No sooner do we figure out a plan, by the next day it’s out of date. So we will not be offering a drive-thru communion on April 5 & 19, at least not until the threat subsides and we can get out of the house again.
Also, effective tomorrow (Wednesday), we are closing the church building to the general public. We will have some staff still working in the office, but we’re trying to minimize the human contact – the very words rub against the grain of the Church! But we have to take precautions. If you need anything at from us at church, please call ahead. We can meet you at the door, if need be. Those who are working on church projects or ministries will still be able to come in.
I am also happy to announce the launch of the SHLC Community Support Project, which is designed to serve our congregation and community during this crisis. If you or anyone you know is in need, or if you or anyone you know is able to help or give, we have a Google Form to fill out, which we will then use to match up needs with solutions. This includes things like picking up groceries or meds, rides to doctor appointments, childcare, emergency need for personal or household items (we even have a limited supply of toilet paper, if you run out), as well as spiritual or emotional needs. You can request prayers or a call from one of the pastors. If you’re really having a rough time, I can come and visit, and I promise to wash my hands first.
Here's the link to the Google Form for our Community Support Project: Support Form
We’ll also be putting this up on our website and Facebook page. When you submit the form, we’ll be able to process your gift of time/energy/resources, or your need for help. You will be contacted as soon as possible to take care of the situation. Please remember: THIS IS FOR EVERYBODY, NOT JUST MEMBERS! Please share with your neighbors and others in the community.
We’re still doing daily video devotions on Facebook at 11 a.m. each morning Monday thru Saturday. We are also streaming our Lenten service on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., and our Sunday services at 8 a.m. (traditional) and 9:30 a.m. (REACH) each Sunday we’re all cooped up.
FOR YOUR PRAYERS: Our Haiti mission team is trying to return home today, and have passed the first few checkpoints at the airport in Haiti. Please lift up prayers that our good and gracious God see them safely all the way home!
God reaches us …
Hello? Is anybody out there?
Let me start by saying how much I miss you, already. I love every opportunity we have to come together, so this social distancing thing really stinks.
Pastor Chad and I will be providing a daily devotional message, usually through email, though we’ll use Facebook on Wednesdays. Jessica is sharing a wide assortment of materials for children, youth and families that you can use at home.
Just a reminder that we will be streaming our service tonight at 7 p.m. on our Facebook page. You can also link to it through our website: shepherdhills.org. This is also how we’ll be worshiping the next few weeks. Praise God for technology! And technicians!!
Also a more uncomfortable reminder: the mission and ministry of our Church Family continues during times of trial and triumph, and everything in between. In fact, this is especially the moment when Jesus expects us to rise up and be Little Christs, to meet the needs of the people around us. This also means that we need to remain faithful in our giving to Him. Our website has a link you can use to give electronically. You can certainly mail your offering (please don’t mail cash), or drop it off at the office. We’re still open for business for as long as it is safe to do so.
Please keep checking in with our website and Facebook posts, and if you need anything at all, please call or email.
Yours in Christ,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The world has seen the devastating power of COVID19 – the coronavirus – in recent weeks. The extensive loss of life is profoundly tragic, and we pray for those who grieve the loss of their loved ones, as we should whenever death leaves its mark.
We’re also witnessing governments, institutions and organizations taking drastic measures to try to contain the spread of this virus. The state board of health has issued a statement that recommends cancelling non-essential gatherings of 250+ people. Whether we all agree about the need for these actions or not, I believe that people in leadership positions are seeking the best medical advice they can find, and implementing precautions that are in the best interests of those they are called to serve.
We should do likewise here at SHLC. We do NOT plan to discontinue our worship or educational ministries here. God’s command and blessing, along with our need for His means of grace in Word and Sacrament, are the overriding factors in determining to carry on in His mission and ministry within our Church Family and community. He has shepherded His people through far worse threats and disasters, and I firmly and joyfully believe that He will do so again and again!
We will also be taking every feasible step toward keeping our facility as clean as possible. That being said, we do not want to take unnecessary risks, or expose our brothers and sisters to those risks, if we can help it. Based on what we’ve learned from the latest communications from medical experts, and my own conversations with medical professionals, we will move forward with the following directives for our congregation:
I don’t know how this pandemic is going to go, or when it will subside. But this I do know: our God is bigger and stronger than any virus! His grace is more than sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:7-10), and His power is made perfect in our weakness. That doesn’t make us immune. It makes us conquerors.
Pastor Steve Kline
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
Pastor Steve Kline was installed as Senior Pastor at SHLC on May 25, 2014, after serving 12 years as Senior Pastor at Zion in Wayside, WI. He was ordained in 1992 and previously served congregations in Pulaski and Hales Corners.