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JOINING TOGETHER FOR WORSHIP

Grace and Peace in the Name of Our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

 

This is an email that we have been praying to be able to send to you all for the last several weeks – WE WILL BE JOINING TOGETHER FOR WORSHIP THIS SUNDAY MAY 31, 2020!

 

It seems incredibly fitting that we will be joining together as a church family after so long apart as we celebrate the day that the promised Holy Spirit came to Jesus’s followers! On Pentecost Sunday we also celebrate the day His church was established here on earth! We will also be blessed to share Holy Communion with you, although it will be done in a slightly different fashion than that which we have become accustomed.

 

THE “COMMUNION SATURDAY” EVENT WILL STILL BE HELD – BE SURE TO COME AT YOUR ASSIGNED TIME ON SATURDAY.

 

We have prepared a brief video for you so you can see exactly what to expect when you arrive for worship Sunday morning. You can view that video by opening this link:

 

https://vimeo.com/423403866

 

Although we have been cleared to worship together, there are guidelines that must be followed; also, simply because we CAN gather for worship does not mean everyone MUST gather for worship. WE WILL BE CONTINUING THE DELIVERY OF WORSHIP SERVICE BY LIVESTREAM EVERY SUNDAY, so if any of the following circumstances exists, please stay home and join us from the comfort of your living room:

 

1.         If you or anyone in your family has been exposed to someone with COVID-19;

 

2.         If you are not feeling well (cough, chest congestion, fever, etc.);

 

3.         If you have a pre-existing condition that might put you at risk for contracting COVID-19 (compromised immune system, cardio-pulmonary condition, etc.);

 

4.         If you are simply fearful or apprehensive of the risk involved.

 

We plan to have three IDENTICAL worship services as follows:

 

  • 8 am, in the sanctuary (this service will be livestreamed on the Internet and Facebook)
  • 9:15 am, on the front lawn under a canopy
  • 10:45 am, in the Family Life Center

 

These worship services will be a bit shorter than most of us are used to, but will be liturgically complete and will include God’s Word and Sacrament. 

 

In order to abide with the guidelines established by the CDC and local officials, we have to place certain limits on worship, including but not limited to the following considerations:

 

1.         Face coverings must be worn for INSIDE services, and will be recommended but not required for the outdoor service;

 

2.         Social distancing protocol must be followed; to accomplish this we will only occupy every other pew in the sanctuary and must maintain 6 ft. distancing between individuals and/or family units;

 

3.         For the time being, the nursery will be closed – there will be no child care available during worship and there will be no “in-person” Sunday School;

 

4.         In the early stages of this return to worship, we will be forced to limit the numbers of those in attendance due to CDC and local guidelines. Those attendance limitations are as follows:

 

  • 8 am Sanctuary Worship – 70 attendees allowed
  • 9 :15 am Outdoor Worship – 100 attendees allowed
  • 10:45 am FLC Worship – 75 attendees allowed

 

To facilitate this, we have developed a link to sign up for worship very similar to the one used to sign up for Communion Saturday. That link can be found here:

 

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090F48AEA923ABF85-sunday

 

Please be sure to sign up only one person/family per space, indicate the specific number that will be in attendance, and to not bring additional worshipers with you that have not signed up to attend; once we reach the limit of attendees at each service we cannot allow any additional people into the worship space.

 

We are moving forward with an abundance of caution, patience and love. We are also asking all of you to be gracious and understanding toward one another, since many of us may hold differing views regarding some of the guidelines we must follow. If we are to err, let’s err on the side of grace.

 

His perfect peace be with you today and always. See you in church this Sunday! 

 

In Christ’s Love,

 

Pastor Eric and Pastor Pat

Announcement on Opening

Dear Christ Lutheran Family,

 

We wanted to address the most recent comments from President Trump and others regarding the possible reopening of places of worship.

