COVID-19 Updates

Updated Friday, March 20, 2020

Highlights

Latest Church Update

At the close of our first COVID-19 week...

Dear Salem family -

If your week has been anything like ours, it’s been a week of firsts. First time for church and school cancelled because of a virus. First time a funeral has been postponed because of a virus. First time the store shelves have been empty in our grocery stores because of a virus. I pray that you’ve had a chance to get the food and supplies that you need. It’s wise to listen to our officials and follow their advice to have a 2 week supply of what we need on hand. If you have difficulties getting to the store or anywhere else, please let me know. A number of our members have volunteered to help!As I contemplate the changes that have taken place so quickly over the past week, I needed a reminder that even in the middle of changes, God doesn’t. He promises to be there for us and to make sure we have everything we need. In our family devotion this morning we heard these words: “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the advice of the wicked, who does not stand on the path with sinners, and who does not sit in a meeting with mockers. But his delight is in the teaching of the LORD, and on his teaching he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, and its leaves do not wither. Everything he does prospers.” (Psalm 1:1–3 EHV). We are blessed when we spend time in God’s Word—not just reading it, but spending time thinking about it. Rolling it around in our heads. Letting it fall off our tongues in our prayers. Meditating on it day and night. When we spend that kind of time in God’s Word, look what happens—everything we do prospers. Everything we do brings blessings to the people around us. God isn’t forgetting about us today. He can’t. Spend some time with your Father and listen to his voice today.

As we hide in the shelter of His wings, I pray that the Lord will bring you comfort and strength for today. One of our Salem family members shared this song with me this morning. I needed to hear the message, and I pray it will build you up too!

Is He Worthy?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkRiYsTN7KY

Do you feel the world is broken? (We do)
Do you feel the shadows deepen? (We do)
But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through? (We do)
Do you wish that you could see it all made new? (We do)
Is all creation groaning? (It is)
Is a new creation coming? (It is)
Is the glory of the Lord to be the light within our midst? (It is)
Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? (It is)
Is anyone worthy? Is anyone whole?
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?
The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave
He is David’s root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slave
Is He worthy? Is He worthy
Of all blessing and honor and glory?
Is He worthy of this?
He is
Does the Father truly love us? (He does)
Does the Spirit move among us? (He does)
And does Jesus, our Messiah, hold forever those He loves? (He does)
Does our God intend to dwell again with us? (He does)
Is anyone worthy? Is anyone whole?
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?
The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave
He is David’s root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slave
From every people and tribe (People and tribe)
Every nation and tongue (Every nation and tongue)
He has made us a kingdom and priests to God
To reign with the Son
Is He worthy? Is He worthy
Of all blessing and honor and glory?
Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
Is He worthy of this?
He is, He is
Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
He is, He is
He is worthy, He is worthy
He is

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Andrew Peterson / Ben Shive
Is He Worthy? lyrics © The Bicycle Music Company, Music Services, Inc

He lives!
Pastor Brohn
Salem Lutheran Church

Previous Church Updates

Dear Salem family -

We’ve been working hard today to get the Lenten service ready for you. Pastor Steve Saatkamp, from Emmanuel in Hudson, was scheduled to be the guest preacher. He graciously shared his sermon via video. The video, the service, and the sermon are available here. Please forgive the small glitches in the hymns. I’m not quite sure why the recording did that, but we’ll work to improve it for the next service.

If you’d like another service to view, I’ll share some more sites in the days ahead. Here’s one: St. John’s Wauwatosa livestreams their services and their Bible studies. Another wonderful link that you might enjoy is from Keith and Kristyn Getty. They shared a St. Patrick’s Day Hymn Sing on Facebook. If you’d like to watch, here’s the link.

We’ve added a new feature to the Salem website. Since we don’t have our connection card prayers rolling in, we’ve added a prayer request page. If you’d like us to pray for anything, fill out this form. Pastor Jake and I will receive an email with your request and we’ll start praying right away!

