Coronavirus Update

July 26, 2020

The following documents were prepared by the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) to help answer question on Communion during the Coronavirus. It gives special attention to the biblically unacceptable practice that has arisen during this time where communion is "given" online.

Communion and Covid 19

One little word can fell him Addendum to “Communion and Covid-19”

July 23, 2020

On Wednesday July 22nd Governor DeWine issued a statewide mask order that states:

All individuals in Ohio must wear facial coverings in public at all times when:

  • At an indoor location that is not a residence
  • Outdoors, but unable to maintain six-foot social distance from people who are not household members
  • Waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, such as a taxi, a car service, or a private car used for ride-sharing.

The order only requires those 10 years old or older to wear a mask. Additional exclusions include: 

  • Those with a medical condition or a disability or those communicating with someone with a disability;
  • Those who are actively exercising or playing sports;
  • Those who are officiants at religious services;
  • Those who are actively involved in public safety; or
  • Those who are actively eating or drinking.

This has led many to ask: What is the church’s policy in regards to wearing a mask to church? The order to wear a mask comes from the state and not from the church or the Word of God. If you feel this means you need to wear a mask to church then by all means do so. However, given the number of valid exemptions that exist it is reasonable to assume that there are a number of our members who are not able to wear a mask. As such we are not in a position to act as an agent of the state enforcing the Governor’s order, neither is it reasonable to question every person why they may not be able to wear a mask.

There is a great deal of controversy and fighting right now about whether or not wearing a mask is the right thing to do or if it is even helpful. My encouragement to everyone is to remember that the church is not the place for such fighting and division. The Small Catechism instructs us in the Eighth Commandment “We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.” Our church is blessed to be a wonderful family of God that loves and cares for one another. I do not believe that anyone is coming to church wanting to cause sickness or harm to anyone else. If you are sick then you are again reminded to stay home out of love for your neighbor and to care for yourself. When you come to church you will see some people who are wearing a mask and you will also see some who are not. Let us not pass judgment on one another but in love let us speak well of each other and explain everything in the kindest way.

1So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:1-11)

In Christ I am your servant,

Pastor Sorenson

May 1, 2020

Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Our Easter celebrations have all been disrupted in one way or another by the coronavirus. In fact, our whole lives have been impacted in a number of ways. One thing that has not changed is that Christ is risen! In the midst of a world of bad news, the greatest news of all still rings out in all of its glory! All the world tried to silence Jesus. The Jews conspired against Him. The government wrongly convicted Him. The devil strived to triumph over God on the cross. Through all of this: Jesus lives and is victorious over death and the grave. The wonderful news for us is that He gives this victory to us freely, by God’s abundant grace and mercy. The Easter Gospel changes our lives and saves our lives. It lifts us out of the despair and suffering of this momentary life and brings us to Christ our risen and ascended Lord. The resurrection of Jesus fills our hearts with joy and longing for the resurrection to come when we will no longer suffer sin, disease, and death.

As we continue our lives in this fallen world we are forced to deal with the challenges, tribulations, and sicknesses that are all around us. On Ash Wednesday we could not have predicted that by Easter churches all around the country would be either closed or have their attendance greatly diminished. By God’s grace, we have been able to keep our church open for the sake of those who are able to attend. Our Easter Service was different this year; we had 27 of our members who were able to celebrate in the church while most of us celebrated from home. While we are all longing for the day when our whole church family will gather together again, we do not know for sure when that will be. Please know that the church remains open for you when you feel safe and able to attend.

When you are able to return to worship you will see that we have made several changes and adjustments to how we do things when we gather for worship. A lot of thought has gone into reducing what you touch while in the church as well as providing hand sanitizer and wipes for your use.

