And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. -Hebrews 10:24-25
And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” -Mark 2:27
We have gathered as the Body of Christ. We have received the Body of Christ. Now in our scattering, let us be the Body of Christ and seek Christ in our neighbor to serve Him. -Rev. Bill Cwirla
Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ,
Due to the unprecedented measures being taken to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, the constantly evolving recommendations from health officials and other authorities, I have decided to suspend all public church services at St. John’s for the next 15 days. On March 31, our board of elders will reconvene to assess the health risk and plan for the next 15 days.
We do not suspend our public worship in order to neglect gathering together, but rather we are seeking to stir up one another to love and good works, and to encourage one another in this time of distress. We do so recognizing that, having received the body and blood of Christ, we have been prepared for these upcoming weeks. The blood of Christ still runs through our veins, and we remain members of His body. And we look ahead to the day when we will gather together once again with joy to celebrate the marriage feast of the Lamb as a congregation.
In this time of scattering, I invite you to turn to your primary vocations: father or mother, husband or wife, son or daughter, brothers or sisters, and neighbors in your community. Connect with each other, spend time in God’s Word and prayer, and look out for one another’s needs. Let the Post-Communion Collect guide you: We implore You that of Your mercy, You would strengthen us in faith toward You and in fervent love toward one another, though Jesus Christ our Lord.
I will continue to provide a Service of the Word on Sunday mornings, streamed through Facebook live and posted on our Youtube channel. I will also post sermons on our website www.stjohnschicago.org. On Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., I will also prepare prayer services, streamed on Facebook live and posted on our Youtube channel.
In addition, I will be available by appointment for small gatherings for a brief service of Holy Communion, either at the altar at St. John’s or at your own home. Please call the church office during regular business hours or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for this special ministry of Word and Sacrament.
As we make our way through this valley, please remember St. John’s in your generosity. Contributions can be mailed to 4939 W Montrose Ave. | Chicago, IL 60641. You may also consider making an online contribution. Links to our secure, online giving can be found at www.stjohnschicago.org/give-now.
God grant you good health, an increase of love for your neighbors, and anticipation for the feast that awaits us at the end of this time of fasting.
under the cross.
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