Changing Ministry Plans

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  The Lord has seen fit to bring us some interesting times.  What a comfort it is to remember that our hope is not for this life but for life everlasting!  Jesus even now sits at the right hand of the Father and rules all things for the good of his people, the Church!

This time gives us all an opportunity to rethink our priorities and consider what truly matters.  The leaders in all three churches have discussed what our ministry will look like during the current crisis.  Considering God’s will for us in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th commandments, we have come to the following decisions.

  • We will be cancelling our formal worship gatherings until further notice.  In the meantime, Pastor Liebenow will continue to share sermons and Bible studies online, as well as on the radio, Saturday mornings at 8:00am on Frog Country 101.5 along with Pastor Steve Lehmann.  As we have many members who do not have internet, Pastor will also regularly mail sermons and devotional materials to our members.  Please inform Pastor Liebenow about your best contact information and your preferred way of receiving our ministry materials.
  • If you would like to meet with Pastor individually or with your family for the Lord’s Supper or any other reason, Pastor Liebenow will continue to have office hours at St. John’s from 7:30am-11:30am and 12:30pm-5pm Monday through Thursday.  You can call or just show up.
  • To continue supporting our ministry, offerings can be mailed to the churches or dropped off at St. John’s in the black lock box just inside the raised doors.  Best to use checks for the time being.

Pastor Liebenow and the congregations will do their best to keep in contact with you throughout this situation.  Do not hesitate to reach out if there is any way we can serve you or be praying for you!

 

Email: northwoodstripastor@gmail.com

Church Phone: 715.524.3337.  Pastor’s Cell: 586.651.7304

YouTube at Northwoods TriPastor

Facebook at Northwoods TriParish

St. John’s mailing address: PO Box 558, Florence, WI 54121

St. Mark’s mailing address: PO Box 607, Stambaugh, MI 49964

 

Prayer list:

Pearl Tatosky and her daughter Cindy (both quarantined in Iron County Care Facility),

Diane Borske (quarantined in Iron County Care Facility)

Larry and Shirley Romanek (recovering from car accident)

Larry Hoya (thanksgiving for recovery from sickness)

Ruth Callow (quarantined in Florence Healthcare Services)

 

Your brothers and sisters from St. John’s, St. Mark’s, and St. Paul’s are praying for you.

 

God’s blessings,

 

Pastor Jason Liebenow

Church and Coronavirus | Things You Should Know

It’s been a crazy week, hasn’t it?  Headline after headline about the coronavirus.  Schools closing.  Events being cancelled.  The stock market plummeting.  What’s a Christian supposed to make of all this?  What’s a church supposed to do about all of this?  What do you need to know before coming to church on Sunday?

 

What God Says

There is a lot of information going around right now; some of it is accurate and some is not.  Instead of refreshing your newsfeed every 30 seconds to hear what people say about the coronavirus, take a moment to be refreshed by what God says about it.

God is in control.  Psalm 46:10 | “Be still, and know that I am God.”

God loves us and promises to help us.  Isaiah 41:10 | “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

God promises there will be trouble in the world, and he promises to be with us through it. Isaiah 43:1-3 | “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

God promises to use all things for our good.  Romans 8:28 | “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

God cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 | “Cast all your anxiety on [God] because he cares for you.”

God wants to use us to reflect his love to others.  Matthew 5:14,16 | “You are the light of the world… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and praise their Father in heaven.”

God’s got us, and the whole world, in the palm of his hand.  Things are going to be OK. Times of anxiety, worry, stress, and trouble often prove to be the best times to be a light of God’s hope, strength, and promises. Look for opportunities in your life to reflect the light of God’s love out to those around you!

A few great resources for you:

Praying through a Pandemic (from our sister church, Illumine, Seattle)

How Should A Christian Act During a Deadly Epidemic? (By Martin Luther)

Coronavirus: Coming out of the Crowd (a fantastic devotional blog written by Jonathan Bourman of Peace Lutheran in Aiken, originally written March 2nd)

If you do not feel comfortable attending church because of health concerns, please check our church website for worship and devotional resources. Stay connected to God Word. Now is a great time to reinvest in family devotions.

 

Practical Things
Gathering for worship

  • During times of fear and uncertainty, it is more important than ever for Christians to meet together for mutual encouragement and strengthening in God’s Word.
  • We will continue to hold worship on Sundays, 7:15 AM at St. Paul’s, 9:00 AM at St. John’s, and 11:00 AM at St. Mark’s.  Bible study will continue on at St. Mark’s on Sunday at 12:00 PM, at St. Paul’s (meeting at Lynn Kahl’s house) on Tuesdays at 9:00 AM, and at St. John’s on Wednesdays at 10:00 AM.  Midweek Lenten Services will also continue on Wednesdays at 4:00 PM at St. Mark’s and at 6:00 PM at St. John’s.

