Pastoral Letter from Pastor Korsch
Dear members of Grace,
Grace and mercy to you all from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
The purpose of this letter is to describe to you how the Emergency Declaration by the Region of Waterloo is affecting our worship and use of the church building as well as how to obtain continual information and updates of what is happening at Grace.
But before I do that I want to direct you to the words of our Lord Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel, “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b, ESV) Our Lord Jesus’ promise to His disciples after His resurrection from the dead was that no matter what situation they found themselves in life, they were never alone or abandoned, Jesus was always with them. In these days of the coronavirus pandemic with most of us staying at home it can feel like we are all alone. Cut off from our normal social gatherings and now cut off from the use of the church building it can seem like God is not with us. But the Lord Jesus is always with us for He has given us His Holy Spirit to dwell in us in our Holy Baptism and He has given us His Holy Word, the Holy Bible to hear Him speak to us. We are not alone. God is still with us. God’s love for us demonstrated in Jesus’ crucifixion for our sin and His resurrection from the dead is not affected by any events in the world. God’s love for you and your family is unchanged. God did not make the coronavirus, it is a product of Adam and Eve’s fall into sin. Before the fall there was no sickness or death, viruses could not kill or injure, but now they can. Yet God still reigns in love through His Son Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus loves you and He cares for you just the same as He always has.
As of today, the Region of Waterloo has declared a state of emergency and declared the closure of many establishments in the region including churches. This declaration does not have a specific end date so for the time it is open-ended. What this means is we cannot worship at Grace on Sundays until further notice from the region. The church office has closed and I am working from home. You can reach me by phone at 519-584-0820 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or the secretary Dan Jasztrab at 226-243-5703 or email@example.com.
But this does not mean that I cannot communicate with you. Please continue to look here to the church website. Here you will find written copies of my Sunday sermons, links to worship material from Lutheran Church-Canada, as well as other communication from me and the church council. The church website will be your place to look to learn when the church will reopen. For those who do not have computers, the church will endeavour to reach you by phone or letter to let you know when we have reopened. If you do not have a computer but would like a written copy of my sermons please phone me and I will do my best to get a written copy of my Sunday sermons out to you.
For those who are computer savvy, the elders and I will be working to see if I can use my home computer to make a video recording of me preaching my Sunday sermon and either live-stream it and/or put it on YouTube for your later viewing. Again, look here to the church website for that information.
You are all in my prayers. May the Lord bless you with strong faith in Christ throughout this ordeal. I pray that those who have lost jobs or work for their business. May the Lord uphold and provide for you and your family. I also pray for those of you who are missing regular hospital or medical care due to the hospitals prioritizing coronavirus patients. May the Lord uphold you in health and strength. As your pastor I am here to talk with you, pray with you, share the good news of Christ with you and seek to help you in any way I can. Please don’t hesitate to call me for any reason, even if you just want to talk. If you get sick and desire a pastoral visit call me and I will visit you.
The Lord Jesus is with us always. His love and his mercy never end. Look to Him for your comfort and strength.