The founders of MLC and the next couple of generations couldn’t have imagined it. Worship services in the church suspended? A virus keeping the church family apart for months?
Well, yes and no. They had, from time to time, had to hold the worship services in different locations. There are stories passed down of meeting in the Johnson high school as the current building was being built. Worship was held several months in the church basement after the building was partially burned in 1959.
However, there were no stories ever mentioned about suspending for sickness. Those who came before us had endured the Spanish Flu in 1918 and 1919 as well as the polio epidemic in the early 1950’s.
This time was different though. Countries around the world came to a standstill during the Covid-19 pandemic. As it started to spread rapidly throughout the United States, people were urged to stay home. Businesses closed and worship services were suspended. Likewise, Martin Luther Church suspended their worship services and all activities in the church building after the March 15, 2020 service.
As the “in person” services were suspended, God’s people didn’t give up.
Beginning on March 18th, scripture, prayer and the message were recorded so that it could be watched in our homes.
In addition to the online scripture and message, we proclaimed “Christ is Risen” on Easter Sunday April 12th – each in our own cars in the church parking lot. Pastor Tubbesing led us in worship using the loudspeaker from the Speckmann Auction trailer. Services were held in May and June in the parking lot (some using lawn chairs in the shade) as well.
The church family were urged to participate in Rise Up and Sing on Easter Sunday. Through the next months, there were Bible studies online and in lawn chairs in the shade of the church building. We were also able to begin and complete a mission project for Partnership 4 Hope! The Lord’s work could still be done!
Worship services inside the church resume July 5 with protective measures in place. Online service of scripture, prayers and message will continue as well.
And so…Martin Luther Church adds a new story to its history.
May all who come behind us find us faithful!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, ~ Hebrews 12:1