Dear Friends in Christ at Augustana,
Below is part of the email we received Thursday afternoon from Bishop Jim Gonia of our Rocky Mountain Synod:
I know many congregations have already adopted recommended practices for safeguarding those who come to worship. We are now faced with the likelihood that we will be asked to refrain from gathering for worship at all for the next few weeks. The governor of New Mexico has already made such a request. I will be on a phone conference call tomorrow afternoon with the governor’s office in Colorado and anticipate a similar request.
This is such a fluid time and time of anxiety, but with many cancellations of large gatherings happening today, including worship at other churches, Lisa Boe-Sims (the congregation President), Sue Ann, Shanna and Pr. Caitlin and I feel we also need to make some decisions.
Since we have two large funerals this weekend, we will have Sunday morning worship—both services—this week, March 15; and the funerals Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon.
Following Monday’s service, we will be suspending Sunday and Wednesday worship for two weeks, hoping to come together for worship again on April 5, Palm Sunday. But those plans may change as well, and we will follow the guidelines of the state of Colorado in making that determination.
To clarify, there will be no Sunday worship March 22 or 29 and no Wednesday worship March 18 or 25, or April 1. There will also be no Faith Formation on these Sundays; many activities during the week will also be canceled. If in doubt, call the church office (303-388-4678).
None of us could have anticipated all that has transpired across the world in the last month, but we need to be mindful of those who are most vulnerable, and also unite to stop the “community spread” that has happened in other areas.
I want to encourage you to remember that Augustana’s ministries will need your continued financial support now more than ever. You can always mail your offering to the church, make an online donation on our website (www.augustanadenver.org), or send a text message to 303-653-9592. Your first text message needs to include a dollar sign $ and an amount. Then just follow the prompts to complete your gift.
For now, the church office will be open during the week. Our staff will be communicating regularly with you so everyone can be informed. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call the office.
I encourage you to pray for one another, for our country and our world as we find ways to face this health crisis together. And we will continue to trust in Christ who said “I am with you always.”