Wise precautions

  • Please follow the same common-sense steps at church that you’re being encouraged to follow in other areas of your life. Here is a list from the CDC:
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Stay home when you are sick (yes, this even applies to coming to worship; and no need to feel guilty about it)
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. (like we said–all common sense)
  • We will clean and sanitize all high-touch surfaces before Sunday, and will continue to do so.
  • I will not shake hands with you (or cough or sneeze on you)–a simple wave and a jovial, “Hey there, Good to see you!” will do just fine 🙂
  • Hand sanitizer will be available on the counter for when you enter and leave – and we’ll have plenty of soap in the bathrooms.

Health of members

  • If you get sick (and not merely with coronavirus–any and every time you get sick), please let the church office know so we can pray for you and provide pastoral care.  This will also allow our leaders to make wise decisions about group gatherings at church.
  • At this time, we are not aware that there is anyone in the extended community of our TriParish who is sick with coronavirus.  If and when that changes, we will certainly let you know.

Potential future steps

  • So far we have heard nothing from our government leaders that would indicate it is unsafe to meet for worship.
  • However, if the outbreak reaches the point where even small public gatherings are deemed to be unwise, we may consider gathering online instead of in person until the outbreak is over.
  • We are already blessed with a strong online presence – you can watch sermons and find devotions on our Facebook page.

May God bless all of you with health, strength, and productivity this week, as you work to share his love with a world that needs it now more than ever. If you have concerns you’d like to talk about, don’t hesitate to give me a call or text at 586.651.7304. The church office number is 715.528.3337. Can’t wait to see you this weekend!

– Pastor Jason Liebenow

 

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

P.S. Thank you to other churches for much of what was written above!

 

February 2020

What “Good” Actually Looks Like (Matthew 5:21-37)

  • Click HERE for sermon on YouTube
  • Epiphany 6
  • 2/16

Let the Gospel’s Light Shine! (Matthew 5:13-20)

  • Click HERE for sermon on YouTube
  • Epiphany 5
  • 2/8

What Makes a Christian Blessed (Matthew 5:1-12)

  • Click HERE for sermon on YouTube
  • Epiphany 4
  • 2/2

January 2020

Jesus is the Light in the Darkness (Matthew 4:12-23)

  • Click HERE for sermon on YouTube
  • Epiphany 3
  • 1/26

Look! The Lamb of God! (John 1:29-41)

  • Click HERE for sermon on YouTube
  • Epiphany 2
  • 1/19

What Baptism Is (Matthew 3:13-17)

  • Click HERE for sermon on YouTube
  • Epiphany 1
  • 1/12

The Mystery of God Revealed (Ephesians 1:3-14)

  • Click HERE for sermon on YouTube
  • Christmas 2
  • 1/5

December 2019

No Longer a Slave, but a Son (Galatians 4:4-7)

  • Click HERE for video sermon
  • Christmas 1
  • 12/29

Called to Belong to Jesus (Romans 1:1-7)

  • Click HERE for video sermon
  • Advent 4
  • 12/22

Patience in the Face of Suffering (James 5:7-11)

  • Click HERE for video sermon
  • Advent 3
  • 12/15

Turned from My Own Evil (Acts 3:19-26)

  • Click HERE for video sermon
  • Advent 2
  • 12/8

The Day is Almost Here! (Romans 13:11-14)

  • Click HERE for video sermon
  • Advent 1
  • 12/1

November 2019

Welcome Home: To Christ’s Glorious Kingdom! (Luke 23:35-43)

  • Click HERE for video sermon
  • End Time 4 (Christ the King)
  • 11/24

God Bless Your Aim (A Sermon for Hunters)

  • Click HERE for video sermon
  • 11/21

Welcome Home: To an Everlasting Family (Isaiah 65:17-25)

  • Click HERE for video sermon
  • End Time 3 (Saints Triumphant)
  • 11/17

Welcome Home: Where You Are Perfectly Safe (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10)

  • Click HERE for video sermon
  • End Time 2 (Last Judgment)
  • 11/10

A Permanent Place in the Family (John 8:31-36)

  • Click HERE for video sermon
  • End Time (Reformation)
  • 11/3

August 2019

Does God Really Care? (John 15:13)

  • Click here for sermon on YouTube
  • Friendship Sunday 2
  • 8/25

God Puts the Pieces Together (John 3:16-18)

  • Click here for sermon on YouTube
  • Friendship Sunday
  • 8/18

The Word of the Lord is Precious (1 Samuel 3:1-10)

  • Click here for sermon on YouTube
  • Pentecost 9
  • 8/11