What is St. John’s doing during the COVID-19 outbreak?

This is the text of an email sent out to all our members. Many may be wondering about Easter worship, or confirmation — it’s simply too early to tell at this point. Here’s what the plan is for the foreseeable future. — Pr. Hagen

Dear members of St. John’s, Goodhue — As you may have heard by now, St. John’s, Goodhue has temporarily discontinued all services, classes, and events for the next two weeks. This coming Wednesday morning’s Lenten service will be the last face-to-face service we hold in the near future.

Catechism students and families (both parochial and public school), please look for an email soon with directions on how our catechism instruction will proceed while school is still cancelled.

Even though we won’t be meeting together corporately, God’s Word and His Sacrament will still be available. I will be keeping office hours for individuals or families who desire personal confession and absolution, a devotion, and the Lord’s Supper. You can come to the church building Sundays, 9-10:30 (our normal worship time), and also Wednesday mornings, 9-11:30. I will also be recording and posting devotions, sermons, and other content on our new website, which should be live in the next few days. Please stay tuned for future emails where the link will be shared. I am planning to post on Facebook, on YouTube, on my personal blog, The Daughter of Zion (thedaughterofzion.wordpress.com), and on our website. Feel free to share this content with anyone interested.

Please don’t forget that your church and school still need your support. The bills don’t care about coronavirus! If you usually give your offering in an envelope, you can mail it to the church. May I suggest that now might be a great time to try out e-giving? Go to easytithe.com/stjohnswels and follow the easy instructions to set up, or text GIVE and an amount to 1-218-304-7066 (ex: GIVE 250.00) and follow the easy directions.

Christians, do not panic! No matter how bad things get, or how dark it seems, Jesus is still Lord of all. He has promised to watch over us and keep us safe, and what’s more, He has promised to turn all things to our good. So trust in His care for you, and be sure to use the means He has given to guard your health and that of others. Wash hands, practice social distancing, stay home if you don’t feel well — and when you’re tempted to worry endlessly about the latest bit of bad news, don’t forget to reach for His Word as well as the hand sanitizer.

God is giving His people a great opportunity to help and serve others, disguised as a calamity. Christians have always taken the lead in helping others in times of crisis and great sickness, and we can again. Look in on your neighbors, especially the elderly and those at high risk. Offer to help by bringing them groceries, helping with errands or chores, or in any other way they need. Be Christ’s helping hands in the world. We don’t have a formal task force or group for this, but I trust you will recognize the opportunities once they’re in front of you.

Be of courage, be cheerful, and wait on the Lord!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Kurt Hagen