 

We are very excited for the day that we gather in person again, which could be very soon.  However, due to several factors: California’s current orders that remain in place even at the time this email is being sent; the very small window of time for us to prepare; the delay in the release of specific CDC guidelines (which we NOW have); and our ability to have all reasonable safeguards in place before we decide to gather together, we will continue worshiping virtually (online at the church website: www.christbrea.com and on Facebook) THIS Sunday, May 24th.

 

In the next few days, as we learn more, we are prepared for every possibility; in fact, we had begun preparations for a return to worship long before yesterday’s events.  We continue to watch current events closely, learn from our Synodical and District leadership, read God’s Word, and pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. When we, as the Pastors and Elders, feel in person worship can be done faithfully and responsibly, which may be very soon, we will communicate that immediately with the congregation. Please keep us in your prayers as we navigate these uncharted waters.

 

Regardless of when we come back to worship in person, the “Walk up” communion will still be available on Saturday May 30, and our live-steam broadcasts of the services will continue when we worship in person. Please go to the link embedded in that email to sign up, and remember, if all of the available time blocks fill up we are prepared to extend the times available if necessary.

 

Praise be to our risen Lord and Savior, who we know works for our good in all things.

 

Pastor Pat and Pastor Eric

“Walk Up” Holy Communion

Greetings in the Name of Our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

 

To say that the last several weeks have been difficult would certainly be an incredible understatement; we have all suffered the pains of isolation, the anxiety of uncertainty, and incredible upheaval and change in nearly every part of our lives. This has not been easy for any of us, but throughout this crisis God has remained faithful and has richly blessed our ministries here at Christ Lutheran Church and School.

 

Crisis and challenge have brought us many opportunities to extend our reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and with the help of several very talented members of our staff and volunteers we have risen to the challenge, implementing online worship services, Bible Studies, Sunday School, and a broad range of other ways to effectively reach both our members as well as those outside of our Christ Lutheran family. Our reach has extended across the United States and around the world, and for that we are most grateful. 

 

Our school teachers, students, and parents have made an incredible effort to complete this school year, which ends this week, and for the efforts of our teachers and school staff we are incredibly grateful! Our lay leaders and boards have adapted incredibly well also, and have been diligently meeting online to assure that all aspects of church governance here have not skipped a beat. We thank God for our lay leadership!

 

Perhaps other than gathering together for corporate worship under one roof, the greatest loss many of us have felt in our inability to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, due to the uncertainties regarding the nature of COVID-19 and our ability to safely deliver the Sacrament given the restrictions and doctrinal concerns we have been facing.

 

It is our joy to tell you that after prayerful consideration with our Board of Elders, review of current policies and procedures in use in other aspects of business and commerce (such as grocery stores, restaurants and other retail establishments), we have decided to provide “walk up” Holy Communion for individual church members and family units Saturday, May 30, 2020, beginning at 9:30 am.

 

This will be by appointments made every ten minutes, the link for which can be found here:

 

 https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090F48AEA923ABF85-walkup

 

To access the link, press the “Control” (CTRL) button on your keyboard while clicking on it, or cut it and paste it into a new window on your Internet browser.

 

Should you know of a church member who does not use email but would like to join us in celebrating Holy Communion, please contact them and have them call the church office and an appointment will be set for them.

 

There will be two appointments for each ten-minute window, and the initial time period of such appointments will be every ten minutes between 9:30 am and 1:30 pm. Should all of those appointments quickly fill, we are prepared to open another group of appointments between 2-4 pm that same day.

