Together we grow in faith – through worship, formation, mission, and fellowship – for the sake of the world.
Worship this week
Sunday, October 18 worship at 9:00am
Sunday School News
For Children and Families
Print out this Kids Worship Activity Page for this week! Celebrate-Lectionary-29-A-Childrens-Bulletin.pdf
Join us for Sunday School at 10:15!
Different church friends (and their parents) are leading us each week – here’s this week’s link: https://youtu.be/cF5EopfQjCY
And, mark your calendars and register for our Fall Family Fun activity Sunday afternoon 10/25:
We’ll gather outdoors for Pumpkin decorating and more on October 25 at 3PM at the church. Wear your favorite costume (grown-ups can, too)! We’ll decorate pumpkins (pumpkins and materials provided), share in devotions, show off our costumes, and make some encouraging chalk art for students and teachers at LLP and VHS. As always, masks are recommended, physical distancing and registration are required.
In-person Worship Experiences
Moving toward in-person, indoor worship
As we move further into these fall months, we are aware that the weather becomes far less predictable for gathering outdoors for worship. We will begin in-person, indoor worship in our Sanctuary October 25 at 10:30, following our Livestream worship at 9:00, which continues as our primary gathering. Please note that in order to worship together safely, almost every aspect of our liturgy is affected, and worship cannot look or feel the same as what we treasure and long for! There is a lot of planning being done to do this well and safely, and we will continue learning at our outdoor services 10/11 and 10/18 at 11:00; once we begin indoor worship we will put all outdoor worship on hiatus. Important note: as always, all in-person plans are contingent on infection rates in Porter County and best-practice advice from denominational and health officials.
Sunday, October 18, 11:00am – outdoor worship with Holy Communion
While the Sunday Morning Livestream continues to be our primary gathering, we will gather for Holy Communion at the Memorial Cross on the east side of our building. Seating equipment is suggested, registration is required, masks are encouraged, and physical distancing precautions are mandatory. Please note that in case of inclement weather we will cancel the service. Register here: https://clcvalpo.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/567300
Sunday, October 25, 10:30am – indoor, in-person worship with Holy Communion
Our 9am Livestream continues as our primary gathering, even as we begin adding in-person worship opportunities. Our service will include readings, preaching, prayer, and Holy Communion; in order to keep each other safe, we will refrain from singing and unison speech (Creed, Lord’s Prayer, etc.), the Peace, and caring conversations in the Gathering Space. Pre-registration is required, masks are to be worn from the parking lot until we return to your cars, and physical distancing precautions are mandatory. Register here: https://clcvalpo.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/567303
Lectors and Greeters
You probably noticed we are now able to include videos within our livestream! If you’d like to record the readings for the day, and/or a short greeting video, signups are available here.
Private Prayer in the Sanctuary
While large gatherings of singing people aren’t the best indoors, the CLC Sanctuary is a space that has nurtured our lives of faith and prayer, and can still do so! Follow this link to schedule some time of prayer for yourself in the sanctuary: https://calendly.com/clcvalpo/private-prayer-in-the-sanctuary. We’re starting with Tuesday mornings, but please email pastors(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)clcvalpo.org if you are in need of a different timeframe.
Costa Rica Mission Team Presentation
The CLC Costa Rica Mission Team and our partners in Costa Rica didn’t give up when all travel stopped! The team had been preparing and learning through the whole year, and met with partners in Costa Rica via Zoom on a weekend retreat in June. With the youth on the team taking some leadership, the team wants to share their learning with the whole congregation – watch their presentation here: https://youtu.be/-U3uz_OMrt8
A word about Communion:
While we keep ourselves separate to steward each others’ health, we are including Holy Communion during our livestream on Sundays. Our goal is to experience Communion together, even while apart; immediate, not something available as a recording that someone might use later; organic, not something prepackaged or purchased; safe and accessible, so people don’t need to travel/have contact with others to pick things up. Please note: extraordinary times like these require us to depart from our usual practices. We all eagerly look forward to the time when we can leave these extraordinary measures behind and return to safely gathering in person on Sundays, as is our norm!
Here’s what you need to prepare in advance: Before Sunday’s service, choose a plate and cup that you will use for Communion in your space. Find some bread (whatever kind works for you; even a cracker can do in a pinch) and, if you have it, grape juice or wine. Note that if you don’t have grape juice or wine, that’s perfectly OK; our theology teaches that receiving Christ in one element (i.e. just bread or just wine) is more than sufficient! You can leave an empty cup ready as a sign of that overabundance of blessing. We also recommend having a candle handy, which you can light throughout the Sunday service, if that is safe for you, to help create a worshipful space in the midst of our homes which are also offices and schools in this time!
CLC “Plan to Regather”
As we live together in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, CLC has created a “Plan to Regather” to guide our next steps. It specifies three phases for our life together: “Safer at Home” (where we’ve been), “Limited/Hybrid,” and “Temporary (New) Normal.” We plan to begin moving into our Limited/Hybrid phase on or after June 15, depending on Porter County trends with COVID-19 and relevant guidance. At this time we do not have a designated time for moving into “Temporary (New) Normal,” nor when we will be able to return to “the way things used to be.”
Probably the question most on our minds is “When can we come back to worship together?” Guidance from medical professionals, our denomination, and our Indiana-Kentucky Synod continue to warn that in-person worship is a high-risk activity, and the steps needed to address that risk affect nearly every part of how we are used to worshipping together. At this time, Sunday morning livestreaming will continue to be our primary worship gathering, in order to exclude the least number of our beloved members. We will begin experimenting with outdoor worship experiences for smaller gatherings throughout the summer.
We’ve created a summary “What does this mean for me?” document to help answer your questions about worship, meetings, using the building, etc. Here’s a 5-minute message from our pastors that summarizes a lot of what the plan specifies for our life together: https://youtu.be/nE5kuKUk-2M