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Pastor's Update
St. John’s Email Update for March 26th, 2020
St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

421 East Avenue
Red Wing, MN 55066
Phone:  651-388-2149
Website: www.stjohnsredwing.org

Dear members and friends of St. John’s,

In keeping with the Governor’s new restrictions announced on Wednesday, “in person” worship services at St. John’s will now be suspended through Friday, May 1st.  We are still allowed to conduct our live stream services, however.  Those will continue.

Sunday Worship: 10:00 a.m.—Live stream on St. John’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/stjohnsredwing/.  The sermon is based on Romans 8:11-19: “Fellow Heirs with Christ.” 

Lent Wednesday: 7:00 p.m.—St. John’s Facebook page.  We will stream a recorded service by Pastor Weigand from Grace and St. Peter’s, Goodhue: “The Warrior Faces Satan’s Ally, the World.”

Mr. Avila received a call to Beautiful Savior in Carlsbad, CA, to be principal and grades 3-5 teacher.  Please keep Mr. & Mrs. Avila in your prayers as they deliberate where he can best serve God's kingdom.

Do you need someone to deliver groceries to you?  Give Ross Deden a call at: 651-301-0233

From Northwestern Publishing House
Parents can now download six weeks of Christ-Light lessons for free, compliments of Northwestern Publishing House, so they can offer Sunday school at home.  Bible stories offered follow the life of Jesus, including several of his miracles and the events of Holy Week and Easter.  Besides the student lessons, parents can download coloring sheets and other activities as well as a teacher’s guide to help them share the lesson with their children. Different levels are available for children ranging in age from pre-kindergarten to grade six.

Offering opportunities
I have fielded a few calls to make us aware of a program that Thrivent is providing.  For a very limited time (it may be gone by tomorrow), your offering to St. John’s will be matched 50%.  Thrivent started a special program to promote local giving by matching $1 for every $2 given to any nonprofit in their database.  For more details on the program: https://www.livegenerously.com/inspiring-stories/offers/national-volunteer-week.html  The Thrivent page should open.  Read the info, and then click on the “Thrivent Choice Giving Platform” button (about ¾ down the page).  Your donation goes through Thrivent to St. John’s.

A big thank you to those who remembered St. John’s by mailing or dropping off an offering.  And to those who give an offering to the Lord through our website: https://www.stjohnsredwing.org/site/cpage.asp?cpage_id=180119042&sec_id=180003867
Thank you so much for remembering your Lord and your church in these times!

In Christ,
Pastor Engel

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Here is a question that came to us pastors from one of our members this week.  I’ve seen similar questions floating around:

Question: “I’ve seen 2 Chronicles 7:13-15 circulating a bit recently and wasn’t sure if either of you had as well, just curious on your thoughts as I thought it was an interesting comparison...  It’s been pointed out of the similarities to wildfires in Australia (rain held back), the locusts (in Africa last month) and now Covid19 and exactly in that order. Makes you wonder. Although it is just a snippet of verses not the whole chapter in context.
• 2 Chronicles 7:13-15: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”

Response: Thanks for the question.  Here are some other passages I've seen popping up a lot lately:
• Luke 21:11 "There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven."
• Revelation 6:8: "I looked, and there before me was a pale horse!  Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth."
"Pestilences" and “plague” can also be translated as "disease" or sometimes I even see "epidemic" used as a translation.  

It is striking how the things we go through today are so similar to went people went through in the Bible.  
Could this be the end time?  Sure.  We have no idea when Jesus is coming back.
But temper that thought with the knowledge that wide, sweeping disease, epidemics, drought, and locusts have been around a long time.  Bubonic plague and Spanish flu are just a couple of examples of previous epidemics.  Corona virus is the latest one to come along.  We know that this disease, like the others, is ultimately a result of living in a world corrupted by sin.  So we repent of our sins as God encourages, look to Christ for forgiveness, and wait for a better, eternal, disease-free world yet to come.  We also practice genuine concern and caution for our physical safety during these times while trusting in God’s loving care.

Do you have a thought or a question?  Send us an email and we will do our best get back to you.
Pastor Engel
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