Dear Incarnation Family,
The psalmist writes, “I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1,2). As our nation, indeed as the whole world struggles with our response to the Corona virus pandemic, we know that as disciples of our Lord Jesus, we turn to him who has promised to always be with us.
Last evening the Congregation Council met by conference call to conduct its regular business but also to address our response to the health emergencies this pandemic is creating. We read this paragraph from Bishop Yoos’ letter to the SC Synod: “According to our Lutheran polity the Office of Bishop is not empowered to make decisions for you as individual congregations regarding cancellation of worship, but in light of the recommendations of the CDC and with the desire to care for all members of our communities, it is our strong recommendation that you cancel all in person worship services and church activities through at least March 31.”
Therefore, the council approved a motion stating that all worship services and all church activities are suspended at least until March 31. On March 29 they will meet, again by conference call, to determine what our next steps should be. However, affirming that worship is always essential, and especially so in these trying times, the following plans were adopted:
1. Pastor Jane will prepare a family worship bulletin for each Sunday that we cannot meet together. The service will include the assigned scripture texts for the Sunday, the sermon with reflection questions, prayers, and an opportunity for you to offer your financial gifts for the ongoing ministries of Incarnation. So that we may worship “separately together,” families are invited to schedule their worship time at our usual worship time, 10am Sunday morning.
2. In order that we might complete the Lenten Wednesday Responsive Prayer service with our focus on The Lord’s Prayer, Pastor Jane will prepare a brief reading for the remaining petitions based on Martin Luther’s Small Catechism to be posted on March 18, 25, and April 1.
3. The office will remain open and any questions, concerns or pastoral needs may be called in or you may contact Pastor Jane at 803-530-2045.
4. Construction will continue as long as it is safe to do so.
We thank you for your patience and prayers in these days. We WILL get through this, and we when we are able to be together again, we’ll celebrate the glory of Easter in our new sanctuary.