Coronavirus Update - March 25, 2020
As previously communicated, all worship services and meetings have been cancelled through April 3rd due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The church building is currently closed until further notice. We encourage you to keep up with the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Virginia Department of Health, and the OSWLC website.
We will again be sharing the Gospel this week at 9:30 am on Sunday, March 29th via a worship video that will be on our website (oswlc.org) and Facebook page (facebook.com/OurSaviorsWay). For additional resources, look at the OSWLC Facebook page for devotions from our staff and we also recommend Lutheran Hour Ministries (lhm.org).
What Can You Do?
Refer to the CDC's guidelines on how to limit your exposure by washing your hands frequently as this will help limit the spread of this virus.
Donate blood if you are a healthy adult as there will most undoubtedly be a blood shortage. Click HERE to schedule an appointment.
Keep the faith. Click HERE for a brochure titled Pandemic Hope: A Family Devotional for Life During COVID-19.
Stay safe and healthy church family!
Excerpts from a Letter to the Congregation – March 14, 2020
To keep up with all the news and closures happening hour by hour as we all discern how to respond to and mitigate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). We have been reading updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Virginia Department of Health, and it is so much information that many of us are letting fear rule the day and feeling overwhelmed and even fearful. If that is the case with you, I want to remind you of God’s Word: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).
Our priority is the health, safety, and well-being of our people, with particular concern for the most vulnerable. It is also our collective responsibility as Christians to be good neighbors and to do our part in protecting the social fabric upon which many depend in our community.
I want to keep you updated on how OSWLC is responding to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. We will continue to monitor this situation and as information evolves our website will be the primary, most up-to-date place for you to receive answers to commonly asked questions. We are committed to doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for our church family and surrounding community.
IS OSWLC GATHERING FOR WORSHIP?
In Consultation with and support of the MMSLG, Pastor Ramey and the Elders at this time I have decided not to have in-person worship services for the next 2 Sundays. This includes our Midweek Lenten worship services. We will be sharing the Gospel this week via a special sermon video by Pastor Peterson on this website and our Facebook page. This also gives us an opportunity to explore and provide more robust ways of having virtual worship services. Please look for further communications in our Midweek mail on how our upcoming Sunday will be more interactive. For additional resources, we also recommend Lutheran Hour Ministries as well.
Also, there will be no groups meeting, which includes Bible studies, Grace Place, high school youth group, confirmation, small groups, or any outside groups. We will keep you updated via email, this website, or on our Facebook page.
HOW SHOULD I RESPOND SPIRITUALLY TO THE CORONAVIRUS?
The coronavirus is yet one more reminder that we live in a fallen world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. Ultimately, none of us are immune to any of these things. But that’s why the Gospel is such Good News. God has not left us alone in this world; He sent his Son, Jesus, to save us. The greatest news in all the world is that Jesus lived a life with no sin, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Now anyone anywhere who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all their sin, restored to relationship with God forever, and be given eternal life. That means that through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness or death because in Him we are given eternal life.
Here are other ways we all can respond to the coronavirus:
- Read God’s Word and continue to trust in God as the good and sovereign Creator and Sustainer of life upon whom we all depend.
- Pray for mercy for the sick, strength for doctors, insight for researchers, and wisdom for officials. Pray for our church members, pastors, and our ministry, as the Good News needs to be shared more now than ever before.
- Look for opportunities to love and care for others, whether they are sick, isolated, marginalized, poor, or oppressed.
- This would be a good time to switch to electronic giving so our church can continue to minister to those in need. Click here for more information. You can also mail your offering to the church. The address is 43115 Waxpool Road, Ashburn, Virginia 20148.
- Promotion of a "stewardship" ministry that includes being self-aware (staying safe) yet ministering to others.
- Stay closely connected to our church family by reaching out to members via phone and checking the website and social media (Facebook) for updates.
- Continue to faithfully give so that the ministry of the church thrives all the more in the midst of difficult days.
MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER IN HOPE
This situation is constantly evolving. First and foremost is our relationship with Christ. Second, is the well-being of our congregation. We know the importance of meeting together to support each other in Christian community and we will continue to find creative ways to do this during this Lenten season and beyond, if necessary. We place our hope in Jesus, as our Lord leads us in His mission.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Tyson Labuhn
Acting Senior Pastor
Ministry in the Midst of Coronavirus Fear – Mar. 11, 2020
Many people may be feeling anxiety about the coronavirus. We are not alone. We have not been abandoned. Because of the love, grace, and mercy of our God, we are a people of hope and with hope to give to others. Thanks be to God!
In order that we may love ourselves and love our neighbors better, here are some things you can do now.
Members are encouraged to make sure that they can log into the church directory on the website. Go online now and ensure your contact information is up to date. Register or log in to Access ACS. Check in with your church family via phone when or if you can’t make it to church. It’s especially important to check in with members who live alone and are elderly and make sure they are feeling well.
What We Are Doing Now
We are continuing to follow updates coming from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health, and seek advice from the Southeastern District Office of the LCMS. Here are some proactive steps so that we provide a safe environment and protect the health of staff, families, members, and visitors.
- Receive Holy Communion through individual cups. Common cup will still be available for intinction, if desired.
- "Pass the Peace" by rubbing elbows instead of shaking hands.
- Place your offering at the rear of the church so that you can drop your offering into the plate on your way out of church. Take this opportunity to sign up for electronic giving. Money isn’t the most sanitary thing to handle, so consider go here to learn about Pushpay or texting “OSWLC Give” to 77977.
- Use the hand sanitizer at the Welcome Center and near the kitchen area.
- During the week, disinfecting sprays are already used daily to clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces in classrooms, and facilities staff are targeting door handles, door push plates, railings, and keypads twice per day.
- Our night cleaning company has been asked to pay special attention to door handles, handrails, and other frequently touched surfaces again when they service the building on Monday through Saturday evenings.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior. — 2 Samuel 22:2-3 (NIV)