 

We are asking out of an abundance or care, caution, and love of our brothers and sisters in Christ that if ANY of the following circumstances are present you NOT book an appointment:

 

1.         If you or anyone in your family has been exposed to someone with COVID-19;

 

2.         If you are not feeling well (cough, chest congestion, fever, etc.);

 

3.         If you have a pre-existing condition that might put you at risk for contracting COVID-19 (compromised immune system, cardio-pulmonary condition, etc.);

 

4.         If you are simply fearful or apprehensive of the risk involved.

 

Once you have the appointment “booked” for either you as an individual or for your family unit, we need you to adhere to the following procedures:

 

1.        We will be set up on the front lawn of the church adjacent to the parking lot. You will see two “easy-ups” under which Pastor Eric and Pastor Pat will be stationed. PLEASE do not walk up to the easy-up, even if it is at your appointed time, unless directed to do so by one of the elders present.

 

2.         Please wait in your car until your appointment time.

 

3.         Please do not congregate in the parking lot either before or after your appointment; please leave the parking lot once you and/or your family unit have communed.

 

            We KNOW you all miss each other, and we miss you too, but in order to maintain safety we need to do it this way!

 

4.         The pastors will be wearing masks and gloves, which they will change between each communion session. Although we are not requiring those coming to commune to wear masks, if you would be more comfortable doing so we encourage you to do so.

 

5.         Each session will include a brief Confession and Absolution and the Words of Institution. The communion elements (bread and wine) will be placed onto a paper plate, using plastic communion cups. One of the pastors will present you (or the head of your family) with that plate and each communing person will retrieve their own bread and wine from it. 

 

6.         Once done communing, there will be trash receptacles for the now-empty paper plates.  

     

Given recent governmental actions and favorable messaging (as well as a stabilization of Covid-19 cases and other positive scientific indicators) it is quite possible that we MAY be allowed to gather LEGALLY very soon. If that limitation on public worship is lifted in time, rest assured that we are ready to gather here for worship! It might “look” a bit different, but you can be certain that our services will be centered upon Word and Sacrament ministry!

 

Should we be given the “OK” to gather again for worship, we promise to provide you with the information you will need in order to join with us as safely as possible; please continue to make a point of checking both the church Facebook page and website frequently for updates. We also know that even if we are given the “green light” to gather together, many, for fear of exposure to the virus may elect to not join us, that is okay.  Please do what you feel is best and safe for you and your family.  We are committed to continuing the live streaming of both our worship services and Bible studies even after this current crisis passes. God has guided us to this new platform, and we are committed to stay the course He has set for us!

 

Please pray for this upcoming “Communion Saturday,” as well as for the chance for us to safely and legally gather as a church family very soon.

 

In Christ’s Love,

 

Pastor Eric and Pastor Pat 

Food Pantry 4/17/20

Due to the Coronavirus Crisis the Christ Lutheran food pantry is pretty empty.  Therefore, we will not be able to have the Tuesday, May 12, distribution.  We are working on rebuilding our stock and expect our next distribution will be Saturday, May 16, 1:00. This will be a food truck.  If it is anything like last time, we will need lots of help again. This date could possibly change if unforeseen events happen. 

Letter from the Pastor 4/16/20

Halleluiah, Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed, Halleluiah!

 

We hope and pray that your Holy Week and Easter celebrations were blessed, and would like to thank you for your viewership of our online services and Bible Studies as well as your continued prayers, your kind words, and your financial support. We are truly blessed to be your pastors and to shepherd our flock through this current crisis. As we have said throughout, although our current situation presents us with many challenges, we see those challenges as opportunities to reach even a broader audience with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks to so many of you who have called, emailed, or sent notes of encouragement to us; these have lifted us up more than we could ever tell you.

 

We wanted to take the time to thank the many people here that have worked incredibly hard to support us and to reach you online throughout this time of separation from one another. Were it not for the selfless efforts of Christian Ilten, Tim Young, our Minister of Music Marissa Desborough, several members of our music team (including organists and even a trumpeter for Easter!), our Board of Elders, our Altar Guild (and anyone else who we might have accidentally forgotten to mention), none of our special midweek, Holy Week, or Sunday services would have been possible. Special thanks for all who have worked tirelessly to help in providing worship and Bible Studies online! You are so greatly appreciated!

