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Communion services cancelled

We are sorry to announce that all communion services for Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter are cancelled.

The governor issued new guidelines late this afternoon. We are printing it in its entirety below:

INDIANAPOLIS — Governor Eric J. Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, today issued guidance for places of worship in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

“During this time of uncertainty, faith is more important than ever, and I am deeply grateful to our religious leaders for their efforts to find safe and creative ways to serve their communities,” Gov. Holcomb said. “The purpose of this guidance is not to restrict religious liberty, but to save lives during these extraordinary times. I look forward to the day where we can once again worship side-by-side without the threat of spreading coronavirus.” 

Gov. Holcomb’s executive order 20-18 states all public and private gatherings, including religious and spiritual, should follow CDC guidance, which restricts gatherings to ten or less people. Click here to see executive orders: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm 

To continue safely serving their communities, faith institutions are directed as follows: 

  • Church buildings and other physical locations for worship should be closed.
  • Livestream or other virtual services are best.
  • The minimum number of necessary personnel should be used at all times for any services.
  • Staff and volunteers who are not speaking should wear masks.
  • Drive-in services may be conducted only under these conditions:
  • Attendees must be inside vehicles at all times.
  • Attendees should not interact physically with clergy, staff or participants in other vehicles.
  • Vehicles should contain only members of a single household. Do not bring your neighbors or others outside of your household.
  • Cars must be spaced the equivalent of every other parking spot or approximately 9 feet apart.
  • No one may exit a vehicle at any time.
  • Portable bathrooms are not allowed on the premises and no church facilities may be used by attendees.
  • It is preferred that no communion be distributed.
  • In instances when communion is distributed, only prepackaged communion may be used and must be prepared and distributed in a manner that meets food safety standards.

The following individuals who are vulnerable and at higher risk for illness should not attend:

  • Persons who are 65 years and older.
  • Those who have severe underlying medical conditions, like heart or lung disease or diabetes.
  • Individuals who are sick.

he CDC has provided the following guidance for the faith community: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/guidance-community-faith-organizations.html

We will seek further clarification on Monday, but for the weekend our hands are tied. We will still have livestreams. Watch for updates about those.

Pray for our pastors and those in authority.

SignUpGenius issues and answers

We’ve had a few questions and issues pop up with the SignUpGenius. Here are a few common things we’ve heard.

It will only let me sign up for one seat. Sometimes this is happening. Other times it lets you pick a number from a drop down list. I have not been able to find any reason why it works this way. If it does this, you should be able to go in and edit your own signup. At that point it will let you add people up to the number of seats available in that service. If you can’t get it to work, email or text Jane. Please don’t sign up for one spot and then comment that there will be more people there.

It says there are seven seats available, but it will only let me add four. When this is happening it is usually because someone else is signing up for the same time slots at the same time. I can see it happening. If this happens, wait a few minutes and see if the service has filled up. If not, add your other people.

I signed up and now my name’s not there. Unfortunately, we have had a couple of time slots that have randomly deleted. Again, we aren’t sure why. We aren’t doing it! If this happens to you, please sign up for another time.

How often can I sign up? Our aim is for everyone who wishes to, and is well, to be able to be here once a week. We are adding services as needed to make that possible.

Feel free to contact Jane via email or text with any issues. Her email address is in every bulletin and at the bottom right hand corner of the website pages and her phone number is in the directory.

How to give your offerings

Many of you have contacted us with questions about the best way to continue your financial support while services are disrupted. Of course, if you make it to a service, you can leave your offering in the plate in the narthex or chapel.

The best way to contribute if you cannot make it to church is to use your bank’s bill pay service. Many of our members have this set up automatically so that they don’t even have to think about it. The bank just needs the name and address of the church and the amount you wish to give. Most banks offer this as a free service, and the church pays no fees.

If you need a completely electronic option we do have a PayPal account, but be aware that the church does pay a fee. If you choose to use PayPal, please note the purpose of your donation when you make it. The word “offering” is sufficient description. The email address associated with our PayPal account is RedeemerFortWayne@gmail.com. There is also a donate button on each page of our website.

Communion Services

We have set up a new schedule of communion services in order to comply with the most recent order by the Allen County Health Commissioner. Each time slot will be limited to nine people and the Pastor. Proper distancing can be easily maintained and we will continue all of the other precautions that we have already been taking. The sign up can be found here.

Passion reading schedule

Monday Mar 23 Matt 26:1-46
Tuesday Mar 24 Matt 26: 47-27:28
Wednesday Mar 25 Matt 27: 29-66
Thursday Mar 26 Mark 14:1-72
Friday Mar 27 Mark 15:1-47
Saturday Mar 28 Luke 22:1-38
Sunday – Judica Mar 29 Luke 22:39-71
Monday Mar 30 Luke 23: 1-56
Tuesday Apr 1 John 18:1-27
Wednesday Apr 2 John 18:28-38
Thursday Apr 3 John 18:39-19:16
Friday Apr 4 John 19:17-42

For many of us, this Lent doesn’t feel like Lent and we aren’t able to gather as easily or as frequently for the Sacrament or to hear God’s Word together. We can listen in on the livestreams and participate in that way, but it isn’t the same.

