SignUps for Exaudi

The SignUp Genius is up for this weekend. You will see that the number of spots has increased. We believe this still allows for distancing. The 8:00 a.m. service is the same size as the others, but an as-yet-to-be-determined number of those seats are being held for choir members and their families, so there may be more seats available in that service later.

There is a smaller service available on Saturday at 10:30. It will be held in the church.

We will be continuing the precautions that are in place, including the removal of the hymnals from the pews. If you prefer using a hymnal to singing from copies, you are welcome to bring your hymnal from home. This would also cut down on the number of copies being made.

Bulletin for Cantate, May 10, 2020

The bulletin for Cantate Sunday is here. The livestream will be at 8:00 a.m. on the Redeemer Fort Wayne YouTube channel.

We have decided to remove the hymnals from the nave for a while. We are printing the hymns, but if you would like to bring your own hymnal to use, that will enable us to make fewer copies.

The Congregation at Prayer for this Sunday is here.

Upcoming services

We will be updating the SignUpGenius this morning with services for the next week. Before we do that, there are a few pieces of information that we would like to share.

We are going to have two kinds of services that you can sign up for. There will be larger services on Saturday and Sunday, as well as continued nine-person services on Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We are continuing the smaller, spoken services in the chapel for those who are more comfortable remaining in a smaller group at this time. Please don’t sign up for both.

We request that you arrive five minutes or less before your service. To ensure social distancing, we will have certain pews marked. Please only sit in those pews. We also ask that you try to stagger seating so that you are not sitting directly behind the closest people in front of you. We will continue all current precautions, and you will also see some signs reminding you of health and safety practices, as recommended by the state and the CDC.

If you have any questions about any of this please call or email the church office.

Need an air conditioner?

Because we are having central air conditioning installed in the school building, we have a number of window air conditioning units available. They range from 5,000 to 10,000 BTUs.

If you are interested in one of them, please contact Jane in the church office.

Message from the pastors

Along with his plans for reopening Indiana’s economy and travel, Governor Holcomb issued new suggestions for churches. It is very clear in the document that he is not dictating anything to us about how we worship or whether or not we are allowed to worship. He seems to take great pains to be clear that his document is only advisory and in no way mandatory.

He is, however, asking us to take precautions to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and he has some suggestions. Some of his suggestions require almost no effort for us to follow. As long as we can get it or make it, we can put hand sanitizer out for people to use and we can put up notices encouraging hand washing and the like. Other things are less ideal but not difficult. Our building is plenty big enough to only use ¼ of our seating and have all family units remain 6 feet apart and we can easily marshal volunteers to clean thoroughly between services. Thus we will gladly do what we can, as we have been, to meet the current CDC guidelines for hygiene during the services.

The governor does not mandate a maximum number of people allowed for worship services but he does state repeatedly elsewhere that between now and May 4th social gatherings aren’t to be larger than 10 persons. Between May 4th and May 24th social gatherings are limited to 25. On the 24th the number goes up to 100.

It seems best to Pastor Frese and me to honor those limits for the time being out of respect for the governor and his requests. He says that gatherings indoors are one of the worst ways for the virus to spread and asks us to limit it as much as possible. We are neither endorsing nor judging his scientific or political opinions. The same goes for whether or not he is overstepping his bounds as given by the Indiana constitution and the like. We are simply recognizing that he is the governor over us and 1 Peter 2:13-20 is ringing in my ears. 

Besides honoring his position and request, we also think that some of our members and some of our community would find it psychologically distressing to go straight back to full services. The question for us isn’t whether these measures are either guaranteed or required to slow down the virus; we don’t know. It is rather a question of how we obey God and proclaim the Gospel, guarding the hearts of the weak and also obeying the 4th commandment. 

To this end, we think it best, for the time being, to keep our hygiene and social distancing procedures in place and to limit worship numbers for this weekend to nine plus the pastor and then to go to 24 plus the pastor on Monday. We will do this through SignUpGenius that we already have in place. We will also refrain from extra activities at church, including Bible class and Sunday School. We should, however, be able to have our council meeting on May 8. It looks like we should be able to have our Voters’ meeting in person in July.

Thank you for your prayers, support, and your contributions. It has been truly touching. You have impressed us. We hope to have a thorough report at the council meeting about our finances, attendance, etc. That week I will then make another video report about where we think we stand and where we are headed.  

Calls and our new vicar

It was announced last night at the call and placement service at Concordia Theological Seminary that our field worker, Aaron Schultz, has been placed at Redeemer for his vicarage. Our request for this placement was the subject of the special voters’ meeting in February. Aaron will be shared between the church and Redeemer Classical School and we look forward to having him as our vicar.

Many men who have attended Redeemer frequently while they have been at the seminary received pastoral calls last night. A list of them, and the congregations they have been called to, is below. We pray that God would bless them in their ministries.

Christopher Antonetti    St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL

Patrick Baldwin    Christ Lutheran Church, Rawlins, WY

Daniel Broaddus    Zion Ev. Lutheran Church, Edgerton, OH

Jeffrey Kazmierski    St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Eau Claire, WI

Mark Kranz    Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Excelsior Springs, MO

Timothy Magill    St. John’s Lutheran Church, Villard MN

                             Trinity Lutheran Church, Grove Lake, MN

Gino Marchetti II    St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Warsaw, IN

Sawyer Meyers    Missionary-at-large, Mid-South District, Cordova, TN

Jonathan Olson    Hope Lutheran Church, Aurora, CO

Timothy Sheridan    St. Luke Lutheran Church, Harrison, MI

Thomas Van Hemert    St. John Lutheran Church, Center Point, IA

Isaac Wirtz    Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Tucson, AZ

Brett Witmer    Bethel Lutheran Church, Sutherland, IA

Justin Woodside    Bethel Lutheran Church, Bismarck, ND

                              Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Bismarck, ND