May 28, 2020 Update

Dear Members of Grace and St. John's,

Your Elders and church leaders, working with Pastor Shudy, have decided to resume on-site worship services beginning Sunday, May 31 for St. John's, and Sunday, June 7 for Grace.  At the same time, we will be switching to the Summer Schedule (one week early).  Therefore, beginning May 31, Service times will be 8:30 at St. John's and 10:00 at Grace.  Beginning May 31 the live-streaming worship service on Facebook will be at 10:00.

You now have the opportunity to worship together in your sanctuary, or continue worshiping with the live broadcast.  This is a personal choice and you should feel free to utilize either one.

New measures are being put in place to maximize the safety of all members.

Using the facility:
1) Bugs and weather permitting, doors will be propped open so you don't have to touch door handles.
2) The nursery will not be open, so consider this when deciding if you will attend corporate worship.
3) There will be no coffee fellowship.
4) Shaking of hands is discouraged.
5) Maintain social distancing of 6-feet.
6) If possible use restrooms at home before coming to church.  This will reduce restroom use; however, the restrooms will be open for your use.

Worship practices:
1) Ushers will be available to assist as needed.
2) Ushers will not hand out bulletins.  Bulletins will be arranged on a table for your safe pick up.
3) The offering plates will not be passed but will be set out at the back of the church for use as you enter or leave.
4) Family units may sit together.  Maintain six-foot and two-pew spacing between family units and individuals.  Ushers will assist in achieving proper social distancing.
5) We are unable to provide face masks for everyone, but their use is encouraged.  Bring one from home if you have one.
6) Respect others' personal space at all times.
7) Communion preparation will be under strict sanitation guidelines.
8) Specific communion instructions will be given at the time of distribution, and will include use of gloves and masks by those distributing the bread and wine.
9) There will be no greeting line at the close of services.

Remember that these precautions are not intended to in any way restrict your freedoms, but instead meant to protect, respect, and love those around us and make everyone's worship experience as safe and comfortable as possible. Thank you.

Sincerely,
St. John's Board of Elders
Grace Board of Elders

March 25, 2020 Update

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

The latest update from the Wisconsin Department of Health says that we are now under orders to stay at home (except for essential trips like groceries, medicine, etc.) until April 24.  This has significant implications for our life together as a church over the next month.  It means that, like the Israelites of old, we too are mourning exiles.  Suddenly, the possibility of being “put out of the synagogue,” as Bartimaeus was, has become a reality for us, though it is surprising and hard to believe.

And yet again, thanks to modern technology, we may still have a form of “meeting together” through the broadcast of a video recorded service.  A video of the Sunday’s service will be pre-recorded, and then released as a “premiere” on our Dual Parish Facebook page (www.facebook.com/gracestjohnlutheran/) on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. This way we can get around quality issues associated with poor internet connections in live streaming, but still “meet” together at the same time on Sunday mornings (and if you miss the “live premiere” at 9 a.m., you can always catch the service archived on our YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf-cpxfkZxC2bXHQOXo5XSw).  And remember, you do not need a Facebook account to watch the video of the service on our Facebook page.  Simply search for “Grace St. John Lutheran” on Facebook, or click the Facebook icon at the bottom of our Dual Parish Website, and you will be able to see the video.  All the upcoming midweek services (Lenten, Holy Thursday, Good Friday) will be premiered at 10:30 a.m., regardless of the day.  They also may be viewed live during the premiere, or later when they are archived on our YouTube channel.

“He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!”
~Psalm 107:20-21

The Lord’s peace be with you,
Pastor Shudy

March 18, 2020: Cancellation of all Worship Services and Related Activities

Dear members of the Grace and St. John Lutheran Dual Parish,

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).

As you are all well aware, the coronavirus has created a public health emergency that has brought much of our nation to a halt in order to stop the spread of this disease.  Since the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has ordered a “statewide moratorium on mass gatherings of 10 people or more,” we will not be holding midweek services at either Grace or St. John Lutheran Churches starting, Wednesday, March 18.

This prohibition of mass gatherings will apply to all our other upcoming Sunday and Wednesday midweek services.  Therefore, all services and activities at both churches are cancelled while this order is in effect.  Currently, there is no estimated end to this order.  As such, the cancellation of services will continue until Governor Evers retracts this order and we may return to our normal schedule of worship.  We pray that the virus will pass soon and we may once again joyfully gather around God’s Word and Sacraments as a Christian community.

Please pass this on and help spread this information to anyone who may not come across this information in a timely manner, and stay tuned for further updates and developments.  Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

A prayer for this time:

O God, You desire not the death of sinners, but rather that we turn from our wickedness and live. Graciously behold Your people who plead to You and spare us. Withdraw the scourge of Your wrath and be moved in mercy to turn away this pestilence from us; for the sake of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Shudy

Welcome to our Dual Parish

Two Churches - One Ministry

2019 05 16 saint john lutheran church

St. John Lutheran Church

Black River Falls, WI
Grace lutheran church alma center wi

Grace Lutheran Church

Alma Center, WI