St Petrie Evangelical Lutheran Church Affiliated with the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations Pastor Gerald L. Steele firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.stpetrielutheran.church
Dear member(s) and friends of St. Petrie Evangelical Lutheran Church,
Jesus says “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep ….. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:11,27,28).
Friend(s), Jesus is walking with you today! He will lead you in the days ahead even if that means staying put in your house. His love will dispel your fears. Sickness and death have always been around since the fall of humankind in the Garden of Eden. Today is no different. Sickness and death are rightfully magnified now because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. And yet, here we find ourselves at unique time in our nation’s history…. right…. with…. Jesus! He is still the Good Shepherd. He is still delivering the gift of salvation to all who will receive it. He still promises that we will not perish. Yes, the body can get sick, whether it’s from Covid-19 or a myriad of any other diseases that are out there. The body even dies. However, in Christ we are assured we have eternal life and that we will always be in His presence whether here on earth or in heaven. In Christ, our bodies will rise to glory at the return of Jesus. No one and nothing, not even Covid-19 can rob us of these promises!
With that being said, it is necessary for St. Petrie Lutheran Church to do ministry in different ways for a while. For the time being we will not meet for public worship or activities. God’s word will continue to go forth to His people and this community. There are many good services that can be listened to or watched on Sunday mornings. Do not give up that spiritual uplift that each of us needs. Even though our church activities are suspended, this in no way means we have stopped being the church. The days ahead will provide many opportunities to be Christ’s hands and feet to our neighbor. We all need to commit to praying and/or making phone calls to those who have to self-isolate, especially our vulnerable members and citizens. Helping our neighbor may mean picking up groceries and dropping them off at their front step. Jesus tells us that we are the salt and light of the earth. In Jesus’ day, salt was the preserving agent for meat. Without it meat would spoil quickly. We can be the “salt” today by bringing the necessary help and hope people will be looking for.
Please visit our church’s website and Facebook page frequently for more information (Margret does a great job and keeps that up to date).
The AFLC also has a great web site (https://www.aflc.org/listen-online) and is planning on having Sunday morning service on it. Never hesitate to call the church and leave a message 815-246-9890 (I try to check it regularly).
Lastly, I want to end this letter with this encouraging verse from 2 Timothy 1:7 “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” This verse is our encouragement that in the face of this pandemic we can serve our neighbor with the love of Jesus, even if that means staying home and making a phone call, writing a letter, or just praying for them.
In Christ, Pastor Gerald Steele