Church Updates

Church Reopening: What You Need to Know

Dear Church Family,

We hope that this finds you all well as the weather is getting warmer and we can all begin to get outdoors and enjoy God’s glorious creation. If you have not already heard, we are excited to announce that we will be resuming in-person services this Sunday, June 7th. However, in order to make that happen we are making some adjustments so that we can gather in a way that will be safe and make others feel comfortable. Below are the important changes that we want you to be aware of:

Sunday Morning Services:

What you need to know before you Come:

  • We will still have our two morning services at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • The first service will be mask mandatory and the second will be mask optional.
    • If you forget your mask or don’t have one you can ask one of the ushers and they will be able to get one for you.
  • Our two morning services will be limited to 50 people per service so we can maintain proper social distancing.
    • The chairs will be distanced from each other in groups of two, but if your family is larger than two then you may push chairs together.
  • Since space for each service is limited you and your family must sign-up for the particular service you would like to attend using the website Sign-up Genius.com. A sign-up link will be sent out via email on Monday of every week. It is first come first serve.
    • If you are not tech savvy you may also email or call the church office and Jodi will sign you up.
    • If you are scheduled to volunteer in one or both morning services you will be pre-registered for those services. However, the rest of your family must still sign-up for one of the morning services.
    • Services are filled up on a first come first serve basis and we cannot go over the 50-person maximum. So if you would like to attend please sign-up as soon as possible.
    • If you don’t sign-up and just walk in on a Sunday morning you may be seated if the sign-up is not full. However, if the sign-up is full, you will have to wait 5-7 minutes after service starts to see if someone doesn’t show up and a seat becomes available. If it doesn’t, we will have to ask you to leave but will give you the necessary information so you may sign-up for services in future weeks.
    • If you are a family with little kids, please be advised that there will be no Sunday school for the entire summer. Also, the nursery will be closed June 7th and will reopen on June 14th, but only for the 10:30 a.m. service.

Note: If for some reason you are not feeling well, have been around people who have been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or are immune compromised, please stay home and join us through the LEFC livestream on Facebook or YouTube at 10:30 a.m.

What you need to know when you are here:

  • While you are here, we would ask that all greetings be non-contact greetings.
    • For health and safety purposes we will not do the normal greeting time at the beginning of our services.
  • When you come into the church please find your seats as quickly as possible.
    • We will not be passing the plate for offering so you can drop your offering in the offering box that is right inside the sanctuary doors.
    • We will also not pass the communion plates so please grab your communion supplies from the table right outside of the sanctuary doors.

Note: We will not have communion in June but will resume our normal communion schedule on the first Sunday in July.

  • Each morning service will be limited to an hour. This means that the announcements, sermon, and music portions of the service will be shortened.
    • We are doing this to give people ample time to leave before the next group comes in, and it gives the ushers/cleaning team time to reset the sanctuary and sanitize the chairs, bathrooms, and other surfaces after each service. (With this in mind, please get here no earlier than 15 minutes before the service starts).
  • If you do need to get up during service, we would ask that you try to limit where you go in the building.
    • If you need to use the bathroom, please follow proper hand washing procedures and wash for a full 20 seconds.
    • Hand sanitizers will also be available throughout the building.
  • Once service is over, please exit the building as quickly as possible. The back rows will exit first followed by each successive row.
    • We realize that people will want to stay and fellowship with one another, but we would ask that you do this either in the parking lot or grassy area out back.

Note: The kitchen, offices, and downstairs will be off limits unless you are authorized to be in those spaces. Also, all volunteers, including the person preaching will be temperature checked prior to the morning services.

We realize that these changes may feel like a lot, however, know that it is our desire to ensure the safety and comfort of those who attend LEFC. Also, realizing that people have different thoughts about the seriousness of this pandemic we would ask that each person work to love, serve, and respect one another when it comes to our differing comfort levels. As Philippians 2:3 says “…but in humility count others as more significant than yourselves.” Or as it says in Galatians 5:13, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

As your elders we are excited to see all of you and we are praising God that he has worked mightily so that we are able to meet. We are praying for you all and we look forward to seeing you this Sunday. If you have any questions about our reopening plan contact the church office and either Jodi or one of the elders will get back to you in a timely fashion. Until then, may God grant you peace and joy as you endure in faith during this trying time.

