COVID 19 Update...
Dear brothers and sisters of Holy Cross,
As you are probably well aware, the CDC has recommended that groups of 50 or more should not meet for the next 8 weeks. Additionally, President Trump has encouraged no gatherings of 10 or more for 15 days. These guidelines have drastically altered our normal way of living. We are all adjusting to new schedules and a new normal.
What does that mean for us at Holy Cross?
Last night the Church Council met to prayerfully brainstorm and plan how we can healthily continue our ministry together during this time of crisis. We talked through some of the changes that are coming our way as a church family and how we can ensure that we will remain engaged and committed to serving God and each other. In light of the recent recommendations, we have canceled all in-person gatherings at Holy Cross until at least Easter (April 12). This expands our previous cancellations to include worship service gatherings as well. This date is tentative and may move depending on new developments in the coming weeks.
At this point, most of our spring semester ministry events will be canceled, postponed, or moved on-line for the duration of the ministry season. Also, effective immediately, we will be closing the church office to all but essential functions. Office staff will be working in a limited capacity to ensure that essential services are still being provided. We will still have access to our phone and email systems, so please continue to contact us if you or your family need spiritual assistance as we navigate these trying times.
Until we can resume our in-person activities, here are some ways we hope to keep us all connected:
Pastor Bailey and I will be phoning every member of the congregation, begging with those most at risk (the elderly, sick, and recovering), to ensure that everyone is being cared for.
Small fellowship groups and ministry teams will begin meeting virtually. Leaders will be contacted on how to utilize zoom technology to host these gatherings. If you are in a group and have expertise in using Zoom and would like to host your group, please contact your leader and let them know. I am sure they would appreciate the help!
We will begin providing you with a daily word of encouragement and hope through a brief devotional on our Facebook page.
Pastor Bailey is working with our Children and Youth ministry teams to develop and provide devotional resources for children and youth.
I am developing a couple of virtual adult bible study options as well.
Watch for details of these offerings to be shared in the coming days.
While we will be unable to worship in person, we continue to develop our technical abilities with our livestream broadcast, and we encourage you and your family to worship with us online through one of our 2 livestream options each Sunday. Our Contemporary Service will be streamed at 9:00am and our Traditional Service at 10:15am. We hope that the familiarity of worshiping at Holy Cross will provide some sort of normalcy and comfort to your week.
You can access our livestream by going to holycrosslutheranchurch.org, clicking on MyHC, and then selecting the “watch live” tile.
With all of the uncertainty in our world, we have decided to suspend our annual stewardship campaign. We want you to know that your health and wellbeing are far more important to us than any fundraising campaign. That being said, I do want to encourage you to continue giving to the Lord’s work regularly. If you have never given online you can do it securely on our website (holycrosslutheranchurch.org/give). Or, you can mail a check in to the church office (1300 S. Sertoma Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57106). You might also consider a special gift to the Compassion Fund since there are many in our church and community who are going to be hit hard by the economic challenges related to the coronavirus.
In the coming weeks and months, our church family will have an unprecedented opportunity to sacrificially serve one another and the unbelieving community around us. Jesus spoke to the importance of this opportunity when he said: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
To that end, we are encouraging every congregant to devote themselves to two primary tasks. First, we are calling on church members to commit themselves to times of intercessory prayer during this season. Second, we are calling on church members to begin diligently checking in with other members of the congregation through phone or video calls.
Physical, spiritual, or emotional needs
We are also encouraging all church members to reach out to us as spiritual or emotional needs arise. Pastor Bailey and I can be reached by phone (605-362-1947) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com) As needs come up, please don’t hesitate to reach out to either of us. We will be working closely with the staff, the Church Council, and other members of Holy Cross as our congregation seeks to demonstrate the powerful love of the Lord Jesus in the midst of much uncertainty.
Psalm 91 reminds us that God is a shelter for all who dwell in Him. As we consider the glorious promises of God, let us strive to make this unusual season a time of deep abiding and growth in Christ rather than spiritual laxity. Let us say to the Lord as a body, “Our refuge and our fortress, our God, in whom we trust.”
God bless you; stay well!
Love in Christ,