Congregational Information Updates

Watch our Video worship services HERE and our video Devotionals HERE

Coronavirus

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

         I pray that all is going well for you in this time. I pray that God gives you peace of mind during these uncertain times. I wanted to reach out to you, Woodlands family, and update you on what has been going on during these two weeks of shut down. It would seem that because we are not having our regular worship services together that maybe there is not much going on, but I want to assure you that your leadership and your staff are hard at work.

         We have been working diligently with certain things in top priority and working our way down the list. The first thing we needed to do is make sure Woodlands still has opportunities to hear God’s word and worship Him from your homes. As you can see on our website and the YouTube channel (woodlandschurch.com under media and YouTube Woodlands Lutheran Church), we have put together our Sunday services, Wednesday Lenten services, and also daily devotions. Pastor Weerts, Charlie Crownover, and I have been working on these and learning new things so that we can do it better each time. Pastor Weerts and I are working on Holy Week as we approach that time real soon. We will have all four services online for you. We will also be working on services for when we come back together that will pull out all the stops like we would on Easter morning. We can only do so much online and well, let’s face it, we love all those songs, sounds, and sights that we have on Easter and when we come together we are going to want to hear it and rejoice in the Lord for we are together again!

         As we have become more comfortable with this area of ministry here at Woodlands, we have turned our sights to our Call Committee. We have been building a digital platform in order to have meetings, share God’s word, and stay in communication. This has been a learning curve for many of us. With the help of Glenn Holcomb and Charlie, we will be able to do our first interview of our second round of senior pastor interviews, with one of our pastoral candidates. Satan might have thought he brought us to a complete halt, but he did not. God slowed us down and we have been lining up our priorities for what is important here at Woodlands.

         We have also now been working to get you Bible studies online. With the help of pastor Weerts, we have some of that on our Facebook page and our website. We also have Sunday School for our children. Christi Vollertsen has been taping Sunday School lessons and you can find those on our website under the media tab. There are more that are working on other Bible Studies as well.

         The next area we are looking at now that these other things are up and running are ways for our committees and leadership to meet without physically gathering. We have a digital program that will help keep us organized and in constant communication with one another. Our leadership, through the Governance Board, is meeting once a week, electronically, to discuss how things are going and what is next for us to do. Keep an eye out for a video that will be coming from the president soon.

         As we get closer to May we wonder what will happen with our confirmands and Confirmation. Right now, we are unsure when the date will be for Confirmation. We are still planning for May 31. Currently, our confirmands are going over the catechism with their parents. The church is here for them, to walk alongside them, and equipping them for this task.

         Finally, our ministries. This has been at the back of all this because most of our ministries require us to meet in groups. Right now, that’s not a good idea. As we learn new avenues to get together and find ways for those ministries to thrive, we are at a halt for most of our ministries. Our school ministry has been finding new ways to continue. Our VPK teachers have sent packets home for the children to learn with their families. Teachers from other classes are doing the same. The families are also connected to our worship services, daily devotions, Bible Studies, and our Sunday School time. As a matter of fact, they are receiving this letter also because they are part of the Woodlands family and Woodlands is here for them also.

         As things continue, leadership and I will continue to keep you posted and up to date on how things are going and what is happening. If you have Facebook, keep checking there for posts as Emma Pinter continues to give updates about things going on around campus.

         Continue to pray for your leadership and the staff here at Woodlands. Lift up our families from our Early Learning Center and continue to pray for one another. Together we are a family making the best out of what we have and working hard to continue to do Kingdom work in our community. God is in control and to Him belongs all the glory!
Without Him, none of the ministries at Woodlands could happen. Thank you for your prayers, support, and patience in these times. Praise be to God!

 

Your brother in Christ,

Pastor Joshua Pettit
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
 
As many may know, the CDC has put out that groups of more than ten should not be gathering. This puts us in a situation when it comes to worship. At this time, Woodlands will NOT be having worship services. We will continue to keep you informed of any changes. 
 
I point you to Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 
 
In these times, there are many things that cause us anxiety. Now is the time to come to the Lord. We come to Him rejoicing because the Lord is near. In this time, and always, we bring the things that cause us anxiety and we lift them to the Lord, for His peace is the only thing that surpasses all understanding and will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. Satan wants us to fall away but the Lord is near to us and his peace, which protects us, is here in His word. 
 
God has granted us the gift of technology to use for His kingdom. Satan might think he is winning with churches closing their worship services, but he will not stand for the word of God will be preached to His people. 
 
Pastor Weerts and I will be working with Charlie Crownover to find ways of giving devotions and small services online for you. There will be words of encouragement from scripture for you especially during these times. Woodlands will not be shaken because we stand firm on the word of the Lord. 
 
The leadership at Woodlands and I will be working together to make sure our members are safe in these times. Your elders and your pastoral staff are here for you to help keep you grounded in the word of God. Remember: “do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God, and rejoice always.” Again, I will say rejoice for the Lord your God is with you now and always.
 
Your Pastor and Brother in Christ,
Rev. Joshua Pettit
 
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
 
At this time, there is a lot of fear and uncertainty due to COVID-19. Please be assured that Woodlands Lutheran Church is and always will be here for you. As your pastor, I want to share some words of encouragement for you and also what Woodlands is doing when it comes to worship.
 
I am reminded, in scripture, the words “do not be afraid” show up 365 times. One for each day of the year. God calls us to lean on Him and not be afraid. God said to Joshua just before he enter the promise land; “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9). I want you to focus on those words “do not be terrified….” God is with you. There is nothing for us to be afraid of in this life or the next. He is with us. I also point you to Psalm 121. “I lift up my eyes to the hills where does my help come from? My help comes form the Lord the Maker of heaven and earth!” There are many things that cause us to fear in this time and many uncertainties, but we look to the Lord for our strength, protection, and guidance in all situations, especially now. As God said to Joshua, the Lord is with you. Take heart in knowing our Lord has not forsaken you and is with you through these times.
 
The Leadership met today to discuss the matters of worship and our school ministry. More information will come for our school and staff about those workings. However, I would like to address worship with you following that meeting. At this time, we will continue to have worship services. However, if you feel that it is best to stay home or you feel sick in any way, do not feel guilty for not coming to worship. We understand that we do have many older members and those who have health concerns that make these times with COVID-19 more dangerous. Below are some things that will change for worship to help in this time.
 
  • We will not be shaking hands before or after services to limit contact.
  • We will have an offering plate(s) in the back to collect offering after worship.
  • There will be no Feeding of the Lambs or a children’s message up front.
  • We will have communion. If we believe what Jesus said is in communion, His body and blood, there is nothing for us to fear.
  • We will also be canceling all Bible Study and Sunday School classes until March 30.
  • If you are not able to come but still want to give your offering, below is a link to our online giving and you can give through there.
  • Also, below you will find a link to our district office that has links to churches in our district that are able to stream their worship services if you can’t come to church. Click the read lettering on the middle of the page.
  • Our sermons will also be online on our website during the week for you to listen to.
I want to thank our leadership at Woodlands who have been in constant conversation for your safety and well being. These men and women truly love the Lord, trust in Him during these times, and want to help you all. God is in control and is with you always to the end of the age!
 
Your Pastor and Brother in Christ,
Rev. Joshua Pettit

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