JULY 5 UPDATE
The survey responses reflect a desire on behalf of the congregation to take a conservative approach toward reopening our building and shifting back to in-person worship and ministries. While we were waiting for your surveys, members of the New Day Planning Team measured and divided the sanctuary so people/family groupings can sit the recommended 6 feet apart, and came up with space for upto 47 people. With limited space in the sanctuary, worshippers would need to reserve a space in advance, check-in at the front door, wear a mask, and stay seated in their assigned pew. There would be no singing, except for the limited musicians up front. Cleaning and sanitizing protocols would be followed both before and after the shortened worship service. There would be no fellowship, coffee, or food. Worshippers would need to leave the building immediately following the service.
With these considerations, along with the time and energy demands on our staff and lay leaders who would also need to continue organizing and preparing our online worship services and ministries, the Church Council unanimously approved the New Day Planning Team’s recommendation that we hold off opening the church building for worship and other ministries until at least the end of August, while we continue to be the church together in ever changing and unique ways.
In August, we will review the situation and reassess our options. This is a rapidly changing situation, with churches around the country that had previously opened closing again due to covid-19 outbreaks. Prior to reviewing the situation at the end of August, a second survey will be sent out to help with planning for the fall. This is not the recommendation that some of us were hoping for, but we believe, after reviewing all of the considerations, it is the most prudent decision at this time. Thank you for your continued participation in and sharing of our online worshipand ministries with your family and friends. Thank you for your feedback, your prayers, your patience, your continued support and faithful giving. We know with Christ Jesus at the center of our community, we will be strengthened in faith and mutual love through the power of the Holy Spirit!
MAY 27 UPDATE
On Tuesday, May 26, 2020, the Christus Victor Church Council renewed the decision to keep the building closed to group gatherings until the New Day planning committee recommends that it is feasible to begin Phase One of a phased-in opening approach. Please help the New Day planning committee with their work by responding to the survey that will be coming out later this week. Your input is crucial as we develop our plan to open our church building for worship, ministries, and group gatherings.”
MARCH 25 UPDATE
Earlier this afternoon, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Governor Walz issued a “Stay at home” order, that is to go into effect across the state of Minnesota on Friday for the next two weeks. With the support of the Church Council, we are instituting this policy starting immediately here at Christus Victor.
The staff will be working from home, as many are already doing. We will continue “Being the Church” online through Facebook, Zoom, Instagram, email, texting, phone calls and phone conferencing, and through the church website. Please check these resources for updates in the coming days and weeks.
We will continue to worship online on Wednesdays at 7:30pm and on Sundays at 9:30am. That may shift from live streaming to a pre-recorded video, but those plans are just beginning. Our wonderful staff will continue to lead worship online for GLOW, Confirmation, Youth Group, and Adult Bible Study. Pastor Kent will continue to post daily Bible reflections, prayer, and announcements.
Once this “stay at home” restriction is lifted, we will see what the on-going restrictions will be, and how to adjust our ministries accordingly. As restrictions are lifted, we will ease back into our face-face, person-person gatherings, worship, and ministries here at Christus Victor. It will not only be exciting to see each other again, we will be able to gather in our new space as well! We will have much to celebrate and praise God together!!
Thank you for your participation online, and sharing our worship and messages with your family and friends. Thank you for your patience, support, prayers, and continued faithful giving. With Christ Jesus at the center of our shared life, we will not only make it through this crisis, we will be strengthened in faith and mutual love through the surprising work of the Holy Spirit among us!
In Christ’s Service,
Your CV Church Council – Karl Dobberman, Aaron Nyquist, Kristin Schultz, David McMayer, Mike Orman, Karri Holman, Ron Hansen, Dawn Glewwe, Karin Ilg, Jody McDermott-Baty, Lori Olson, Sarah Thomson, Pastor Kent Claussen Gubrud
THURSDAY, MARCH 19 UPDATES
For Faith Formation this coming Sunday, March 22, Josh will be going online after our 9:30 AM service, on Facebook Live! We will start at 10:45 AM. Join in for a lesson on the Gospel from John chapter 9, and then for some resources you can utilize for taking faith home. See you then!
High School Bible Study will continue to meet at our regularly planned time this coming Sunday, March 22 at 12:30 PM. We will continue our conversation on co-creation and the Bible. You can connect to our Zoom meeting at http://zoom.us/j/541392716Meeting ID 541 392 716 (no password)
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18 UPDATES
FROM: Josh Svenulsky, Director of Children, Youth & Family Ministries (email@example.com)
WEDNESDAY PROGRAMS THIS WEEK:
CONFIRMATION…will be meeting this Wednesday at 6:30, shifting to an online format. We will be utilizing the online “Zoom” tool for meeting together, which can be used cross-platform on Windows and Macs, phones, tablets, and PCs. https://zoom.us/
We encourage you to eat together as a family beforehand if you can, and share together “where have you seen a blessing this week”. Holden Evening Prayer will then be streamed online at 7:30 via Facebook. More information to come soon! Check your emails, and contact Josh with questions.