 

With much love,

The Elders



LEFC Reopening Plans

Dear Church Family,

We have some exciting news! We will officially be reopening for services on June 7th. We know that there are many things to be done before then and there will be many ways that we need to adjust what we do in order to keep people safe and make them feel comfortable. However, we rejoice at the great work that God has done to make this a reality for our body. Below is a short 5 minute video from Pastor Dan on our reopening plans and how we are making preparations so that we can safely gather together. An email laying these plans out in greater depth will also be coming out at the beginning of next week.
 
Until then, we know that our situation has people on different ends of the spectrum as it relates to the seriousness of this pandemic. However, we would ask that each person be praying and asking God to prepare their heart for this return. That we would be able to love and serve one another and consider each other better than ourselves as we seek to come together. Below is a link to an article that reminds us of how we can show counter-cultural love to one another and remain united as the body of Christ during this time. We hope you find this article and video resource helpful as we prepare to see one another face to face on June 7th.
 
Blessings,
 
The Elders
 

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/church-dont-let-coronavirus-divide/

 
 
 



Weekly Encouragement Video from Pastor Dan

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

 
Below is Pastor Dan’s weekly encouragement video. Listen as he walks us through a devotional from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening. If you find this devotional encouraging you can have it sent daily right to your email inbox. To do this follow the link below and sign-up for these daily emails through Alistair Begg’s ministry Truth for Life. Again, we miss you all and it is our hope to be back together soon. Until then may God continue to encourage you and strengthen you with joy to proclaim his kingdom and the good news of the gospel.
 
Morning and Evening Daily Devotional
 
 



Update on Reopening

Dear Church Family,

We hope that this note finds you well. As your elders we wanted to send you a message and update you on where we are at as it relates to reopening the church for in person services. Our plan, at this time, is to reopen our doors for services on Sunday, June 7th. This of course is contingent upon Minnesota’s new Stay Safe order being lifted on or by June 1st. We will follow the guidelines that the federal and local governments lay out for meeting which will mean that our two morning services will be limited to no more than 50 people per service. We will also ask that the most vulnerable within our congregation stay home and join with us online via the livestream. This limited capacity means that each person and/or family will have to sign-up for a particular service each week to ensure that we can maintain our 50-person limit. Once the 50-person maximum limit is lifted we will allow people to freely choose what service they would like to attend without restricting the number in attendance.

When we do come back together either in groups of 50 or larger, we do believe that it is in the best interest of the body of Christ and our community to still maintain social distancing and sanitation regulations. We are currently working on how we will implement these at LEFC, but we do know that for the time being we will not resume any of the Sunday school classes. Also, on our first Sunday back together we will prohibit the use of the nursery and the prayer room to help us better focus on how we can safely execute our main worship services. However, the goal would be to resume the pre-service prayer time and the use of the nursery on the second Sunday of in person services. Lastly, our services will remain about an hour long to let one group leave before the next comes. This is due in large part to the fact that we have a small building which makes social distancing difficult.

We know that there are many more details that we need to work out, but we wanted to give you a brief update on our plan at this point. More detailed information will be coming within the next week so please be sure to check your email, our Facebook page, and our website regularly for updates. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact one of the pastors or elders. We miss you all and we can’t wait to be back together as the body of Christ, worshiping our Triune God, and living out on earth a foretaste of the heavenly fellowship and worship that is to come.

Sincerely,

The Elder Council



Pastor Dan’s Weekly Encouragement

Hi Church Family,

Check out this link to Pastor Dan’s weekly encouragement. We hope that God is continuing to strengthen you with unspeakable joy even in the midst of these trying times. We as your elders miss you all and we can’t wait to be back together soon. Also, if you missed any of the other encouragement videos please check out our YouTube channel for all of these and more.
 