  • First, anyone who is sick or who is at high risk of illness is kindly asked to not attend services at this time. If you are unable to              come to church, please call me for pastoral care.
  • In terms of attendance numbers, our attendance has been low enough at this time (under 40) that there has been ample room in the church for people to comfortably space themselves out.
  • As you enter the church you will find hand sanitizer and wipes available for your use at the doors and in the narthex.
  • Our service is now printed in full in the bulletin each week. This eliminates the repeated handling of hymnals which are difficult to properly sanitize. The bulletins are placed on a table in the Narthex where you may pick them up and a waste basket is available for them to be disposed of immediately after the service.
  • We are no longer passing the offering plates during the service. The offering plates can now be found on a table in the Narthex for use as you enter or leave the church.
  • During this time we are refraining from shaking hands in our greeting of one another.
  • The church, it’s pews, railings, doors, and other surfaces are sanitized each week in preparation for our Sunday service.

When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper: 

  • Those who prepare the altar wash and sanitize their hands and wear gloves as they prepare the Communion elements.
  • The Pastor and the Pastoral Assistant sanitize their hands before the service and then sanitize them again during the service before the Communion distribution.
  • Rather than fill the Communion Rail for each table, individual families come to the rail together, or only a couple of people come at a time with space in between them.
  • If a person does not wish to kneel and touch the Communion rail you are invited to remain standing.
  • Instead of placing your used individual cups into the holders on the railing, you are kindly asked to please dispose of your individual cup in the waste baskets provided at the front of the church as you return to your seats.

If you would like to receive the Lord’s Supper, but do not feel ready to come to a service with everyone, please call me and I will be happy to schedule a time for you to come to the church alone or with your family for a private service.
 

We are trying to promote a safe and healthy environment for all who come to worship, one that I certainly hope feels a lot more comforting and safe than venturing into any grocery store these days. Many churches that have closed are waiting and wondering when the Governor will tell everyone to go back to church. The truth is, I don’t believe any such encouragement will come. Thanks be to God that the Governor never did close the churches but has provided the church with a continuing exemption that has allowed for churches to remain open and to continue to worship, and to serve and care for one another. The choice of coming to church for public worship will continue to be a personal decision. The church remains open because God never leaves us in our time of need.

One last note that I would like to leave you with today. Many are now pondering what will life be like moving forward. I have heard it described by our politicians and media pundits that the world will never be the same, that our lives will be forever changed. First, the Word of God reminds us with comforting grace that , “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) The second thing that comes to mind is actually an excerpt from an essay written by C.S. Lewis as he contemplated the change of the world as a result of the Atomic Bomb. One may in fact replace “Atomic Bomb” with “coronavirus” to understand the relevance of Lewis’ words for today.

 

"In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”"

— “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays

 

There is a reason that our Christian life of faith is often compared to the wilderness wanderings of Israel. There is danger and tribulation all around us at all times, yet we are not alone because God is always with us. It is my privilege and honor to be able to serve you as your Pastor and to walk with you through these difficult days that have come upon us. The Lord bless and keep us today and always until He gathers us into His Heavenly Kingdom.

Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

In Christ I am your servant,

Pastor Sorenson

Saturday April 11, 2020

Alleluia! Christ Is Risen!

I pray that the joy of our Lord's Resurrection and victory over death and the grave will bring you great comfort and joy in these days. With the understandably low attendance it has been decided that we will only be having our Easter Divine Service at 10:45 am tomorrow. A full recording of our Service will be available on the Sermons page of the church website shortly after the Service is completed and I hope and pray that it will be a blessing for you during these days of Easter.

While most of us are not able to gather physically together tomorrow, that does not diminish the Easter victory of our Lord Jesus Christ. I know this Easter will be different for everyone. Churches everywhere will be empty or very lightly attended. Family celebrations will not be as big or as full. It is understandable that this will cause us sorrow and disappointment. While we rightly grieve these losses, we grieve as those who have real hope! Our hope is in Jesus who rose victorious from the grave. He is Lord over all and will continue to care for each of us as we live out our days in this present tribulation.

As we continue to adapt to life during these days of the Stay at Home orders please know that I am praying for each of you everyday and I am still available to serve you in whatever way that I can. If you would like to be able to receive Holy Communion but you are not able to come to our services, then I invite you to call me (440-375-1008) and we can set up a time for your individual family to come to the church for a brief service to receive the Sacrament.

God bless and keep you this Easter. 

Alleluia! Christ Is Risen!

