PALESTINE LUTHERAN CHURCH, HUXLEY, IOWA

Good morning and Peace be with you!

I would like to begin by writing that I admire our congregation and its leaders for their commitment to the community of faith especially now.

As pastor, I am responsible to many people but mostly to God above anyone else.  I realize that people are not all on the same wave length when it comes to the responsible thing to do as a community whose life-blood is gathering and fellowship.  Some local clergy have contacted me to find out what we are doing and sharing their considerations as well.  The Bishop's office has done the same and advising that we set an example for staying healthy and honoring the importance of social distancing with regard to addressing community spread.

Governor Reynolds has issued a State Public Health Disaster Declaration which prevents the gathering of more than 10 people meeting and included “for religious reasons” (section three which expires midnight on March 31st.)  This section might be extended at that time but the declaration as a whole continues until April 16th which includes Holy Week and Easter.

In response and preparation for the season ahead…

We (the Council) plan the following to honor our members and community.

1 - Suspend all meals for Lent and Lent worship.  I will send out psalms and reflections on Wednesdays

2 - Suspend children's church and church activities in line with the local school (just like when we have weather issues)

3 – Pastor Eric will maintain office hours at the church (Tuesday to Friday)

4 - Suspend all Holy Communion until Easter and afterward (revisit this when necessary)

5 - Sunday worship will continue on-line via “live streaming” only until after March 31st when we will revisit the situation.

6 - Maintain Holy Week schedule for the moment
(revisit when we get closer especially for Easter and Maundy Thursday)

I will arrange a calling list to contact home-bound members and others in Palestine.  We will continue to use emails, newsletters and bulletins - to include emailing bulletins and Lent devotions.

I will make available all sermons either on video or sent written along with bulletins to the congregation.

The Palestine Executive Committee and Council stand together around these six steps for the health and well-being of our church and community.  We agree that together with God Palestine will come through this time with strength and a deeper faith.  We will keep you posted on items as they evolve to include worship, stewardship, staffing and community needs.

We feel strongly about doing this with safety and caution in mind.  We need your support.

Peace,

Pastor Eric Klimpel, along with The Palestine Executive Committee, Palestine Council