Pandemic Response

UPDATE:   3/22/2020 7:30am – Virtual Worship Link Reminders
St. Michael has a new YouTube Channel, be sure to visit this link to join our virtual worship this morning or join us on Facebook.

UPDATE:  3/20/2020 4:00pm – Announcements and Links for Sunday 3/22/2020
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  This Sunday, we will hear that even in valley of the shadow of death, God is shepherd who leads us and cares for us.  Our building remains closed, including for worship this Sunday, March 22 and next Sunday, March 29.  Even though our building is closed, our church is open!  Below are some of the ways you connect with us during this time.
  • We will worship virtually.  Join in worship at 10am Sunday morning on our Facebook page or on St. Michael’s YouTube ChannelNEW SMLC CHANNEL!
  • 15 minute daily morning prayer is held at Monday-Friday at 10am via Zoom video conference.  Sign up here to be sent the link to the Zoom conference.
  • Pr. Adrianne, Hope, and Lucy are hosting live and unedited Virtual Children’s Chats on Mondays and Wednesdays at 11am and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5pm on Facebook.
  • We use Facebook to continue to connect to people and to share ideas for ways to spend that time and stay connected together.
  • Pr. Adrianne will be available for conversation via Skype and/or FaceTime or good, old fashioned telephone.  Please e-mail her for an appointment.
  • We will check in on one another.  If you fall ill or know of someone who is ill, please e-mail Pr. Adrianne so we can monitor and respond to the situation.
  • As you are able, you can also connect by supporting our ministry through financial gifts.
These opportunities are open to anyone, not just St. Michael members, so feel free to send this message or these links to friends in need of some time with God and God’s people.  Please be patient if you experience technical difficulties.
Finally, if you were not able to attend, you can view the funeral for Ernie Milner, including the committal, here.
In Christ,
Pr. Adrianne

UPDATE: 3/17/2020 1:30pm – Virtual Children’s Chats Scheduled
St. Michael is pleased to host virtual Children’s Chats Mondays and Wednesdays at 11am and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5pm.  Tune in on our Facebook page for these live chats on the saints.

UPDATE: 3/16/2020 11am – Virtual Children’s Chats
Parents – Would you like to participate in weekday children’s chats with Pr. Adrianne?  Navigate over here to complete a three-question, multiple-choice survey about times and formats.

UPDATE:  3/14/2020 5:15pm – Being Church during Coronavirus
My friends in Christ,

Hopefully you received our e-mail on Friday announcing changes due to Coronavirus.  Our building is largely closed during this time, including for worship on Sundays March 15 and 22.  More information about the closure can be found here.  Even though our building is closed, our church is open!  We know that in these times, as we work to protect the physical well-being of the most vulnerable among us, we all need to protect and shore up our spiritual, emotional, and social well-being.  Here is what we’re doing over the next two weeks to stay connected to God and one another:

  • We will worship virtually.  Join in worship at 10am Sunday morning on our Facebook page or on Pr. Adrianne’s YouTube Channel.
  • 15 minute daily morning prayer will be held at Monday-Friday at 10am via Zoom video conference.  Sign up here to be sent the link to the Zoom conference.
  • Bible study on the book of Jonah will begin Tuesday at 1:30pm via Zoom video conference and continue on Tuesday and Thursday for the next two weeks.  Follow this link to sign up and get information about connecting via video or phone.  Daily devotions on the book of Jonah will be posted here.
  • We will use Facebook to continue to connect people with ideas for ways to spend that time and stay connected together.
  • Pr. Adrianne will be available for conversation via Skype and/or FaceTime.  Please e-mail her for an appointment.
  • We will check in on one another.  If you fall ill or know of someone who is ill, please e-mail Pr. Adrianne so we can monitor and respond to the situation.

These opportunities are open to anyone, not just St. Michael members, so feel free to send this message or these links to friends in need of some time with God and God’s people.  Please be patient if you experience technical difficulties.