We are all facing disappointments and cancellations and a great deal of uncertainty about our economic well-being, our health, and even our political freedoms. The future has always been uncertain. None of those things was ever guaranteed. But our awareness of that reality has likely never been greater or more uncomfortable. So, what can we do?

One thing we can do is amp our family and personal devotions. We could spend a little less time on Facebook and with the media and more time in the Bible. To that end, in addition to the Congregation at Prayer and tuning in to the daily services, I am proposing that we all set ourselves to preparing for Holy Week by spending the next 12 days reading through the accounts of Our Lord’s Passion from the four Gospels.

We will hear these again Holy Week but we really can’t get too much of them and I think they will serve us well to remind us what is truly essential, what is the beating heart of our faith and hope, and what Easter is all about. Then during Holy Week, in addition to the traditional readings, we will add all the readings from the Vigil and the Old Testament prophecies. Perhaps some of the good that God will work in all this is that we become more centered on His Word and the history of our salvation.

Services cancelled

At 5:30 pm today, without warning or consultation, the Allen County Health Commissioner has issued an order to shut down church gatherings of more than 10 people in Allen County. Consequently, Redeemer Lutheran Church will only have one service tomorrow, at 10:30 a.m. held by the Pastor and our musicians, which will be livestreamed.

We had made careful plans to gather tomorrow in accordance with the current CDC guidelines. This new decision was announced at such a late hour that there is no way to determine if the commissioner has this authority or not before tomorrow morning. In the past week there have been several states that have issued similar orders which were rescinded or changed within a day or two. We think it is likely that will happen here, also, but not before tomorrow morning.

We were caught completely off guard even though we have been going to extreme measures already for two weeks and making every effort to comply with the CDC. So now, for the moment, the chairman, Pastor Frese, and I feel that we must simply comply and cancel all services for tomorrow, except for the 10:30 livestream. This breaks our hearts. It’s highly disappointing. It does little to dispel the panic and the rumors that are flying, or slow down the hundreds of shoppers coughing on one another at Costco and Walmart.

We will see what can be done for next week. We will do so in good order and with the processes guaranteed us as American citizens. We will honor the government that God has placed over us, but we will not blindly obey either that which is immoral or unreasonable. If absolutely necessary to avoid sin, we will disobey. We must obey Him and not men if the two are at odds. If a law is merely unreasonable but does not violate God’s Law, we will comply, but we will fight for just law as is our right, even to the point of going to the Supreme Court if we must. We will continue to seek to serve our neighbors and one another in body and soul throughout whatever this world throws at us. As it stands now, the Commissioner’s order does not forbid us from livestreaming the service. God willing, it will be on at 10:30 am tomorrow. Stay tuned for more news.

Important! Service information for March 19-22

The governor’s press conference at 1:00 today didn’t change the guidelines. They are simply saying to follow the CDC guidelines. Those guidelines say gatherings no bigger than 10. We think that we can accommodate all those who are healthy and without symptoms who desire the Sacrament by limiting our attendance to 10 and asking families to stay at least 6 feet away from each other even at the communion rail. We also have all of our cleanliness protocols in place as we have already been practicing for the past two weeks. To accomplish this we would like you choose a single service between Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday and to sign up for it on-line at this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084baaae2ca2fa7-divine

Right now, we have scheduled 12 services for this weekend but can add more. We will have four services tonight (Thursday), two services at 6:00 and two services at 7:00. The services at 6:00 will be spoken services. One will be in the Church and the other in the Chapel. At 7:00 there will be a service in the church with organ and a spoken service in the Luther room. The 7:00 pm Service in the Church will be livestreamed. 

On Saturday we will have a service in the church with organ at 10:30 (which will be livestreamed) and a spoken service in the Luther room. 

There will be no Bible class or Sunday School on Sunday. We will have spoken services in the Church and Chapel at 8:00 and again at 9:15. At 10:30 we will have a service with organ livestreamed from the Church and a spoken service in the Luther room. 

All those services are on the website. If they all fill up or there are no openings in the only time that you can come, please e-mail Secretary.Redeemer@gmail.com. We have other celebrants and preachers and space and can add more if we need to.

This won’t be ideal but it will be Word and Sacrament. The procedures suggested by the CDC are no child’s play. This disease can kill. We all need to take it seriously. At the same time, our spiritual health is also serious and those who can receive it in good conscience and without endangering themselves or others are encouraged to do so.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Petersen 

Christmas Services at Redeemer, 2017

  • Final 2017 Advent Supper – Thursday 5:30 – 6:30pm
  • Advent Service – Thursday 7pm
  • Church Decorating Party for Christmas – Thursday, 8pm
  • Fourth Sunday in Advent – Sunday, 8:00 and 10:30am
  • Choral Christmas Eve Vespers and Divine Service – Sunday, 7pm
  • Christmas Day Service – Monday, 10:30am
  • Christmas Day Dinner – Monday, 3pm (Meats provided – Please bring side dishes!)
  • Christmas Divine Services – daily at 10:30, except for Thursdays, 7:00 pm only (Dec. 28 and Jan. 4)
  • New Year’s Eve Service – 7pm
  • New Year’s Day Service – 10:30am