 

Moving forward, at least for the foreseeable future, we will continue to provide worship and Bible Study online until such time that the civil authorities and common sense deem it advisable to resume “normal” operations (however what that “new normal” will look like is only a guess right now). Since the Epistle readings in the lectionary for the next several Sundays are from First Peter, we have decided to put together a Bible Study on Peter’s first letter. We are excited about this, and will be developing “hand out” materials that you can download from the church website or print from attachments to emails; attached to this email is the first module’s handout. You will also be able to find these resources on a new tab that is being installed on the church website: www.christbrea.com.

 

In the meanwhile, please continue to join us online, and tell your friends and family about the exciting things happening here online! Share your Facebook feed with your friends and invite your unchurched friends and family members to join us! We have been reaching people across the country, and even as far away as Italy and the Philippines! God’s Word knows no boundaries!

 

Finally, pray that if it be God’s will He would end this pandemic right now. We hope and pray that this crisis will serve as a wake-up call to the world regarding what is truly important; we know that a saving relationship with the Father through faith in His Son is the MOST important thing we have. We will “see” you online soon!

 

His peace and strength be with you,

 

Pastor Pat and Pastor Eric    

 

Patrick Hauser and Eric Clausen, Pastors

Christ Lutheran Church and School

Brea, CA

714-529-2984

Prayer Vigil

Prayer Vigil 

2020

Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Please click here for our Prayer Vigil Prayer Booklet

If you want to add a prayer please email to CLCprayervigil@yahoo.com

This prayer will be printed in the Lenten Prayer Vigil Booklet. If you do not want your prayer request printed and would like it to be given to the “strictly confidential” prayer team instead, Please let us know in the email.

 

3.24.20

God’s grace, mercy and peace!

While we continue in this strange new reality we still have so much to thank God for. We are very thankful for all who were able to join us for our first live-streamed Sunday Worship Service. Hundreds of people were able to join us live through our website, Facebook, and YouTube and many more watched it later, including people from across the country! While we could not physically be together, we remember we are united in Christ!  We are still one family worshiping together. 

We also invite you to expand that family by inviting your friends and family members to “join” us in worship; we have both heard some incredible stories of former church members and family members of our church family joining us from all over the country! God is working in the midst of all of this to extend our reach! 

We want to thank so many of you who continue to support our church through offerings. Many of you have continued to mail your tithes or physically drop them off at our school’s drop box, as well as many of you who have now switched to using our online giving program Give+ (available on our website or as a downloadable App). We thank God for your faithfulness and His provision!

As a reminder, here is our schedule of virtual events at Christ Brea:

Monday-Saturday 12pm – Bible Study with Pastor Eric through the book of Matthew (live-streamed on Facebook and available at www.christbrea.com)

Wednesdays 7pm – Midweek Lenten Vesper Service (live streamed on Facebook and christbrea.com)

Saturdays 8am – Men’s Bible Study (virtual meeting through Zoom, if you would like to join please contact Brian Ilten)

Sundays 9am – Worship (live streamed on Facebook and christbrea.com)

Sundays 10am – Pastor Pat and Pastor Eric lead Bible Study (live streamed on Facebook and our Website)

Also, we have many volunteers who are ready and waiting to help in any way they can.  So if you know someone who needs shopping or other help, please let us know through by calling the church office at (714) 529-2984 or by emailing either of your pastors: phauser@christbrea.com or eclausen@christbrea.com.  You can also email your prayer requests directly to prayers@christbrea.com.

All of this is very different, and in some ways jarring and scary. But we are Resurrection people, and that means we have hope even when things are the most uncertain and when things are the darkest. We hope each one of us can show that Hope to our families, our co-workers, our neighborhoods, and to the whole world.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.”

 

God’s Peace,

 

Pastor Pat and Pastor Eric

 

Patrick Hauser and Eric Clausen, Pastors

Christ Lutheran Church and School

Brea, CA

714-529-2984

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