Pastoral Letter April 1, 2020

Trinity Lutheran Church

135 Crescent Drive, Sheridan, WY 82801

Pastor Phil Wold - cell 307-763-1115 - philwold@gmail.com

April 1, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

The Trinity Council met via video conference last night, March 31st, and we have determined that we will continue to follow the Governor’s recommendation that we not gather. This, of course, means that we will not be here for worship this Easter. We will continue to provide an online service each Sunday, as well as daily devotions. My prayer is that in this time of social distancing, we will seek to make connections in ways that ultimately draw us closer together. That seems like the sort of thing God would do with this chapter in our lives!

For that matter, as we talked about what I should say in this letter, the first thing Council people said was: “we miss you.” I want you to know that there is a Council member who is praying for you each week. Know also that we are praying together with you.

Holy Week worship plans are under way. The Sheridan Ministerial Association has a wonderful Good Friday tradition. For many years now, we have gathered at noon for a service with a simple liturgy, a reading of one of the Seven Last Words of Jesus, and each of the ministers preaching a one page sermon on that text. Many of us have found this to be a service that helps to shape our Easter remembrance in rich ways.

It is the Sheridan First United Methodist Church’s turn to host this year. Pastor Jim Barth has generously offered to video each minister offering their message, and he will put together a service on video. I expect to be able to post this service on our web-site, and if not, I will be able to send a link.

We will also provide resources for the entire Easter weekend. When plans become more clear, they will be posted on our web site. As I said in a Trinity Connections note; for most all of us, this will be an Easter like none other. When this has passed, and we are able to gather together again, we will plan a Festival service with the great Easter anthems like “Jesus Christ is Risen Today.” That service, too, will be an Easter celebration like none other. Of course, we do not know when that will be, as we continue with social distancing for the sake of our neighbors and ourselves.

I am not sure where I saw this, but it is helpful: “Everything we do before a pandemic will seem alarmist. Everything we do after a pandemic will seem inadequate.” This is from Michael Leavitt, who was Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2005 to 2009. It is good to remember that covid-19 requires this extraordinary response, and we are surely not overreacting.

Many thanks to all of you who have mailed your offering to Trinity. We want to continue to support our ministry partners, and so if you can send your offering to 135 Crescent Drive, that will be greatly appreciated!

Finally, if you need help with picking up groceries, prescriptions or any other errands, there are several people who have told me they would be glad to be of service. Further, none of you need to decide between paying rent or buying food. Contact me if you need help of any sort. There are so very many Trinity people who have offered to help, and we are learning afresh, that we all need one another.

Blessings to you from me and from your Trinity Council Peace,

Pastor Phil