In Christ I am you servant,

Pastor Sorenson

Friday April 3, 2020

By God’s abundant grace  the church will continue to be open as we enter Holy Week the most important week of the year for us culminating in the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord. Understandably this year is proving to be very different than years past and is filled with much confusion, anxiety, and fear. As we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord I pray that the Lord will comfort you with His saving presence and peace. May the services of Holy Week be a reminder for you that God never leaves us in our time of need, instead we see that He is a God who comes to serve and to save us.

If you would like to be able to receive Holy Communion during Holy Week, but you are not feeling able to come to our services, then I invite you to call me (440-375-1008) and we can set up a time for your individual family to come to the church for a brief service to receive the Sacrament.

In Christ I am you servant,

Pastor Sorenson

 

Wednesday March 25, 2020

To clarify my announcement from earlier in the week: We will not be having our regularly scheduled 10:45 Service this Sunday. In it’s place, and in order to try and meet the States Guidelines of no gatherings over 10 people, I will be offering 8 abbreviated and spoken Divine Services with Communion on Sunday morning for groups of up to 9 people. These Services will be about 20 minutes in length. 

The Service times that are available will be 8:00, 8:30, 9:00, 9:30, 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, and 11:30.

In order to help us keep the services to under 10 people an online sign up form has been created where you can sign up for a service time. Or if you prefer you may call me at 440-375-1008 and let me know what service time you would like to attend.

I know that this will be a different experience for us, but I pray that God will bless and care for us during this time and will bring a quick recovery to all who are sick and to our land and that we will all be able to come together in Worship again very soon with great rejoicing.

Communion Service Sign Up

In Christ I am your servant,

Pastor Sorenson

Monday March 23, 2020

I think it is safe to say that this season of Lent has not turned out the way that any of us thought it would. We know that many people like to give something up during Lent in order to focus their time and prayers, but never would we have guessed that the coronavirus would prompt the state to take away almost every aspect of daily life. There are closings and cancelations everywhere; schools, work, businesses, churches, now even the entire state of Ohio. In regards to the church many churches have closed and have turned to the internet using video and livestreams as a way of trying to participate, but it just isn’t the same.

The book of Hebrews says it this way: “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the Blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh, and since we have a great Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:19-25)

We are all facing disappoint and cancellations mixed with a great deal of uncertainty about our health, our economic well-being, maybe even our political freedoms. But the future has always been uncertain in this life. Tomorrow is never guaranteed which is why we are always called to repentance and faith each and every day. In the midst of all of this uncertainty and fear the one constant we have is Jesus Christ our Lord. He is our Rock. He is the church’s one foundation. He alone has promised to be with us and never leave us as we await the day of His glorious return.

It is for this reason that our Lord Jesus established His Church on earth, this blessed communion of Saints, where He gathers us around His Word and Sacraments to feed, teach, comfort, and defend us in His saving faith. So far we have been striving to maintain our schedule of worship services, while at the same time taking important precautions that have been given to us by the government and health officials. In light of the Governor’s Stay At Home Order, that begins Monday March 23 and runs until Monday April 6th, we will be making some changes to our Worship Schedule in keeping with the order as well as our desire to protect the health and well being of our members and our community.

The Stay At Home Order for Ohio continues to exempt:“Religious entities. Religious facilities, entities and groups and religious gatherings, including weddings and funerals.” As we have continued to gather in these past weeks we have done so in full keeping of the law; furthermore according to the latest Order of Ohio it makes clear that the church and her worship continues to be an essential service that is exempt from the Stay At Home Order. Elsewhere in the Order it explains “All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes permitted by this Order. Any gathering of more than ten people is prohibited unless exempt by this Order.”

For these reasons I will be offering Communion Services at the church for groups of up to 9 people at a time in place of our regularly scheduled services during the time of this Stay At Home Order. This is being done out of an abundance of caution and care for the well being of all, and in order for us to strive to honor the laws and request of the government while also honoring God and being able to gather for worship and the reception of Holy Communion.

