First Responder stations. We will also include Bible verse cards and devotion sheets.
- We will be sharing donuts and other food with the Emergency Department staff at St. Joe Health Center in Saint Charles along with Christian witness and encouragement materials.
We will have countless other opportunities and continue developing plans to reach out and help others as we share the hope of Christ with people in our congregation and community. Stay tuned for ongoing updates…
We are certainly in uncharted territory! Everything is changing daily and rapidly. This is why our true anchor is FAITH and trust in Jesus who is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). See you at worship this weekend in person or on YouTube!
March 12, 2020:
Our GENERAL Response:
How shall we as Christians respond to the Coronavirus? Our response is fact-based and most importantly, FAITH-based. This scary, nasty virus is reminding us how fragile life is, how truly helpless we are as humans, and how much we need and depend on God for health, strength, daily bread, forgiveness, and every blessing.
There is obviously growing anxiety about the Coronavirus outbreak. The fears may be spreading faster than the virus at this point. We are living in a new normal as we face the unknown. The growing epidemic has now been labeled a pandemic. People are reacting with fear, humor, uncertainty and anxiety.
As Christians, we can wake up every day and make the sign of the cross knowing we are baptized, beloved, and forgiven children of the Triune God of the universe--the same God Who created us, saved us and lives in us! God has us in His loving hands. Yes, we engage in best practices (hand washing, social distancing, canceling certain events, etc.). We also value science and pray for all those in medical and scientific vocations who are battling the Coronavirus by devoloping a vaccine and effective new treatment therapies. Ultimately, we put our trust in our Savior! We face any and all of our fears, sicknesses, and the uncertain future with faith in Jesus.
Our CHURCH and WORSHIP Related Response:
- Immanuel St. Charles will continue to offer all 5 weekly worship services.
- We will SUSPEND the opening greeting with others to avoid handshakes, hugs or physical contact.
- We will OMIT the Sharing of the Peace in worship services for now.
- A Pastor will still be present after the service to greet people as they exit. It is up to you. Feel free to use a different exit, or if you do decide to greet the Pastor/preacher, you may choose to use a verbal greeting, an elbow bump, a handshake or whatever makes you feel comfortable.
- We will continue to offer God’s gift of Holy Communion as usual at scheduled services (using the common or individual cup is up to you).
- We understand if some may not feel comfortable attending public worship at this time. Do not feel bad or guilty. We are a grace-based place! You have permission to miss public worship for now if that is what you prefer. (Take NOTE!--you’ll likely NEVER hear me say this again! Ha.)
- If you are sick or do not attend public worship, please view our weekly Sanctuary worship services (live streamed or archived) on our Immanuel YouTube channel.
- We wash our hands often for 20+ seconds using soap and elbow grease.
- Please stay away from church, worship, and any public events if you feel sick or have any symptoms of the cold, flu or other illnesses.
- Obviously, our need for offerings and ongoing support to pay salaries, cover expenses, and operate a LARGE Church and School Ministry continues. Enough said…
Our SCHOOL Related Response:
- Out of an abundance of caution, we have canceled our Grandparent/Special Person Day this Friday.
- The national Lutheran Basketball tournament our ILS Boys’ A1 team had been invited to attend in Valparaiso, IN has been canceled.
- We are now daily using a high tech sprayer that disinfects surfaces with a Purell-based mist.
- Our Immanuel custodians are frequently sanitizing and physically scrubbing/cleaning high touch areas with disinfectent (such as door knobs, drinking fountains, countertops, light switches, tables, etc.).
- We wash our hands often using soap. Praying the Lord’s Prayer is about the exact time the CDC recommends for washing our hands.
- Please stay away from school and any public events if you feel sick or have any symptoms of the cold, flu or other illnesses.
Our Immanuel Church and School staff will continue to keep you updated on our Coronavirus response based on actual future facts as they unfold. This statement and our fact-based and FAITH-based response to the Coronavirus will change and evolve.