And, of course, if you like what we’ve produced – or can’t wait to get back to our usual schedule – you can give online to support our ministry.  Remember that more than 10% of what we receive goes to vital ministries partners like Kennett Area Community ServiceLCH, and Lutheran World Relief, who are all responding to this global health crisis.

In First Peter, the church is defined not by a building (because there were no Christian houses of worship at that time), but by its people.  It reads, “Come to him, a living stone, though reject by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (2:4-5).  Further, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (2 Peter 2:9).  Let us be the church now in prayer and study, in steadfast love and encouragement of one another, and in service to our neighbors in whatever ways we can.

In Christ,

Pr. Adrianne


UPDATE:  3/13/2020 4:45pm – Changes due to Coronavirus
Dear Friends in Christ,
On the night of his betrayal, knowing what was to come, Jesus said to his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid.”  Fear is a powerful emotion, and as news of the pandemic Coronavirus spreads, it is easy to be overcome by fear.  As we write to you today, we pray that you are overcome not by fear but by the peace of God, which, as St. Paul says, passes all our understanding.
While we choose faithful living over fear, we value the safety and security of our members and our community.  The overwhelming evidence and guidance suggest that the greatest gift we can give to our neighbor is to limit contact for a brief period in order to slow the spread of the virus.  We also recognize that while this protects our physical well-being, it puts our social, emotional, and spiritual well-beings at risk.  There is no right decision in these matters.
The council of St. Michael Lutheran Church has decided to move all worship services on-line and cancel, postpone, or move to virtual meeting all ministries, teams and committees.  In essence, the building is closed (except for a few key exceptions, below).  Let me be clear:
  • Sunday morning worship will NOT be held in person on March 15 or March 22, but an e-mail will follow outlining several ways to connect with St. Michael virtually for worship on these Sundays.
  • The funeral for Ernie Milner will be held as scheduled but at the Columbarium, and the funeral luncheon is canceled.  If you are sick, have traveled to a location with Coronavirus, or are a member of a vulnerable population, please stay home.  The funeral will be recorded and posted to YouTube.  A link will be provided in the next e-mail.
  • All St. Michael ministries and events are canceled through April 1.  This includes 2nd Saturday, all choirs, the Seeker’s Book Club, Wednesday Walk, First Communion, and the Men’s Bible Study.
  • Any teams who need to meet will do so via teleconference at the discretion of the pastors and the team chairs, again, through April 1.
  • The Children’s Musical has been postponed.  A rescheduled date will be announced at a later time.
  • St. Michael is closed to outside groups including Community Bible Study through April 1 except AA and Al-Anon, who will be restricted to assigned classrooms in the Education Wing.
  • 60 Plussers’ April 9th event is canceled.
  • Staff will telecommute, and will receive e-mails and voicemails at home.
While the building is largely closed, our janitorial service will thoroughly clean and lock unused rooms so they will be ready for our return with the threat of the virus lessens.  Please also remember that the congregation still has many financial obligations, even when the building is closed; if you wish to give to the congregation, you may send your contributions via mail to the church or click here to give online.
The building is closed, but the church was never a building.  We will continue to be church, together.  Tomorrow, you will receive an e-mail with details about:
  • Virtual Sunday Worship
  • Bible Study on the Book of Jonah on the Zoom video conference platform
  • Weekday Morning Prayer also on the Zoom video conference platform
  • Other ways to connect to St. Michael during social distancing
  • Pr. Adrianne will be available for conversation via Skype and/or FaceTime.  Please e-mail her for an appointment.
  • We will check in on one another.  If you fall ill or know of someone who is ill, please e-mail Pr. Adrianne so we can monitor and respond to the situation.
You can also monitor these changes a special page on Pr. Adrianne’s blog.  All e-mails and links will be placed on that page.
Beloved of God, in closing, we offer you this poem by Christian poet Lynn Ungar, titled “Pandemic.”
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath-
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love-
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
Be well, Beloved,
Adrianne Meier, pastor
Janet Parks, council president