March 18, 2020
To follow the recommendations of the CDC and our synod, all in person worship services and activities at Augustana Lutheran Church have been suspended until further notice. This decision reflects the need for all of us to take care of each other and our community. We will reassess the situation and communicate any updates as needed. We would like to invite you to join all five of the ELCA churches in listening on the radio to our Lenten worship service each Wednesday evening. At 6:30 pm, the Lenten service will be broadcast from Bethlehem Lutheran on 1250 AM (KBRF Radio). To listen live you can go to kbrfradio.com and click on the “listen live” button. You may also choose to watch the livestream video by visiting Bethlehem Lutheran Church’s facebook page. The service will be Holden Evening Prayer. We are blessed by the cooperative efforts of the churches in our area to enable this to happen for all of our congregations.
On Tuesday, March 17th, representatives from Augustana were able to meet with the other ELCA pastors from Fergus Falls and surrounding communities to talk about how all of our churches can work cooperatively in response to the COVID-19 virus. Augustana will be working with First Lutheran and Hope Lutheran in Fergus Falls to live stream and broadcast a worship service on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am. The service will also be available to watch after the live stream has ended. Our service will be broadcast on 97.7 FM. An email with more specific information regarding how to tune in will be sent later this week. All three of our congregations will take turns planning the service and we will have representatives from our congregation and staff participating (no more than 10 total people will be involved in each service).
The cancellation of all activities at Augustana also includes all small or large gatherings that are hosted in our building by outside groups. The building at Augustana will be closed at this time. Our staff is still working, both at the church and from home. If you are in need of something from inside the church please call Angie at 736-5308 and make arrangements with her. If you would like a devotional book mailed to you, she can also help you with that.
We have heard from lots of people that would like to know what they can do to help one another and we are blessed by these offers. We are part of on-going conversations with the city and other non-profits and are looking for ways the ELCA can support our community at this time. We anticipate we will have more details on this in the near future. Some of the things that you can do right now to help each other and our congregation are:
- Support the on-going ministry of Augustana Lutheran Church by continuing to support our church financially! We are still paying our staff and our monthly commitments, your continued gifts are vital!
Mail your giving to: Augustana Lutheran Church, 308 East Douglas Avenue, Fergus Falls, MN 56538
Give on your mobile device: Download the Free app “Give+ Mobile” on your Apple or Android phone or tablet and make one-time or recurring donations, just Search for Augustana Lutheran using the zip code 56537.
- If you are able to give any additional funds to help fund emergency support to help those that may have needs arise because of the current public health event we would encourage you to strongly consider doing so. We know that we will have needs that we need to be able to respond and fund to help one another out in this time of uncertainty. You may send your contributions to the church and label them “emergency support.”
- If you are able to donate time (possibly picking up groceries for someone that is homebound) or supplies (food/household products), please call or email the church office to be placed on a list as a resource we can contact when those needs arise.
- Take care of one another! Please call other members of the congregation, especially the elderly or those at greater risk for this illness and check in with each other, it is important to take care of everyone’s mental health too. We need to keep in contact with each other and stay connected!
- If you or someone that you know of has a need that is not being met please contact Angie in the office and she will help direct the need to the appropriate party.
- Pray! Pray for our families, our friends, our congregation, our area, and our world. We are working to identify prayer resources we can post online and we encourage you to take this time to pray for one another.
We want to assure you that we are doing everything that we can to continue to provide everyone with accessibility to a worship service and maintain on-going relationships with all of our congregation. If you have a pastoral need please let the church office or Laurel Kilde at (218)205-6687 know. We thank you for the grace that you extend to us as we all work together in these times. Some things that we try may not work as well as we hoped and some things that are announced may change and we will always try to communicate that in a timely fashion. Thank you for your continued support and our prayer for you is that you continue to be well and we are back together in our sanctuary soon!
Laurel Kilde, Kari Johnson, Darla Neville, and Beth Neuleib
Community of Fergus Falls Resources
These forms are for members of the Fergus Falls Area community who are affected by COVID – 19 to safely request support, skills, resources, supplies, space and time from other community members.
Though COVID-19 is only just beginning to impact our city, many of our neighbors have already been affected. This means we need to show up for each other. Especially for those who are at great risk (the elderly, the immuno-compromised, those with chronic illnesses, those with little to no access to health care)
Before filling out this form, we encourage you to read the Fergus Falls COVID-19 Resources list to see if there are any resources already in place to help you: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CVyVBSZ0MDRHdnd9otiEqqo30PCcKc2_sr2-YkSvqhc/edit#
To request support please fill out this survey. We will work as quickly as we can to match you with a volunteer to help you out. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeFWk-sZg64u5xmoKKTRCO_VF4CZSIWMG83SIfceQDedIY6Bw/viewform
To volunteer, please visit the volunteer survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1HHv3IxWzJ7rGYBzn2feoHbwxHf0_kkGASLJeKN94HVA/edit?ts=5e70d236
** These forms are managed by a group of community volunteers who are working closely with city leaders to distribute information. Any questions or concerns, email: firstname.lastname@example.org **