Congregational Information Updates

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Coronavirus

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

God is at work and is in control! I have been so pleased working with the leadership here at Woodlands. In these trying times, your leadership has been working hard to bring you the word of God. We are now in the process of planning for our reopening. As we plan, we as leadership, and as the family of Woodlands, need to be like an accordion. There will be times when we stretch and other times we will have to recoil. These times call for flexibility and patience.
The hope was to have an outdoor service this coming Saturday (May 23). As the planning continued and new details arose, we ran into a few issues and will have to move it back one week. We plan to have our first service outdoors on May 30 at 9:00 am. More information about that day will continue to be communicated to you. Thank you for your understanding.
We want you to know that as we start to have services on campus, do not feel guilty if you are not ready to come. We will still have services online and will be here to support you through all of it.
Your leadership is working hard to keep you safe as we worship our Lord together. As we continue to plan, we have many teams working together from worship, to cleaning, to even a hospitality team. Our hope is to bring our worship to the sanctuary with a soft opening, holding to the guidelines of the CDC. This could change if recommendations are modified. Remember the accordion stretching and recoiling. Thank you for your understanding and patience in these new times. Continue to pray for your leadership and for one another as we slowly open. To help us in these efforts attached is a survey that will help us better understand the climate of Woodlands as we begin to come together. Please take a moment to complete it.
Remember, God is with us and is control! Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else… (even COVID 19) …in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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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