Epistle #36: Friday Update

1.  Look for a Sunday morning message this weekend coming from Pastor Brian, based on John 14:15-21.

2.  Introducing our new Office Manager, Dalene Davies-Smoot!!!!   Dalene will be in the office on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings from 9-12.  She comes to us with many years of church office experience, she enjoys her grandchildren and antiquing.  Give Dalene a call and introduce yourself, Meisha has deserted her and she will be very happy to hear a friendly voice.

3.  The MATURA food cart has been moved into the hallway of the church for easier access.  Food donations are still being welcomed and accepted at MATURA.

4.  Bishop Burk informed us this week of the death of the Rev. Paul M. Werger, Bishop Emeritus of the Southeastern Iowa Synod, who died May 11, 2020, from the COVID-19 virus.  Some of you may remember Pastor Werger as the first Bishop of the Southeastern Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA), serving from 1988 until 1996.  Paul is survived by his wife, Dianne, as well as his four children and their families.  The Rev. Philip Hougen joins Bishop Burk in remembering Paul as the best of predecessors, offering both support and friendship.  We thank God for his life and service and we pray for all those who mourn his death. 

5.  The Re-Entry Task Force at St. Paul Lutheran has been charged with determining the criteria and logistics for when and how St. Paul family and friends will re-enter worship together and in-person at St. Paul. The task force is comprised of Jacque Mohs, chair and Council vice-president, Dr. Amy Kimball, and Ann Bartelt.

While we know that some local churches are choosing to re-open their services to public gatherings, your health and safety is our primary concern.  We are taking a measured approach of precaution and vigilance to prepare for a re-opening. Resources such as the CDC, EPA, the Iowa Public Health COVID-10 Reopening Guidance, as well as guidance from the ELCA Synod, are all being utilized to ensure the safety of our health. We must ensure physical distancing and increased hygiene practices, and to do so requires much forethought and prudence.

As the task force closely monitors the facts of this pandemic, be assured that we are thinking strategically and working pro-actively to prepare for re-entry into our worship space. We acknowledge and pray for our most vulnerable, those most in need of or desiring in-person fellowship, and it is these people, along with all our St. Paul family, whom we must protect. When and how we will re-open worship at the church is uncertain at this juncture. In the meantime, continue to reach out to each other, pray for one other, and worship together remotely.

The task force is committed to serving you through this planning process, and we ask for your prayers just as we thank God for all of you. To borrow from a message from Bishop Burk, “We are #inthisTogether. And together, we belong to God.”


Church office phone: 515-462-4270
Church office email: StPaulLutheranChurch@hotmail.com
Pastor Brian Mortenson email: StPaulPastor1941@gmail.com
Pastoral Emergencies: 605-351-0867