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SEPTEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER

From the Pastor

STATE OF THE CHURCH

We’ve been through a lot in the last six months. It’s time to take stock of what is happening:

  • Bible class attendance is significantly up. People who did not participate before the pandemic are doing so through Zoom.
  • People are participating in worship. A number of you are listening to the MP3 file or watching the video.
  • Attendance has increased at the in-person services, but could still improve. The attendance is still down from what it was in early March, but it has doubled from what it was in early May, when we began in-person communion services. We have had some visitors, too.
  • Most activities are plugging along. The food pantry has been a bit short-handed at times, but has continued to serve a good number of people.
  • Stewardship is lagging. Now the bad news. Initially giving went up in April and May, but it has fallen off since then. I think the big obstacle has been that people aren’t coming in person; when they were, they would put the offerings in the plate.

RETURNING TO FULL WORSHIP

When the church returns to worshipping upstairs in the main sanctuary, we will have the full communion service with music. (The church will return upstairs on September 6, unless it is expected to be near or above 90 degrees, in which case we will delay it one week.) For those of you who are watching the service at home, this will mean a slight delay, since the service will be recorded on Sunday (instead of a day or two earlier) and then processed and uploaded later that day. We can get you the audio quickly (early Sunday afternoon), but you won’t likely have the video until Monday morning.

This will be somewhat of an inconvenience for those who are watching online. However, it will make it more convenient for those who are attending the Sunday service, since right now they have to watch or listen to the Service of the Word online and then come to a spoken communion service. It will also make it somewhat easier for the pastor, who right now has to prepare two sermons—one on the Gospel for the online service and another on the Epistle for the in-person service.

THEOLOGY TODAY

We’re wrapping up our discussion of Authentic Christianity: How Lutheran Theology Speaks to a Postmodern World. Today (August 30) we are looking at pages 125–172, and on September 27 we’ll study pages 173–232.

NO HUNGER WALK THIS YEAR

Usually in September the Greater Chicago Food Depository hosts a Hunger Walk in Jackson Park, which enables member food pantries (such as ours) to raise money for their agencies. As you might imagine, the Hunger Walk had to be cancelled this year, since it is always quite crowded. However, there is some good news: the depository has not charged us for food since the pandemic began. How about showing some gratitude to them and contributing to the depository (4100 W Lurie Pl, Chicago 60632)?