Congregation at Prayer for Judica, March 29-April 4

Is anyone else ready to say goodbye to March? Just seeing April on next week’s date gave me a little jolt of happiness.

Here is the Congregation at Prayer for the coming week.

A couple of notes to help avoid confusion:

We have changed the source of the daily readings, so if you have been doing them and notice a big jump, that’s why. We are now using the same readings from the Treasury of Daily Prayer that are being used at Matins. The Congregation at Prayer follows the schedule set up by Redeemer Classical School for memory work. Because of their scheduled spring break, as well as our schedule changes, there may be some adjustments that we are making and a bit more review than usual.

Bulletin for Judica, the Fifth Sunday in Lent

The services at 10:30 a.m. will be live streamed on both Saturday and Sunday. Both services will use the bulletin for Judica. They will have different pastors, and therefore different sermons. They will also have different organists and choirs, so tune in to both services!

For your convenience, we are also uploading the Litany since we will be using the sung version for those services.

The Congregation at Prayer will be uploaded tomorrow.

Update to 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 Mar 31 Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Wednesday Apr 1 John 18:1-27
Thursday Apr 2 John 18:28-38
Friday Apr 3 John 18:39-19:16
Saturday Apr 4 John 19:17-42

Some of you may have noticed that March 31 was missing from the original schedule that we posted. That day has now been added and we have inserted a reading from Isaiah into the schedule. Please make a note of the changes.

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.

Message from Pastor Petersen

Brothers and Sisters in Christ: you can find updates about what Redeemer is doing at our news page. You can also sign up on the right hand side of the page for e-mail notifications when it is updated (on mobile devices the sign up will be at the bottom). https://redeemer-fortwayne.org/news/

We are offering the Sacrament by sign up to groups of fewer than 10. You do not need to be on our paper roster. We still practice closed communion, but this is not only for “official members.” Seminary students and others are most welcome.

If the idea of coming makes you nervous at all, don’t come and don’t feel guilty. This is not for everyone. Some need to stay home because they might have been exposed or are not feeling well. Some need to stay home because their consciences are bound and they think that is the best practice. Some don’t know what to believe about what is best and are nervous. All those people should stay home and not feel any pressure from us. Let us not judge one another harshly in these strange times but walk in love.

If you desire the Sacrament, please sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084baaae2ca2fa7-divine We are taking extra and extreme precautions with regard to cleanliness and to staying at least six feet apart from the tiny groups that gather. Do not worry about taking a seat! We can add more and are glad to do so but we will only add as they services fill.

None of this should make you feel guilty or pressured. Do what is best for your family with the information you have. Trust in God. He will bless those who act in faith and trust in Him. So also please continue to avail yourself of the livestream and the Redeemer Youtube channel. Do not feel as though you have to make your young children sit through it all straight through! Break it up or just watch those parts together that they can participate in or understand (Creed, Lord’s Prayer, Bible readings, Sermon, etc.) Again: do not feel guilty but use as is best for you. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd4ESqUC_V-HdFwz3WTs3_w

You can also subscribe to Redeemer’s channel and sign up for notifications. We expect to keep having something every single day. If you need anything, please call us. Pastor Frese and I have been phoning every family but aren’t to everyone yet. If we already called you and you still want to talk, call. If we haven’t called yet and you want to talk, call. God bless you. Rejoice. It is Laetare. God is good. Christ is risen. We live in Him and this life, at is best or its worst, is but temporary.