Dear Member Missionaries,
Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Again, I write to you to provide you with an update on People of Hope's response to the Covid-19 pandemic. As you already know, new news and safety information is coming out on a daily, or even hourly, basis. With the latest at hand, your Mission Leadership Team (MLT) met last evening to discuss measures to keep our community and the wider community safe during the next few weeks.
Based on the information provided by the CDC, the State of Minnesota, and the Southeastern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA, the MLT is implementing the following:
People of Hope will not be gathering for in-person for worship, learning time, and small group activities or study for the foreseeable future. The MLT will be monitoring new recommendations from local officials on a regular basis to determine when we can again gather face to face. In the meantime, we will continue to offer online worship experiences on Wednesday evening at 6:30p and Sunday mornings at 9a. You can participate in the services through Facebook live (click here) and a link to YouTube videos (click here) of these services will be sent out via e-mail after these services. More information on these services will be included below.
The Community Easter Egg Hunt scheduled for Saturday, April 11 has been canceled.
The People of Hope Mission Center and Mission House will remain closed for the foreseeable future. Shortly we will post office hours on the People of Hope website in which someone will be processing mail, answering the phone, etc. Outside of those office hours, please contact me via e-mail or text (507.461.2544) and I will try to address your needs.
I am returning from medical leave on a limited basis. I am happy to address your pastoral concerns via phone or e-mail, but due to my recent surgery and post-surgical medications that I am currently taking, I am considered a vulnerable adult and will be unable to provide face-to-face pastoral care. There is a pool of community pastors who are willing and able to provide this care in my place. If you would like to meet with one of them, please let me know and I will put you in contact with them.
The THRIVE 2020 team invites you to pause with us on the Thrive 2020 special giving opportunity to retire our mortgage debt. We are working with our financing holder, in light of the uniqueness of COVID-19 concerns, for a deadline extension. With that said, we invite you to set your intent cards and brochures aside and focus on being well, on keeping your family well, on remembering that we are children of God, that we are called to do this work, and that we will focus on caring for our neighbors, medical staff and our most vulnerable at this time. We will be connected socially, just not physically, and we are here for one another. God bless and thank you for your support as we all navigate these uncertain times - with hope and promise - until a more peaceful and comfortable time returns.
I, along with members of the MLT and other ministries of People of Hope, are working to come up with creative solutions to continue to be the awesome community that we are even when we cannot meet face-to-face. As these solutions are worked out we will keep you informed. Some of the things considered include: producing a short, daily devotional podcast, on-line and interactive Bible studies utilizing technology, small group meetings via Zoom or Google Hangouts, at-home curriculum for Learning Time, and much more.
Confirmation students and parents will be receiving an e-mail later this afternoon with some suggestions about how to continue the Lenten Mentoring Program from home.
If you are unable to obtain necessary groceries or supplies during this time of social isolation, please contact Diane Olson (click here) as she has graciously volunteered to coordinate an effort to obtain and deliver these supplies for you.
Bishop Hassanally recently proclaimed, "We are being called to lead in uncharted waters in the midst of great anxiety and fear. Hear me when I say: you have been called for such a time as this." People of Hope continues to explore creative ways to share the love of Jesus in these uncertain times. Your continued financial support makes this possible. There are a number of options for giving:
Give online on our website (click here) - This offers options for a credit card or fund-transfer giving.
To give via text, simply text “peopleofhope dollar amount” to 73256. For example, a text reading “people of hope 10” would result in a $10 gift to the church
Send a check to People of Hope - The POH office will be able to receive your check. Mail it to 3703 Country Club Road Southwest, Rochester, MN 55902.
As for worship this week, I will be leading a time of worship this Wednesday at 6:30p. This week's service will be quite simple. Things are being put into place to provide a more robust service during the following Wednesdays. This Sunday M&M Pastor Pete Reuss will be leading worship as I continue to take some time for recovery. We are also investigating ways to bolster our Sunday morning worship so it is more reflective of our normal Sunday morning worship experience.
That was a lot of information. I know that this whole situation can seem overwhelming. Please know that you are not alone in these feelings. This is exactly why we need to continue to come together as the community of People of Hope. I know it will be different and weird, but I also trust that the love that God has given to us and that we share with each other will allow us to navigate these current circumstances. Our God promises to be with us during these times, and that is great news.
Remember that God loves you, and so does People of Hope!
Meet our Pastor
Rev. Dan Doering has served as the Pastor of People of Hope since 2010. He is a graduate of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and has a passion for connecting faith with everyday life.
3703 Country Club Road Southwest
Rochester, MN 55902