 



Weekly Encouragement from Pastor Dan

Brothers & sisters,

During this time of sheltering at home your Elders desire to encourage you in your faith.  We know that you have many resources available to uplift you but we felt it was important for you to hear from us as well.  Because of our desire to love you and serve you we will be sending out a weekly 3-5 minute encouragement video from one of your Elders.

The first one is from me, Pastor Dan.  Please check out the video below. May you rejoice in the great salvation Jesus provided joyfully for you!  He is risen!

Only by His grace,
Pastor Dan for the Elders



Weekly update for LEFC April 2nd, 2020

Hello LEFC Church Family!  Please see the most recent LEFC updates.  We pray you are staying safe!

Based on the most recent Safer at Home edicts from the government, the LEFC Elders have decided to suspend in-person services and ministries at LEFC through April 30th.

In addition, we will postpone the LEFC Annual Members Meeting (previously scheduled for April 19) until we can meet again as a body in person.  We will keep you posted as soon as a date for the meeting is able to be scheduled.

Join us for on-line Mandy Thursday service next Thursday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m. Listen Online We will have communion at this service, and we encourage you to participate by partaking of the bread and wine/juice as you are able.  (Please note that there is no communion this Sunday.)

On Saturday April 11 at 8:00 a.m. Men’s Ministry will be having a virtual meeting utilizing Zoom. Our study will be in Chapter 7, God Most Faithful, in the book In His Image. If you have any questions, contact Steve Thompson or check your email for the link.

Pastor Dan’s sabbatical
 is postponed until further notice so that he and the Elders are available to minister to the body of LEFC.  Please see contact information for the Elders at the end of this email. 
 
Worship with us this Sunday, April 5: Sermon Verse – Romans 8:1
 
There will be a new audio sermon – complete with worship music and message from Pastor Dan – posted on our website Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.  Song lyrics are attached to this email. You can access the message on our website and click on the “Listen” tab or use this link  Listen Online

Prayer Requests:  Please send any prayer requests/concerns/praises you may have to the church office email at LEFCoffice@lacrescentfree.org.  Prayer requests received will be sent in the weekly prayer email.  Urgent prayer requests can be sent to LEFCoffice@lacrescentfree.org or directly to one of the pastors.

Needs:  If you have any needs, or if you are available to help people and meet needs that arise in the LEFC body, please contact contact one our pastors. 

Be Encouraged: Stay in the Word! Last week Pastor Dan reminded us to take our thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).  Please also be in prayer for our church family, our communities, and our nation.  Stay encouraged by drawing close to the One Who Holds It All. 

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23



LEFC Weekly Update for March 26th, 2020

Hello LEFC Church Family!  We hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy.  Listed below are some reminders from LEFC.

Worship with us this Sunday, March 29: Sermon Verse – Romans 12:2

Due to technical difficulties, we will not be able to livestream the worship service this Sunday.  However, there will be a new audio sermon – complete with worship music and message from Pastor Dan – posted on our website Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.  Song lyrics are attached to this email. You can access the message on our website and click on the “Listen” tab or use this link  Listen Online

Prayer Requests:  Please send any prayer requests/concerns/praises you may have to the church office email at LEFCoffice@lacrescentfree.org.  Prayer requests received will be sent in the weekly prayer email.  Urgent prayer requests can be sent to LEFCoffice@lacrescentfree.org or directly to one of the pastors.

How You Can Help the LEFC Family

  1.  Keep in Touch – Reach out to each other in the LEFC church body.  Stay in touch by phone, email or text.  If you can skype, zoom or facetime – even better! If you need a phone number or email address of someone, please email me (Jodi) at LEFCoffice@lacrescentfree.org or text 608-397-5119, and I will get you the contact information. 
  2. Pray – pray for our world, our country, our pastors, elders and their families, LEFC church family, and opportunities to share the Gospel. 
  3. Continue to Give – If you are able, please continue your financial commitment to LEFC through our General and Elder funds.  Giving options are listed below.  Feel free to contact me with questions. 