If the idea of coming to church makes you nervous at all, don’t come and don’t feel guilty. This is not for everyone. Some need to stay home right now because they might have been exposed or are not feeling well. Some need to stay home because their consciences are bound and they think that is the best practice. Some don’t know what to believe about what is best and are nervous. All those people should stay home and not feel any pressure from me. Let us not judge one another harshly in these strange times but walk in love.

In order to facilitate our ability to gather for worship in groups of 9 I have created an online sign up sheet with the available service times. If you desire to come for worship and to be able to receive the Lord’s Supper then I ask that you would please sign up here: Communion Service Sign Up Sign up should be easy and it will help us to be sure everyone is able to worship without worrying that there will be too many people at once. (Please note that after choosing a service time the Submit and Sign up button is at the bottom of the page) A number of worship opportunities are available on the schedule for Sunday, but there are also some times available during the week. Currently the sign up runs through this Sunday March 29th, more time slots will be available next week as well.

If you have difficulty signing up please feel free to call me at 440-375-1008 and I will get you signed up. If you know of members who would like to sign up but do not have internet access please feel free to help them by either calling the church or signing up online for them if they so request.

As we press on through these uncertain weeks let me ask you to continue in prayer each day. I would also propose for you to set aside time each day to prepare for Holy Week, and the celebration of our Lord’s resurrection, to spend the next 12 days reading through the accounts of our Lord’s Passion from the four Gospels. May the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ for our Salvation fill our hearts with faith, hope, and love and strengthen and give to us His peace with passes all understanding.

Monday

Mar 23     

Matt 26:1-46

Tuesday

Mar 24

Matt 26: 47-27:28

Wednesday     

Mar 25

Matt 27: 29-66

Thursday

Mar 26

Mark 14:1-72

Friday

Mar 27

Mark 15:1-47

Saturday

Mar 28

Luke 22:1-38

Sunday 

Mar 29

Luke 22:39-71

Monday

Mar 30

Luke 23: 1-56

Tuesday

Apr 1

John 18:1-27

Wednesday

Apr 2

John 18:28-38

Thursday

Apr 3

John 18:39-19:16

Friday

Apr 4

John 19:17-42

 

In Christ I am your servant,

Pastor Sorenson
 

Communion Service Sign Up

Thursday March 19, 2020

In an effort to serve God’s people faithfully with His comforting and life-giving Word and Sacraments Trinity Lutheran Church will continue to hold our regularly scheduled services for all who would like to attend.

As you would expect some changes have taken place in order to promote the health and well being of our members and our community: Surfaces in the church are being disinfected after every service, the Pastor and all who serve are giving special attention to washing hands, for the time being we are not shaking hands in greeting, the offering plates will be available in the narthex rather than passed during the service, the service is being printed in full in the bulletins that can be disposed of after use. Additionally the children’s Sunday School classes have been canceled for the time being, as well as the Soup Suppers on Wednesday night before the Service.

If you are sick or are at risk of serious illness and complications please stay home.

During these uncertain times of the coronavirus so much of our daily life has been abruptly changed and unsettled. We do not know what each new day will bring, neither do we know for how long this will last. It is understandable for us to be afraid and anxious. Thanks be to God that we do not face these days without hope and without a Savior. Now is the time for us to draw near to our Lord, to pray to Him, and to be strengthened by Jesus who has conquered the grave and lives and reigns to all eternity. Whether at church or at home please continue to pray to our Lord and God who hears and answers our prayers.

If during these weeks you are unable to come to church but would like to receive the Lord’s Supper for forgiveness and the strengthening of faith, please contact Pastor Sorenson and a time can be scheduled for you to come to the church privately for a brief Service of the Sacrament; or Pastor is also available to schedule a time to come to your home if you prefer.

“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:5b-7).