This morning I read a blog encouraging us to keep being Jesus’ Church, even when we don’t gather together. Here are the author’s five ways to keep doing that:

  1. Support your pastors. And elders, and trustees and board members - whoever has to make the really hard decisions about whether and how to gather in times of uncertainty. There is no road map for this, and there is no one right answer. Trust that the folks who ultimately make the call spent some time in prayer, discernment, and very difficult conversations. Know that they heavily weighed consequences, including your disappointment, and ultimately did what they thought was the best thing for the wellbeing of the community. Thank them for having your best interests at heart, and then
  2. Send in your pledge. This may seem like a small thing in the grand scheme right now, but trust me. It matters that you continue to get your offering in, as long as you are fiscally able. This is a great time to reexamine online giving options, or encourage folks to sign up for automatic withdrawal. Even the healthiest congregations can find themselves in the hole, and quick, after just a few Sundays of missed offerings. If you can’t give online, mail in a check, send a carrier pigeon, do what you have to do. Even if the building is empty, bills and salaries need to be paid; what’s more, you’re helping your church maintain mission commitments to the community in a time when that commitment is more important than ever.
  3. Check on your neighbors. You older neighbors, your neighbor on chemo, your neighbor whose kid relies on free school lunch, your neighbor who still has to go to work and could use help with childcare… Any time you help someone in your proximity, you are living out the values of your faith community. You are embodying what the whole gospel thing is about, which takes church out of the building and brings it to life for others. This is what we go to church to learn how to do– it is ‘for such a time as this’ that you have spent all those other Sundays in worship.
  4. Pray for your church family. And send notes. Make phone calls. All the things that we do for shut-ins, do for each other now that we are all shut-ins, so to speak. We are one body, even when that body is not together in the flesh. There are plenty of ways to stay connected in spirit, and care for each others’ spiritual needs.
  5. Practice Sabbath. For some, this shutdown of life as we know it is going to cause significant economic hardship. In the spirit of #3, care for your neighbor as best as you can. In the meantime, recognize if your own discomfort is just inconvenience, and keep that perspective. Recognize that downtime can be a gift– an imposed sabbath of time to sit still and be with your family, without the usual rush of places to be and things to accomplish. Read together; prepare meals together (can you share with a neighbor? #3 and repeat); maybe even binge watch some Netflix together. When’s the last time everybody was home for this long? Talk about what you can learn from this season. Talk about your blessings. Play a game. Make something. Listen to music. It really doesn’t matter. Any of these things can be worshipful in their own way, if by ‘worship’ we mean rest and renewal by way of connecting with God and others.

(Five Ways To Be The Church When Church Is Canceled MARCH 13, 2020 BY ERIN WATHEN)

He lives!
Pastor Brohn
Salem Lutheran Church

Dear Salem family -

Tonight our church council met and after discussion on the pros and cons of holding worship services this week vs. not holding them, the council decided to cancel worship services for the next two weeks. We will not have Lenten services on March 18 & 25. We will not hold services the weekends of March 21-22 & March 28-29. The council will meet again on March 31st to evaluate the situation and decide on our course of action for worship services in April.

In the interim, we plan to offer a video service for the remaining Wednesdays in Lent, as well as a video service for the weekend. Our goal will be to record the video and have it ready for viewing on Sunday morning. As soon as we work out the schedule for posting on the website we will let you know. Pastor Jake and I also plan to call all of our members to visit with you personally.

We are also working on a virtual Bible study schedule. We hope to offer the Tuesday morning Bible study and the Sunday morning Bible study through Google Hangout Meet. As soon as we work out that schedule we will share it with you.

We know that this is a difficult time for all of us. At the same time we have the opportunity to work while it is day and share the good news about Jesus with our families around the kitchen table, with our neighbors across the fence, and with people we see at the store. We can let our light shine for all to see, always confident of the Lord’s promise: “The everlasting God is a dwelling place, and his eternal arms are under you... You are a people saved by the LORD, the shield who gives you help, the sword who gives you majesty.” (Deuteronomy 33:27,29 EHV).

He lives!
Pastor Brohn
Salem Lutheran Church

Here are a few updates to this week’s schedule:

Tuesday 10 a.m. Bible Support Group (Bible study) is cancelled
Tuesday evening Youth Basketball is cancelled

Wednesday Lenten services at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. are still on
Lenten dinner is cancelled. We will have a free-will offering basket out for the 8th grade class trip. Please also remember that if you will not attend the services, you can still make an online donation. Behind the box marked Other you can type in what you want your gift directed toward, and then for frequency mark it as a one-time gift.

