When Do We Get to Go Back to Church?
Lord, I love the house where you reside,
the place where your glory dwells. Psalm 26:8 – NIV
“When do we come back to church this Sunday?” I am hearing that question a lot these past few days. You have probably heard that Minnesota Catholic dioceses and some Lutheran churches plan to disregard Governor Walz’ restrictions on public worship. And just yesterday President Trump decreed churches to be considered “essential.” Up to this moment, Governor Walz has continued to limit worship to under 10 people.
Saint Peter Lutheran does notplan to have a public worship service tomorrow, May 24. We will offer our live broadcast on Facebook tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. as we have these past number of weeks. In view of the confusion that exists and the need to communicate safe protocols for worship we will avoid the trap of rushing into something without careful forethought.
Here is what will happen over the next 4-7 days. Our executive committee will meet to recommend safe protocols that will work in our setting. Then our church council will meet to discuss a date to return to public worship and establish protocols for safety. We will inform the congregation of the decisions promptly and also share a video that will clearly lay out our worship protocols. Expect more communication over the next week and yes, please share that information with other members.
May God grant us health and patience,
Update on the Smiths & East Asia ministries
The following brief letter came to us from Prof. Mike & Anita Smith, our members who happen to be serving our seminary in Hong Kong and ministries in East Asia:
Greetings back to you…from Minnesota! We’re still here but have finally been given the OK to go back to Hong Kong. We’ve been staying with my parents since March helping to take care of my mom (brain tumor). My sisters will take over while we head for WI for a couple of weeks. We’ll come back to Mankato briefly and head back to HK on June 15. It will be good in many ways to go back (except for the weather) and—after a mandated two-week quarantine (with wristbands to make sure we stay in our apartment)—to readjust to our “normal” life.
Classes at Asia Lutheran Seminary ended the semester online because of the restrictions on the size of gatherings in HK. So even if we had been in HK, I would have been teaching my classes online anyway. It was still a challenge to have classes online either late at night (11:30-12:30) or early in the morning (6:00-9:00) while we have been in the States.
Anita has been able to keep up with her work as she communicated regularly with the workers who were still in East Asia (not very many), with those who were “stuck” in the US (not able to get back into East Asia), and those who mightbe going to East Asia in the fall (depending on the restrictions). Friends of China is becoming “Friends Network” as they expand into different world fields (including Vietnam). She did see that St. Peter’s Ladies had made a donation to Friends of China and was quite excited. Thank you all!
We appreciate the continued prayers and support. We wish we would have had the opportunity to make it to worship at St. Peter. Maybe next summer!
God bless you all.
Mike (and Anita)