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Local Churches Also Feeling Effect Of Pandemic

Area churches have also become a victim of the Covid-19 pandemic due to the gathering order. Grace Community Church, St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Parkview United Methodist Church and Zion Lutheran Church have all closed until further notice.
Jason Buck, Paster at Grace Community Church said, “Yes, Grace has suspended all of our services. We are keeping in touch with many of the members by phone. We are also getting video and audio out on our website and facebook groups.”
Mark Peacock, Pastor at Parkview United Methodist, said, “Parkview United Methodist Church has suspended all activities for now and will make the decision on how to proceed the week prior to Palm Sunday. This Sunday, I plan to use Zoom to share the day’s scriptures, pray together, and offer a brief meditation. We’ll see if it works; this is new for us. Meanwhile, we have lots of emails flying back and forth! I did shop yesterday (Thursday) at Austad’s Super Valu and the shelves were stocked (mostly) and there did not seem to be panic among the what seemed to be normal numbers of shoppers.”
Pastor Steve Miller of Zion Lutheran – Turtle Lake and Christ Lutheran – Pipe Lake said, “We cancelled Wednesday evening Lenten service. No time to figure things out.
In addition, our ladies were planning to host a Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) circuit gathering of perhaps 100 women…the annual Spring Rally on April 4…which has now been postponed until May. Hopefully we’ll be back open for business by then. They also have planned their annual Rummage Sale for April 24. Holy Week is early April. That appears to be in danger if the current ban continues.
We learned that St. Paul Lutheran Cumberland obtained an FM transmitter and is planning a parking lot service where people will drive up in their cars, while the pastor leads worship in the parking lot while people are tuned in to an FM setting.
The congregations in our LCMS circuit (Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod) are sharing information via email. These parishes extend from St. Croix Falls to Hayward, Rice Lake, Cumberland, Turtle Lake, Almena, etc. One of the pastors had acquired links to various online resources to share with his own congregation and then with the rest of us).
Others are going to make some use of live streaming some kind of service on Facebook.
We are planning to upload a message from the pastor to YouTube.
In addition, we had one of our ladies call everyone on our membership list to see how they’re doing, to verify their email address and to get an email address from them if we don’t already have it. She gleaned many new email addresses. We already email our newsletter out to many each month and mail the rest via USPS, but now we have more email addresses to which we can send the newsletter.
In addition, with permission, we will send one or two emails out every week with a printed sermon and with links to The Lutheran Hour radio broadcast where they can hear a sermon and access devotions either written or oral. We will also offer links to Christian music, perhaps at least one “hymn of the week”. We might also send links to other Christian sources that might be of help or encouragement. And we will send out a list of people/things to pray for and ask for reports of anyone in need of help. If such needs come to our attention, then we will seek volunteers willing and able to help.
St. Ann, Sacred Heart and St. Anthony Churches.
Under the direction of Bishop James Powers in a letter released to the faithful of the Diocese of Superior March 17, 2020:
1. Effective Wednesday, March 18, all public celebration of Masses are suspended until further notice.
2. Churches should remain open at least part of the day for private prayer and people are encouraged to reserve some part of their day for private prayer and devotions.
3. Communal reconciliation services should be cancelled and confessions should be limited to individual confession, preferably behind a screen.
4. Communal Anointing of the Sick services are cancelled.
5. During this Lenten season all of the elect are dispensed from participation in the scrutinies.
6. Effective Wednesday, March 18, ALL non-essential Parish gatherings should be postponed (including Friday evening fish fries).
7. All classroom Religious Education programs should be stopped as well.
8. The Priests Assembly has been cancelled as well as the “public” celebration of the Chrism Mass.
St. Anthony, St. Ann and Sacred Heart Catholic Chruches will be open from 8AM to 8PM each day for private prayer and devotion. We ask, at this time, that you limit the number of people inside the church to no more than 10 at any given time and that you maintain a safe space between you. Please maintain a quiet and prayerful atmosphere so as not to disturb those around you. These hours may be adjusted as necessary.

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