  1. Enter the amount you want to give in the appropriate box (Current Operating Expense, Missions, etc.)
  2. Enter the Duration Frequency from the drop down box (one time, weekly, monthly, etc.)
  3. Enter Duration Start Date and select the date you’d like to give your offering and click Continue
  4. On the next page follow the instructions to enter your name and address, and credit card or bank information.
  5. If you’d like to set up an account to make future giving easier, click on Select Password
  6. Click on I’m not a robot
  7. When complete, click on Process

The video of the service, audio and print copy of sermon, and yesterday’s bulletin are available here.

Even if you were there, please share this link with as many people as possible. We’d love to share Jesus’ powerful promises with those who were unable to make it to church this past weekend.

Keep your heads up and your eyes and ears open. God has plenty of work for us to do with our neighbors and friends. Pray for your neighborhood. Check on neighbors to see if they need any assistance. Use this opportunity to build relationships so we can share the good news of Jesus as often as we can!

He lives!

Pastor Brohn
Salem Lutheran Church

Dear Salem family -

As you are well aware, COVID-19 (coronavirus) is dominating news headlines as it continues to spread. Salem is taking measures that are in line with the recommendations from the CDC and Washington County Health Department. If these local health experts and community leaders ever communicate a need to stop gathering for worship services, group gatherings, or school, we will be ready and willing to comply.

In consultation with our Church Council, here is our plan for this weekend. We will hold services at our normal times (Saturday 5 pm; Sunday 8 & 10:30 am) for anyone who wants to attend. Attending worship is completely optional, and we strongly encourage those who are older or have a compromised immune system to stay home. We will make sure that the entire service is on the screen and will not use bulletins or hymnals. We will have a notice on the screen encouraging all who attend to spread out through the sanctuary at the recommended 6 feet of separation (families can still sit together). We will usher people out of the services and we will not shake hands following the service. There will also be no 9:15 am Bible study or Sunday School.

Read this weekend’s message: Undefeated by Spiritual Blindness

We will provide a basket for you to deposit offerings as you enter or leave each service. If you are unable to attend worship and would like to give your offering from home via your computer, please visit this link to get to our online giving page:

  1. Enter the amount you want to give in the appropriate box (Current Operating Expense, Missions, etc.)
  2. Enter the Duration Frequency from the drop down box (one time, weekly, monthly, etc.)
  3. Enter Duration Start Date and select the date you’d like to give your offering and click Continue
  4. On the next page follow the instructions to enter your name and address, and credit card or bank information.
  5. If you’d like to set up an account to make future giving easier, click on Select Password
  6. Click on I’m not a robot
  7. When complete, click on Process

If you have questions please reach out to Brian Shult at bshult@gmail.com.

We will also eliminate the Lenten meals for the remainder of the season since some of the groups don’t have a licensed CFPM (food prep and handling certified) person working in the kitchen during their meals. In order to help the groups who were sponsoring the meals to raise funds, we will have a free-will offering basket out for donations.

Church Council will meet on Tuesday evening for our regular meeting and discuss next steps as we go forward.

We want to be wise about dealing with this virus. We also need to remember the LORD’s promise: “One who lives in the shelter of the Most High will stay in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” Surely he will rescue you from the fowler’s trap, from the destructive plague. With his feathers he will cover you, and under his wings you will find refuge. His truth will be your shield and armor. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the plague that prowls in the darkness, nor the pestilence that destroys at noon” (Psalm 91:1-6 EHV).

In Christ,

Pastor Brohn
Pastor Schram
Salem Church Council

Latest School Update: March 17, 2020

Hello Salem Family,

The teachers met Monday morning and plans are beginning to form for how we are going to be able to serve you and your families as you remain in your homes.

We want these plans to be well thought through so they can be successfully implemented from the start. In order to do this, we will need this entire week to get things ready for you. We are hoping to have days at the end of this week for families to pick up student work so we can start remote learning next Monday, March 23.

The teachers also realize this is a long time for your kids to be without education. We are going to be putting together a list of resources you can use at home to keep your children learning while plans are being finalized. This resource list will be sent out tomorrow.

The teachers and faculty of Salem are reaching out to see if there is a need for childcare or lunches during this time. If there is a need, please respond to your child’s teacher by Tuesday 8 pm, so we can make plans to assist you.

Thank you for bearing with us and helping us as we continue to work together to educate your family and keep them safe.

God’s blessings on your day.

Principal Ryan Klatt
Salem Lutheran School