“Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” (Romans 14:19) Dear people of Christiania, We’ve been praying and learning about coronavirus for a number of weeks. Friday afternoon, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz declared a “peace-time state of emergency” across Minnesota and urged all organizations — including faith communities — to suspend all gatherings of more than 250 people and to avoid gatherings of even smaller groups that include persons at higher risk. In light of this and a number of rapidly changing developments concerning coronavirus (COVID-19), and after conversations with members of our Executive Council and staff, we have come to the conclusion that the best way to love and care for our neighbors is to cancel all Christiania in-person worship services, programming, and activities for the next ten days, from March 15 - March 25. This means that there will not be church services on Sunday, March 15 or Sunday, March 22. Please assist us by passing this information on to your friends and neighbors. We will make decisions in 10-day increments. Thus, we will evaluate continually as the situation evolves. We will communicate with you between those dates, but will certainly make more information available to you about our church's status by March 25 for the next 10-day cycle. The primary reasons behind this decision are:
Out of an abundance of love and concern for the health and well-being of all members and visitors to Christiania, including people who have serious chronic medical conditions as well as the senior adult population that is particularly vulnerable to the virus.
The significant impact "social distancing" seems to make on reducing the spread of the virus.
Doing our part to "flatten the curve" and buying precious time so our local and national health care facilities are not overwhelmed by an explosion of the virus.
Here are some things for you to know: Our staff will continue to work both on-site and remotely, and this includes pastoral care. During this time, you can email staff directly and can find their email addresses on our website at christianialutheranchurch.org. If you have a need and don’t know who to contact, please call the church office at 952-461-2283 and your call will be directed to the appropriate staff person. During our physical hiatus we are hoping to make online connections for conversation, prayer, learning and devotions. Sunday, March 15, for instance, we plan to Facebook Live during our regular worship times: 8:30 and 10:45 am. More information will be shared on this topic when it is available. Your giving will be more important than ever during this time. Please consider giving electronically by clicking on the “How Do I” tab on the top of the first page of the church website. You can also mail your offering to the church at: Christiania Lutheran Church, 26691 Pillsbury Ave., Lakeville, MN 55044. Please wash your hands and watch your emails for further updates. We'll get through this together in faith, hope, and love. In Christ, Rob Metz, Council President in partnership w/Executive Council, Pastor and Staff “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)