Dear Members and Friends of the United in Faith Parish,
Grace and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ!
It was only a week ago that I sent out a letter suspending in-person worship on the 22nd and 29th of March. In that time, we’ve had two Wednesday live-streams that averaged twenty viewers and a Sunday broadcast that welcomed 51 viewers into worship. So, even though “together” means some thing different right now, we are still having worship and growing in our faith. Thank you so much for sticking with us during this uncertain time.
Unfortunately, I am writing this second update to let you know that we will be extending our time with on-line only worship. Earlier this week, Bishop Bruce Ough sent out another letter recommending that churches suspend in-person worship until May 10, 2020. After consulting with our Parish Covenant Council, we have decided to follow the leadership of our bishop. I will attach his letter to an all-parish email and share his video remarks on our parish Facebook page so you can hear from him. While I do not like his recommendation, I do agree that this is the best way to “flatten the curve” and keep high-risk demographics safe.
This unfortunately means that we will not be walking through Holy Week together with in-person Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. We will also not be celebrating Easter in our sanctuaries on Easter Sunday. This hits especially hard for me as this is my last Holy Week and Easter as your pastor.
I am working on ways that we can safely gather for Easter Sunday including the purchase of a low-frequency FM transmitter for Drive-in Theater style church. Please be watching for more details as this develops. I am also working on family-style worship services you can utilize during Holy Week, as well. Even though we can’t celebrate it together in worship, we are still Easter people. We will still make our Easter proclamation that Christ is risen and alive!
And we will be the Church. As Richard Avery wrote in a hymn: “The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is a people.” We have been presented with an unfortunate opportunity to show our neighbors how true this is.
Your generous giving continues to matter in the life of your church. God is still calling us to faithful stewardship of the gifts we’ve been given. I would invite you to mail your offering to the following addresses:
You can also ask your bank if they offer a “Bill Pay” option, an electronic check sent via USPS. See the Give tab for instructions for signing up for this from First Fidelity Bank as well as Tamra Glover’s contact information; her position as our treasurer and a bank employee is invaluable. I am aware that in these uncertain times, some people will see their income seriously affected by the social distancing that is slowing the spread of Covid-19. I understand potential financial hardships may occur for some members. Your generosity in this time is appreciated.
This much uncertainty and laying aside things we hold dear, like Easter, has the potential to cause us to despair and lose sight of the glory of God. This happened to the Israelites as they learned how to follow God. After they were freed from Egyptian captivity, they wandered in the wilderness so long that they decided their captivity would have been preferable. It was just then that God came along and provided for their physical needs with food: bread and quail enough for the day and enough for all. We’re in a wilderness. And it may amaze you to see how God will show up for us now.
As always, I am always only a phone call away, and you’re welcome to stop by the church for a cup of coffee one-on-one. I am proud to be your pastor and serve God alongside you.
In God’s love,
Pastor Clay Lundberg
c/o Peg Cassidy
302 E. 5th St.
Burke, SD 57523
c/o Berniece Bauld
34996 295th St.
Herrick, SD 57538