Dear Friends,

The situation with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) continues to change quickly. At New Hope Lutheran we want to respond with calm, compassion, and caution. Relying on advice from the Center for Disease Control, Department of Public Health, our synod, and the Wisconsin Council of Churches, we have decided to cancel public worship gatherings at both of our sites through Sunday March 22. Our executive committee will keep a close eye on developments and will make decisions on further closures, as needed. Suspending worship gatherings will allow us to observe the continued impact of this virus in our community and formulate plans to help us gather again while minimizing the risks to those who attend. In addition, following our state’s pattern of school closures, we have suspended all Faith Formation activities for children, youth and adults normally scheduled for Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings through April 6. 

Meanwhile, our weekly scripture readings and message will be live-streamed, Sundays 8:30 am, on our FaceBook page (https://www.facebook.com/New-Hope-Lutheran-266038383999/) and posted on New Hope’s webpage (http://newhopelutheran.info). We will continue to explore ways to expand our live-streaming capabilities for worship in lieu of in-person gatherings.

Regarding our offerings, your continued financial giving is important for the health of our congregation – especially in this time. We appreciate your generosity, and we will need to work together to continue to support our on-going mission. You can always:

Mail your offering to church: P.O. Box 138, Blanchardville, 53516-0138 Drop it by the Church Office (Tues-Fri mornings between 9-noon) Call the Church Office to set up an Electronic Funds Transfer option (from savings or checking accounts).

Although we don’t currently have an option for on-line giving, that is under consideration.

Finally, I want to encourage you to look out for each other. All of these precautions are taken out of an abundance of care for you and for our community. We will look for ways to support one another and care for the most vulnerable.

Please share the word with your friends and neighbors, especially those who don’t have access to email or interntet.

In the meantime, we lift up this prayer to Christ our Healer:

God, our peace and our strength, we pray for our nation and the world as we face new uncertainties around coronavirus. Protect the most vulnerable among us, especially all who are currently sick or in isolation. Grant wisdom, patience, and clarity to health care workers, especially as their work caring for others puts them at great risk. Guide us as we consider how best to prepare and respond in our families, congregations, workplaces, and communities. Give us courage to face these days not with fear but with compassion, concern, and acts of service, trusting that you abide with us always; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

May Christ’s healing power be with you,

Pastor Carol Baumgartner

Interim Pastor

New Hope Lutheran