We have established an avenue via our Elder Fund for providing for the members of our church and community who are experiencing financial hardship.  If you would like to help with Elder Fund giving, please make sure to direct your funds to the Elder Fund account. 

Giving Options:
Mail
 send your check to Bookkeeper, LEFC, PO Box 262, La Crescent MN  55947. 
Online Bill Pay through your bank.  
Online Giving on our website:  www.lacrescentfree.org or use this link Give Online
Text Giving coming soon!

 Psalm 18:1-2

I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold



COVID-19 Update for Our Church Family

Dear Church Family,

We, as your elder council, hope that this letter finds you well. We understand that many of you may be experiencing fear and uncertainty over the spread of COVID-19 and the immediate and long-term impacts that it will have on our lives and the lives of our loved ones. It is in times like these that we need to cling to the certain and sure hope that we have in Christ. He is our Savior, he is our Lord, and he is sovereignly in control of all that has happened, is happening, and will happen. As it says in Psalm 103:19:
 

[19] The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. 

 

We are called, as Christians, to live in faith and not in fear. We live in the certain hope of God’s sovereignty. And we live knowing that all of his promises, even in the dark times, are yes and amen for those who are in Christ (2 Cor. 1:20). However, we also know that we are called to diligently seek wisdom from God (Prov. 2:1-5) and obey the governing authorities that he has rightly put above us (Rom. 13:1-5).

With all of this in mind, we, as your elder council, have made the following decisions regarding ministry here at La Crescent Free in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis:
 

1. We will temporarily suspend all in-person services for the next three Sundays through April 5th.

 

This includes our worship services, the prayer ministry, Sunday schools, nursery, and our monthly meal. However, we will still provide our services online in a digital format. For this Sunday, March 22 we will provide our normal audio recording of the sermon, which will be available by 10:30am. For the two Sunday’s after that we will be live streaming our services which will include worship and preaching. Stay tuned for more information on this in the coming week.

 

2. We will temporarily suspend all other ministries and events that are apart of La Crescent Free for the next three weeks through April 5th.

 

This will include small groups, women’s/men’s ministry, youth group, and any other events that would normally be sponsored by our church during this time. We believe that this is best to not only help do our part in flattening the curve of the virus, but also to be in accordance with the federal and local guidelines that have been laid out by our government.

 

3. We have decided that Pastor Dan will postpone his sabbatical by one month until April 13th so that all pastors and elders are available to minister to the body during this time.

 

With that in mind, if you need to talk or pray with a pastor or elder you can do one of the following things. You can either call us or send us an email. Also, Pastor Dan is willing to meet with people during his normal office hours which are on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s from 10am-4pm. We would ask that you call ahead of time to make an appointment and if you are sick. please stay home. 

 

4. Lastly, if you find yourself in a place of need for any reason please let us know.

 

If you are experiencing a financial hardship, we do have money available in our elder fund. If you are unable to get out and get groceries and other necessities, we have people available who would love to help meet those needs. As Proverbs 17:17 says:

[17] A friend loves at all times,

and a brother is born for adversity.

 

Also, if you are available to help people and meet needs that arise in the body please contact us via email or by telephone. As the body of Christ, it is our joy to bear one another’s burdens and to have this be a testimony to the greatness and goodness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

We understand that we are in uncharted territory, but we are still committed to being the church in this season of crisis and beyond. As time goes on, and we have a better grasp of what we can and can’t do, there may be other avenues for ministry, fellowship, growth, and even outreach that become available. We would simply ask that you be in prayer with us as we seek guidance in the days and weeks ahead. Let us also pray for our communities, nation, and world that everyone would respond to this crisis with wisdom, and that God would use this to draw the lost to himself. We believe that God is going to use this for the spread of his kingdom and ultimately for his glory and our joy as we fix our eyes upon him, the sovereign author and perfecter of our faith.

 

With much love and affection,

The Elder Council
 
John Young
Dan Cravillion
Ryan Perry
Steve Thompson
Eric Mattie