FromThePastor pic

Pastor’s Message

 

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

            The above promise goes with the Great Commission where Jesus sends out his disciples to make disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching them.  This promise is for us today who continue to be the Lord’s followers and who still seek to make disciples of all nations.  The Lord is with us!  We may have to practice social distancing right now, but Jesus promises to be with you always.  Even though right now we are not able to gather to receive the Lord’s Supper (One of the special ways the Lord is with us and brings us His Real Presence!), our God is still with us!  He is so generous that He does not provide only 1 means of being present with us.  He also comes to us through His Word and is with us daily in our baptism which is not only something that happened to you years ago but is something we live in daily—clothed in Christ!  I would especially encourage you to make use of every means you can for hearing God’s Word. 

            Here are some suggestions for you:

  • Sermons/Devotions are currently being be posted on Wednesdays and Sundays — www.tlcglendora.org
  • Sunday’s at 9:00 you can tune in your radio to AM 1400 or FM 106.1 to hear the service broadcast of either our service or Christ Lutheran Stevensville’s service. This will continue even when we are not having services here.  The sermon I preach will be edited into an old broadcast of one of our past services so that there is a full service. 
  • Turn on your TV to WHME, channel 46, at 11:00 AM on Sundays for the Worship Anew telecast.
  • Check the websites of other Lutheran Churches like Immanuel Bridgman, Trinity St. Joe, or Christ Lutheran Stevensville for their recorded or live stream services.
  • Read the devotions from your Portals of Prayer and/or Lutheran hour ministries, lhm.org/lent or check out the synod website at www.lcms.org . If you need the new Portals of Prayer contact pastor or the church office and we will mail it to you or deliver it to your home mailbox. 
  • Check out 21daystogether.com for daily devotions from some great Lutheran pastors throughout the country.
  • Go to http://quardokus.com/homeworship/ for a guide to doing your own in-home family service. This is a resource from Pastor Quardokus.

 

            I was listening to one of the devotions from www.21daystogether.com, and I heard a line that I would like to share with you.  It is, “Never waste a good crisis.”  Often when life is good and things are just rolling along, it is easy for the good things in our lives to become “too good” to us.  Our focus is shifted off of Jesus onto other places.  These become our false gods (idols).  A crisis has a way of exposing and stripping away our idols.  “Never waste a good crisis,” means first that this is a good time to acknowledge those idols in our lives and repent of our sin.  Particularly, to me, an opportunity with this crisis is for many of us to slow down and enjoy a Sabbath rest with our family.  Enjoy the gift of rest at home!  Make some special memories together as a family.  Spend time with devices off and just talk.   Spend time together in devotions and the study of God’s Word.  I would love for you to listen to the services that I post, but honestly, it might be even better for you to read the Word together, think about what it says, and talk about it.  Engage your own critical thinking.  Ask each other questions.  Text me some of those if you really get stumped.  I realize that not all of you have a family at home.  Some of you live alone, and this might be an especially lonely time for you.  Ask yourself how you might be able to use this time.  Maybe you could reconnect with someone who is normally too busy to talk.  Maybe you could read a book to a great-grandchild over the phone since they aren’t at school.  Maybe there is someone you could call or write to who you think might be lonely like you are.  “Never waste a good crisis!”  This may sound strange, but this time of social distancing may be a fertile time for the spreading of the Gospel and making disciples of all nations.  Share some of the opportunities for hearing the Word that I listed above with others that you know who don’t often hear the Word.  If you have ideas or know of anyone who needs help, please let me know. 

 

            As far as our plan for getting back together for worship, things keep changing so stay tuned!  We will communicate using the website, Facebook, email, letters, phone calls, and the church voicemail.  Posting messages on the church door doesn’t work so well anymore since you are supposed to stay home.  We will be calling you to ask your preferred method of communication.  At the time of this writing, the date the Governor has given for staying home is April 13th.  That would mean we won’t be able to gather for Easter services on the 12th.  If that is indeed what happens, then we will pick a later date to celebrate Easter—maybe even do the breakfast and egg hunt and everything if you would like to do that.  One other possibility is this—if I can get permission from local law enforcement, we might do “Drive-In Church” for Easter on the 12th.  Bob Mann ordered an FM transmitter and you would sit in your cars in the parking lot.  I would set up a cross and altar at the end of the parking lot and you would practice social distancing by being in your cars.  We’ll work on the plan, and I’ll try to get permission. 

 

            I would encourage you to follow the Governor’s Directive.  Please stay home unless you must go out.  We will not be having the times at church for Communion that I had put in the previous letter.  This grieves me, for I would much rather do it and get to see you, but I think we should all do our part to try to prevent the spread of the virus.  That being said, if you need pastoral care, please call/text me (860)319-7487.  I will still come to you if you have an emergency.   I miss all of you and pray diligently for you!  Don’t waste this crisis and remember Jesus’ promise—He is with you always! 

                                                                                                                                                God’s Peace in Christ,

                                                                                                                                                Pastor Liebich