From the desk of Pastor Veronica
Aug 7, 2020
ONE AMAZING DAY
97 degrees. 65% humidity. 56 cars. 12 visitors. 141 communion kits. ONE amazing day.
On Sunday, July 26, 2020 a group of volunteers gathered at church to create a drive through communion experience. We sent out emails, letters, video reminders, and even announced the event on the church sign. It worked. The line of cars coming through to check in, receive a blessing and prayers, and pick up communion kits to take home never stopped for almost 4 straight hours. And it was GLORIOUS. Was I sweaty and gross? Yup. Did my feet hurt? Sure did. Did I get sunburned on my forehead? You betcha. Was it one of the most amazing, spirit-filled, beautiful, and holy moments of my ministry? ABSOLUTELY.
Being a pastor during “the time of Covid” has been the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced in my vocation. There are no seminary classes about doing all of your ministry over the phone, email, and social media. I didn’t receive any training in using Facebook, YouTube, Zoom, and countless other programs for leading worship and sharing devotions. And the fact is, because this is all so new and different for me, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve also learned a lot of new things. The most important of which is that the people of Immanuel Lutheran Church are strong, gracious, resilient, patient, and incredibly faithful. You all know, clearly, what it means to be church in the world, even (and especially) in the midst of a global pandemic.
None of us can know when, or how, this journey of isolation will come to an end. But I do know this: it is an honor to be your pastor all the time, but especially right now. You have approached this unprecedented phase in our lives together with faith, hope, and love in ways I never could have anticipated. I know that together we will continue to face challenges head on and be prepared to celebrate the joys God shares with us. I know I got a glimpse of that joy during our drive through communion event and even behind your masks I could see you all smiling. There is more joy to come, I promise, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
FIND US ONLINE
We continue to offer all sorts of different online opportunities to gather for people of all ages and stages of life and all of our online content is available in many locations as soon as it’s finished playing live on our Facebook page (Click here to go there: https://www.facebook.com/ILCKilleen. Have you checked out our website lately to see all of the content there? You can also find all letters and emails that have been sent out by the church leadership (to learn more go to: www.killeenimmanuel.com). Of course, if you’re just looking for videos, you can find them all on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZolhxfHcRD17MeLTIAIFow).
Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help with worship as a reader! If you volunteered to read you should have received an email from me with more information. Please be mindful of the due dates. Some folks have asked if they can still volunteer even if they don’t have a smart phone for recording and the answer is YES! We’ve figured out a way to record you reading without you needing a smart phone! If you’re interested in having your name added to the list of readers, please let me know.
One of the concerns we’ve been hearing about since we had to move our church events and activities online is not hearing about prayer requests. We need your help in getting that information out to others. When you send a prayer request, please send it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) AND to the church office (email@example.com). This will help make extra sure we get your prayer requests. If you are aware of an unaddressed prayer concern or if you made a prayer request that was never shared or responded to, please accept my sincerest apologies. We are all trying so hard to keep lines of communication open, but sometimes we fail. I hope you will offer me and the leadership of Immanuel grace as we make mistakes and do our best to know better and do better.
KIDZOOM & TEEN ZOOM
Most of the children in our congregation spent the end of their school year doing online learning. This was a very unique way of learning and meant that they spent a lot more time than usual in front of a screen. In addition, we wouldn’t normally offer a regular Sunday School schedule throughout the summer. All that being said, after discussing our two Zoom events for young people, we’ve decided to take a break during the month of July. There will be NO KidZoom and NO Teen Zoom in July. However, both myself and all the teachers are excited to return on August 2 with some new faith-filled activities! Teen Zoom will be converting to a more similar structure to Confirmation class on August 2 and students should plan to gather for a focused 45 minutes of class.
The Lay Ministry board gathered for a Zoom meeting recently and shared many ideas for ways to keep our congregation connected and bring some more creativity into worship. One of their suggestions was to find a way to include some of the youngest members of our congregation in the weekly worship video. If you are the parent or guardian of a child in the Immanuel family who is under the age of 18, we need your help! We’re seeking video clips of our children sharing a “God Sighting” (a time when they experienced God in the world). So, grab your smart phone, set it to video, and ask your kiddo(s), “Where do you see God in the world?” When you’re finished filming you can email your video to firstname.lastname@example.org or send it via text message to 443-613-2674. **Videos must be received by July 26 in order to be used for the August 2 worship service.**
JULY ONLINE SCHEDULE