All week I was planning on having worship this Sunday, with some extra precautions in terms of some of our liturgical actions in place. However, when Norwood Public Schools made the decision to close today through next Friday, I consulted the Executive Committee and, together, we made the decision to cancel public worship and Sunday School this Sunday, March 15.
I will be emailing out a sermon, readings, and prayers on Sunday. They will also be posted to our website, emmanuelnorwood.org, and to our Facebook page. We will be making decisions about worship next week and about other, smaller, community gatherings at Emmanuel on a case by case basis, so please stay tuned to the website, Facebook page, and email.
Last week, in my sermon, I talked about loving our neighbors by washing our hands, doing what we can to keep ourselves healthy to protect the vulnerable among us, and trusting in the God’s presence and promises during worrying times. As this week has progressed, it now seems that the best way that we can love our neighbors is by staying away from each other, at least in large groups, for a time. That being said, we can still remain close in prayer. I encourage you to stay in touch with each other via email and phone. I encourage you to remain calm and compassionate. I commend this prayer, offered by our leadership in the ELCA, to you as we make our way through this unprecedented time. – In Christ, Pastor Amanda
Gracious God, it is good for us to gather as your beloved in community. We treasure your presence with us in word and meal, song and prayer. Be with us in these days when gathering together as often as we would like is not possible. When we must be apart for reasons of safety, we trust that you surround us with your sheltering wings. Encourage us in connecting as we are able, reaching out to our neighbors in need and being persistent in prayer. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our constant companion. Amen.