"I thank my God every time I remember you,
constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you,
because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.
I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work
among you will bring it to completion
by the day of Jesus Christ.”
- Philippians 1:3-6
Dear Lower Susquehanna Synod Lutherans:
Bishop James Dunlop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod sent word on September 11, 2020 to all congregation members stating the following:
“I begin by echoing the gratitude prayer we hear in the first chapter of Philippians, ‘I thank my God every time I remember you.’ These words embody my heartfelt appreciation for the many ways your faithful responses in this prolonged COVID-19 season continue to save lives. You continue to make faithful decisions that keep people safe within your context. Your diligence in honoring the safety recommendations and protocols remains critical to the health and well-being of our churches and communities.”
“As you may be aware, this week Governor Wolf loosened capacity restrictions for restaurants and some businesses beginning September 21. Although this announcement does not provide direct instruction to churches, with the continued use of masks and spoken liturgies, we believe it is safe to begin worshiping in our buildings at 50% capacity as of September 21.”
This means that St. Mark worship can once again return to almost normal worship numbers since we rarely exceed our sanctuary’s 50% capacity. However, I would encourage everyone to remember that we are still in the midst of this Covid-19 pandemic and we must still follow the protocols established during the summer by the congregation council. We will still ask Saturday worshipers to sit in green marked pews and Sunday worshipers to sit in blue marked pews. We still will require masks and physical distancing. Holy Communion will continue to be limited distribution. And yes I think it is good that we continue to wash our hands and use hand sanitizers as much as possible.
We look forward to this pandemic being behind us, but we cannot rush it. Let us continue to worship as safely as we have been doing and continue to share in the Gospel message until the day of completion in the Lord, Jesus Christ.
In the peace and grace of God,
Pastor Kirk Griffin
AMENDED- On October 9th - we went to 20% Capacity at worship. But that still means we can have 60-70 people in worship at any one time. So be safe, be careful, stay healthy and we will see you at church.