Our Mission Statement: To live life abundantly THROUGH the Worship of God and Service to others.
(Check here for urgent announcements, special service times, cancellations, etc.)
Pentecost Worship Video is now posted online.
Join us for worship this weekend as we celebrate the Day of Pentecost (May 31, 2020). Follow the link HERE.
In-Person Worship Resumes Next Weekend--Saturday at 5pm and Sunday at 10am.
The Easter 7 Worship Video is now posted online.
Join us for worship this weekend as we celebrate the 7th Sunday of Easter (May 24, 2020). Follow the link HERE. (We tried a different camera angle this week, and learned a few things along the way.)
Sunday Bulletin: For use with our Online Worship video or for worship in your home
In this time of cancellation of in-person worship, we want to make it possible to still offer worship to God and be connected as a congregation. Please follow the link below to the bulletin for this Sunday's worship service and join other members of Redeemer in worshiping together from a distance this week. The Video link will be posted above after being filmed and made available.
The Easter 6 Worship Video is now posted online.
Join us for worship this weekend as we celebrate the 6th Sunday of Easter (May 17, 2020). Follow the link HERE.
The Easter 5 Worship Video is now posted online.
Join us for worship this weekend as we celebrate the 5th Sunday of Easter (May 10, 2020).
Follow the link HERE.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
After reviewing both the governor’s and bishop’s recommendations regarding the return to in-person worship services, the Redeemer Church Council has decided to resume, in-person worship services (at the normal 5pm Saturday and 10am Sunday times) starting the weekend of May 30-31 (Pentecost Weekend). This means that in-person worship services and activities will remain cancelled until that weekend. Council has decided that Youth Sunday School, Confirmation classes, and Choir practice will not resume again until the next school year starts (taking their normal summer hiatus early). Adult Sunday School classes may resume this summer, but not until we see how the first couple weeks back in worship go. In-person committee meetings will also remain suspended until reevaluated by the church council on June 1.
In these next few weeks we will be preparing the church for worshiping together while putting into place many of the precautions and protocols recommended for in-person gatherings--including making sure we have the supplies to sanitize surfaces between worship services. While this will change the way we do things at church for a while, this is not the “new normal” but only a temporary expedient while we live under the threat of COVID-19 (even if this temporary expedient lasts into the fall or winter). Here are some of the things council discussed and approved of related to changes in the way we worship.
-If you are among the more vulnerable part of the population to life-threatening cases of COVID-19, you are encouraged to continue worshiping from home via our videoed service or on your own until all such restrictions and recommendations are lifted. Those attending worship will be encouraged to not congregate in the narthex, but to use the narthex more as corridor for moving to and from the sanctuary and the outside. You are also encouraged (at least for the first few weeks) to wear a mask in worship. (There will be some masks at church available for those who do not have their own.) Hand sanitizer will be available in strategic locations in the church building for your use.
-We are asking assigned worship assistants to be flexible in their roles, needing many of them to act as ushers on Sunday mornings. These ushers will not hand out bulletins, but will open the front doors to let people in and out (so that fewer hands touch the door handles) and will help to direct members and visitors to sanitize their hands upon entering the building and seating them in the sanctuary in a way that maintains an appropriate distance between family units. (You may need to be willing to sit in a pew or location that is not “your spot.”) For at least the first couple weeks back, my family will be the de facto assisting minister, reader, and acolyte(s) for Sunday mornings. We will also need volunteers to help wipe down pews, handles, and other surfaces after each worship service.
-Communion (for the time being) will be done in continuous fashion with only the pastor and assisting minister communing the congregation (while wearing gloves), one side at a time, minimizing contact (only the small individual cups will be used for the wine). Altar guild and any others assisting in the preparation of Communion will have a special set of instructions to follow that includes frequent and thorough washing of hands both before and after handling the Communion ware. (These instructions will be posted in the sacristy.) If these precautions still do not make you comfortable receiving the sacrament, it is ok to refrain from receiving Communion until the COVID-19 threat has passed.
-The offering will be collected as we typically do for Wednesday night services in Lent, with an offering plate placed on a pedestal near the rear of the sanctuary for depositing your offering. During the offertory, I will come down from the chancel and bring the gifts up to the altar. There will also be no physical-touching Sharing of the Peace for a while.
-To make the bulletin easier to email to parishioners still worshiping from home, and to reduce the need to wipe down all the hymnals after each service, the lyrics to all the service music (including the hymns) will be printed in the bulletin, but without the music or cover graphics. (This will also mean that we will not have any “hymn sing” weekends until the COVID-19 threat has passed.)
We will continue filming and posting worship videos online in this time for those who are still forced by health reasons to remain at home for worship. We will be filming the Saturday evening service and posting it by Saturday night (as we are doing currently with no in-person worship services). If you are among the portion of the congregation that we do not have email addresses for (in other words-if you are receiving this letter by mail instead of email), for health reasons are staying home for worship, and would still like to receive a bulletin by mail once in-person worship at Redeemer has resumed, please call the church office (812-634-1123) and let us know. Sermons (where possible) will be included in bulletins being mailed/emailed out, but will not be in bulletins at the church building, starting Pentecost weekend (May 30-31).
In other news across the church:
-LOMIK has cancelled its June camp sessions for this summer, but is still hoping to have camp in July. The board will be meeting in mid-May to discuss whether July camps will still work. In the meantime, they are encouraging youth to sign up for the program and camp they want to attend (without any deposit) so that they can gauge interest and schedule July programs accordingly.
-VBS this summer among Christ, Redeemer, and St. Paul’s is still a question mark at this point. It is Christ’s turn to host this year, and we are looking not only into options for a traditional VBS program later in the summer, but also possible alternative ideas for some type of summer Christian Ed program for youth.
This has been a long period of separation we have been going through during this time, unprecedented within our lifetimes, but there finally seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel. Things will still be weird and different for a while, but we are still the church. We are still the witness to the good news of Christ for the world, a light in the darkness of fear and doubt. While we will be taking extra precautions as we get back together we will not let this become a “new normal” for us. The church adapts to new situations, but we exist to change the world, not to change to fit the world. The day will come when we will once again be sharing the peace with handshakes and hugs. Someday we will once again commune at the altar rail with the common cup. We will get to a point where we can be in one another’s presence without thinking about “physical distancing.” And this will not be because we have grown incautious of a dangerous disease, but because we know how important this kind of togetherness is, and so will never abandon it as our goal. In the meantime, I want to encourage you to continue your good work reaching out to others and giving them hope and community in this time. Keep witnessing to your faith, for while this time is very trying for all of us, it may well be our greatest opportunity to witness as well. May God continue to bless and be with you in this time and always.
All in-person worship services and activities at Redeemer have been cancelled through May 29th. We are currently planning on resuming in-person worship services May 30-31. Please see the above letter from the pastor for more details.
New Email Address
Effective August 14, 2019, Redeemer has a new email address for church related emails-- email@example.com. As of late September, the old email address will no longer be effective.
Redeemer Lutheran Church
140 E 32nd St
Jasper, IN 47546
Pastor:Rev. Adam Ruschau
Secretary: Kristine Harris
(Holy Communion is typically celebrated at all weekend worship services)
(durring the school year)