In Christ I am your servant,

Pastor Sorenson

Monday March 16, 2020

As we all continue to adjust to the ever changing dynamics of life as a result of Coronavirus I want to continue to support and encourage you in the faith and salvation that we have in Christ Jesus. There is not a lot of hope and comfort to be found in the world and the media around us. The uncertainty of each day is causing a great deal of fear and anxiety in all of our lives. Our Lord Jesus says to us: 

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:25-34)

Don’t be anxious? Do not worry? Such thoughts seem impossible to comprehend when there is so much fear about pandemic disease. How can we not worry about food when the grocery stores are seeming to be cleared out? What Jesus is calling us to see and believe is that God knows exactly what we are suffering and that He will continue to extend His gracious care to us even now. Jesus alone is able to extend to us this comfort and care because He knows exactly what it is to suffer, to be hungry, alone, and attacked. Jesus lived our life as a man so that He could save and redeem us from all of the curses of sin and death. His call to not be anxious is a call to look through the eyes of faith and see that the troubles of today will not plague us for eternity. In fact it is to see that Jesus has already won the victory for us. So in the midst of so much fear our faith turns us back to our Great Physician and Savior Jesus who alone can comfort us. 

During these days I would like to encourage you to be in prayer. God definitely invites us to pray and promises to hear us. Most especially we should come to God in prayer in the midst of all the fear and uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus. Let us pray for those who are sick, for those providing healthcare, for our Government leaders, for our loved ones, for our community, and for our Church. Let us pray for everything which troubles our hearts and minds in these days. To help and bless you in your prayers at home each day I have added a page to our church website called Resources for Prayer and Devotion. On this page you will find resources like The Litany, the Service of Compline, and Sacred Meditations by Johann Gerhard. As I am able I will be adding additional resources for your use at home to bless and strengthen your life of prayer. Each of these resources is made available through a link that will bring you to our Church Dropbox, from there you may use them online or even download them for use anytime.

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen

In Christ I am your servant,

Pastor Sorenson

www.trinitywilloughby.org/resources-for-prayer-and-devotion

Friday March 13, 2020

“Then [Jesus] said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. …“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:10-11; 25-28)

There can be no doubt that we are living in the end times. Our Lord Jesus warned us of the tumultuous times that we would endure and experience as we await His glorious return on the Last Day. There is a great deal of fear and foreboding in the news in our own day. Yes the wars and rumors of wars continue. Earthquakes and other disasters have certainly been in the news in the recent years. Pestilences have made a startling impact on peoples’ work, school, and daily lives in just the last few days. The Coronavirus has swept up our nations attention with the fear of pandemic and its consequences.

First, I must be clear: I am not a medical doctor. I am a pastor. My call is not to provide medical advice or diagnosis. There are plenty of voices out there trying to offer such advice and my counsel is to look past hysteria and listen to sources and doctors whom you trust. 

With the multitude of schools, sporting events, and various public gatherings being canceled, it is understandable that many people are wondering about the church as well. The Governor of Ohio has just announced a ban on all public gatherings of over 100 people. However, his order makes it clear that it, “does not apply to religious gatherings and gatherings for exercising First Amendment protected speech.”

I want you to know that regular services will be continuing at Trinity Lutheran Church. 

It is precisely during these times of uncertainty, change, fear, and danger that we need the eternal comfort that only our Lord and God can give. The church is and will remain the hospital of sinners, and our Great Physician bids us, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

We are richly blessed to have a Savior who knows our every burden, our every sickness, our every need, and our every sin and yet still comes to serve and to save us. My prayer is that during these dark and uncertain days, the light of Christ will shine brightly among us at Trinity and that our Lord would not only comfort us, but enable us to share His comforting Gospel of peace in a world that is gripped by fear.

While services will continue as scheduled: if you are sick, please act accordingly to stay home and care for yourself. Please also feel free to let me know how I can serve you as your pastor. Part of my call is to visit and care for the sick with Jesus’ own means of grace and I remain ready and able to come and serve you.

We are blessed to be facing such uncertain times during the Season of Lent because we are continually reminded in Scripture during these weeks of the incredible sacrifice of Jesus to overcome our sin and all of its consequences. While the signs of the end are all around us, and will remain so until Jesus returns, we press on with a sure and certain hope that Jesus lives! We rejoice that He has won the victory and that He is with us even now until that glorious day when He welcomes us into the perfection of Heaven. So while we wait, let us “straighten up and raise our heads, because our redemption is drawing near.”

In Christ I am your servant,

Pastor Sorenson

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