GLOW:Join us together for GLOW Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM on Facebook Live. We will be streaming from the Children’s CVLC page on Facebook, which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/childrencvlc/
If you can, take time to eat dinner together beforehand, and share highs and lows with your family. If you have additional questions, contact Stacey @ firstname.lastname@example.org
HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH GROUP…Youth Group will be meeting this Wednesday from 8 – 9 PM, shifting to an online format. We will be utilizing the online “Zoom” tool for meeting together, which can be used cross-platform on Windows and Macs, phones, tablets, and PCs. https://zoom.us/
We encourage you all to go join us online beforehand at 7:30 via Facebook Live for Holden Evening Prayer. More information to come soon! Check your emails, and contact Josh with questions.
SUNDAY WORSHIP & FAITH FORMATION FOR ALL:
FAITH FORMATION FOR ALL…is planning on meeting this coming Sunday, although shifting to on online platform. There will only be one streamed worship service at 9:30, so Faith Formation will likely start meeting around 10:30~10:45. Stayed tuned from Josh for more information!
FIRST COMMUNION CLASS FOR 3RD – 5TH GRADERS & THEIR FAMILIES Please let us know if you are still interested in First Communion Class! The class will still be happening, but in a different online format, and maybe on a different Sunday than March 29th. Perhaps we will all cook bread together in our own kitchens! Stay tuned for more details.
Tuesday, March 17 Update
Dear Christus Victor Family and Friends,
This is a reminder that our church building is closed and we are discontinuing all person-person and face-face gatherings for worship, ministries, meetings, and rehearsals, both for our church, our partner churches, and all groups that use our building.
We are shifting our ministries online, to take advantage of the many tools we have to stay connected to each other, to worship God in a different way, learn and grow in faith Jesus Christ in a different way, and be the Church in a new and different way through the Holy Spirit.
Worship for Wednesday and Sunday will be streamed on the Christus Victor Facebook page. Wednesday night at 7:30pm and Sunday morning at 9:30am.
The staff is planning to use Facebook, ZOOM, other tools for GLOW, Confirmation, Youth Group, Thursday Morning Bible Study, and Faith Formation for All. We are also working on other online ministry plans.
Stay tuned to the CV Facebook Page, Website, E-news, and email for updates.
If you have any questions, concerns, ideas, or pastoral care needs, please contact the church office (952)454-6927, or email Pastor Kent at email@example.com.
Monday, March 16 Update
Dear Friends in Christ at Christus Victor,
Over and over again, the Bible reminds us, “Do not be afraid!” The Psalmists remind us that the Lord is with us, even as we walk through the darkest valleys. And the good news is that God is always with us. Joshua 1:9 says this: “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Jesus told his disciples, “Surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:20).
The staff and leaders of Christus Victor Lutheran Church have been monitoring the quickly unfolding situation with the COVID-19 virus and recommended responses by the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health, and other local public health officials. We have also been in contact with the ELCA, St. Paul Area Synod, other local congregations, and the school districts, so that we can have a clear plan for our congregation to keep all of our members, families, friends, and neighbors healthy and safe.
We had developed a three stage plan that was shared on Friday, March 13. However, with the closing of schools across Minnesota and the heightened recommendations for social distancing, we have skipped from our stage one response to stage three. The Church Council has unanimously decided that we need to close our church for ALL person to person ministries, worship services, gatherings, and rehearsals, including those of our church partners, and all groups that use our facilities, until Friday, March 27, at which time church leadership will review the situation and the recommendations from our government and healthcare officials. We will be shifting our worship and ministries online, and using all of the tools available to us to stay connected with and support all of our church members.
In the meantime, if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or have come into contact with an individual who has been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. If you are 70 years old, or have health issues that put you at higher risk, please stay home. Please inform the church office and Pastor Kent so he can follow up with pastoral care and coordinate any support you may need, like running errands, food, or regular phone calls to check in. We have contingency plans in place to maintain our church community through this public health event even if we are not physically together, through streaming or recording worship services, Bible Studies, as well as online prayer, devotions, and giving options.
Thank you for your support and cooperation as we work together to respond to the threat of COVID-19 in our community, country, and world. We will continue to closely monitor the situation, follow guidance from health officials and will keep you informed through regular communication, as needed. Check our CV Facebook page, website, and e-communications for updates, and feel free to call the church office Monday-Thursday from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm at 952-454-6927 if you have any questions, concerns, or pastoral care needs.
Uncertainty creates anxiety. While we want to be careful to not overreact to what is going on, we also want to be responsible in how we handle this very fluid situation, and have a plan in place should the need arise.
In the short term, I have a few requests for you:
- Please pray. Pray for those affected by this virus. Pray for the young and the vulnerable. Pray for medical professionals who tend and care for them. Pray for those who are affected by this health crisis economically. And please pray for health and well-being for all of God’s people.
- Love your neighbor. Some of these changes may be challenging to the way we are comfortable doing things. Please think of the health and well-being of your neighbors and their family and friends. “[Love] does not insist on its own way,” (1 Cor. 13: 5).
- Don’t be afraid. This is an anxious time for our whole nation. At times like this, we lean in to the promises of God. God tells us, “Do not be afraid!” We always rely on the foundation of God’s love and grace. God promises to walk through this with us. Rely on that promise.
If you have any thoughts or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
God’s peace and blessings!
PS – Keep washing your hands, maintain social distancing, and make healthy wise choices for yourself, and for your neighbors at higher risk than yourself.