Dear Disciples of First Lutheran Church,
On Wednesday of this past week, we submitted our congregation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. One of the components of that plan was to close our facility and restrict in-person congregational gatherings if Lincoln Public Schools closed, or, if Lincoln city Mayor Baird recommended a similar response.
At 1:00 pm today, Friday, March 13, Steve Joel, Superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools, closed schools for the week of March16-22.
In order to cooperate with our city partners and help limit the spread of the virus, we will close First Lutheran Church through April 3, 2020. This means our facility will not be open for worship services on Saturday, March 14, through Friday, April 3. This includes all congregational activities. This includes all outside groups who use our facility. We will reevaluate our response at the end of the March and keep you informed as decisions are made.
A deciding factor in this more aggressive response is the fact that many families of our congregation and friends of our congregation traveled during Spring break. They may unknowingly spread the virus to vulnerable people in our congregation and beyond our congregation.
While the risk to anyone in Nebraska remains low at this time, the ONLY way to flatten the curve of infection and save as many lives as possible is through social distancing. Therefore, for the sake of the most vulnerable among us and with our best public health advice, we are declaring the following actions:
- No in-person congregational gatherings at First Lutheran Church through April 3, 2020, including worship.
- We will continue to provide our recorded sermons online through our website: www.flclincoln.org/resources. We will look into other online platforms for ways of connecting with you through worship, prayer and learning opportunities.
- We encourage people 60 & over and people with compromised health conditions to limit your public presence until health officials indicate it is safe.
- We encourage you to contact us at 402.488.0919 or 402.200.9680 if you have a need.
- We encourage you to remember that the first and worst affected in a crisis like this will be the poor, food insecure, etc. Our local food pantry continues to need our gifts of food and money.
- We thank you for continuing to share your financial gifts online, or by mail, so that we can continue to pay our bills and salaries and help local ministries who serve the most vulnerable in our community.
We do not recommend these measures in panic, but as a measured consideration of the alternatives. We pray for all who navigate these uncertain and frightening times, especially those with the virus, anxious about it, caring for someone with it, or grieving someone lost to this illness. We pray for health care professionals who serve us. We pray for our leaders as they make decisions for the welfare of our communities. We trust that God, in Christ, always holds us in times such as these.
Your Congregational Council