“Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my right hand.”
– Isaiah 41:10
Dear Friends of Nativity,
Our Governor’s “Stay at Home” Executive Order will take effect Friday March 27 at 11:59 PM. Here is an update about what is happening and not happening at Nativity over the next weeks.
- Given yesterday’s Executive Order, we are extending the suspension of in person activities until further notice. We will communicate with you weekly, if not daily to keep you updated.
- We are already following this directive by encouraging people to work from home, and by holding virtual meetings and programming. Nativity staff are a dedicated, hardworking bunch. They provide a wealth of resources whether by email, phone, or on this website.
- While the church building and offices remain closed to the public, a few staff members are working limited hours on-site as needed.
- Please note that Nativity Child and Family Center remains open in order to provide child care for the community as directed by our Governor’s Executive Order. Drop off and pick up procedures for the childcare have changed in order to better protect staff and children.
- Related to online worship: We will continue to stream our Saturday 5:30 worship and rebroadcast it on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The 5:30 worship video will be posted to “worship archives” sometime Saturday evening so you can view it when it is convenient for you. These worship services are done with a skeleton crew of pastors, musicians and tech crew. Please know that by doing this we are not disregarding the Governor’s Executive Order. In fact, the order specifically allows for these types of gatherings, as follows:
Faith leaders and workers. This category includes officials, workers, and leaders in houses of worship and other places of religious expression or fellowship, wherever their services may be needed. This category also includes workers necessary to plan, record, and distribute online or broadcast content to community members. – Executive Order, page 8, letter “v”
- Our decision to continue these online worship services is in accord with the Governor’s Executive Order, and we are committed to model practices that will continue to slow the spread of this virus. It is a challenge to balance this critically important priority with what we also view as essential during this time—gathering in God’s name, to be reassured and empowered with hope.
- Many of you are wondering about Holy Week and Easter. It is our plan that all Holy Week worship—Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday—will be online. We are approaching this as an opportunity to think differently and be creative as we strive to make Holy Week and Easter Worship meaningful. Obviously this will be a very different Holy Week and Easter.
- We will provide more information in the days ahead about palms to use at home for Palm Sunday, and also about “in home” communion for Maundy Thursday and Easter Worship.
- We will gather again in person—and when we do, it will be an Easter Celebration. Let us make this Easter profoundly memorable by celebrating the “empty tomb,” by letting our sacred gathering places remain empty as testimony that lives are being saved in doing so. The empty tomb, after all, symbolizes new life. Let’s honor our empty worship spaces as a symbol of people working together for the betterment of all.
- If you are like me, I miss our in-person gatherings. However, I see God using this time to draw people together, to think about and do new things, to come together for a common cause. We will look back at this time as a difficult time, but we will also see the many blessings that came to life as a result.
- I am grateful for you, and until that day when we can gather again in person, may God’s spirit reassure you and bring you hope.
Pastor Glenn Seefeldt