June 17, 2020

Dear Members of Prince of Peace, 

So much happening and so exciting.   Yesterday they began to install the new sound equipment. Today we will begin training people to run this newer and smarter equipment.  We also will be updating how we live stream church on Sunday morning at 10:00.  We will continue to use Zoom for those attending Bible Class online (as Zoom allows for 2-way communication).  

This Saturday (June 20, 2020) we will have our first Saturday night service in the Sanctuary.   This service will not be available online (though we might be practicing on Saturday). 

This Sunday (June 21, 2020) we will have Bible class live in the Sanctuary and also on Zoom.  You will receive a Zoom invitation if you plan to join us online.  At 10:00 we will have Worship with communion and that service will be live streamed on our new platform.  We will send a separate email out explaining how that works (once we learn).  Communion will be part of the service, and the “to go” communion kits will be consecrated during that service.  If you participate in our drive through distribution you will be asked if you watched online, and if you did we will presume you don’t need to hear absolution and consecration again.  Parking lot distribution will begin as soon as we can get set up and will continue until 11:45.  Please go to the West Entrance and turn so that the driver’s side is next to the preschool entrance.  

Next Sunday (June 28, 2020) I will be on Vacation and Pastor Buono will be leading worship at both services.   There will be NO Zoom Bible Class that day.  

Please wear your mask, or use one at the greeter’s table, as you move to your seat and if you are moving from your seat (such as when you go to Holy Communion).  The easy rule is you need to wear your mask if you might come within 6 feet of others.  You do not need to wear a mask when you are at your seat maintaining a 6 foot separation.   Offerings can be placed in the offering plate at the door as you come in or as you leave.  You will also pick up a “wipe kit” to clean your seat following the service.   Communion assistants will wear masks and gloves in order to provide the safest distribution possible.   Let the assistant distributing the wine pick the cup up for you, so that you do not accidentally touch another glass.   After worship please wear your mask and maintain social distance.  If you are going to visit, move away from the path of those leaving and keep your mask on until you leave.   Remember the mask is to protect others, it is not worn to protect ourselves.    

Attached is an advisory from the Shawnee County Health Department that may help you decide if it is time for you to go out and how best to keep yourself and others safe if you do.  

I am very excited about being back to worshiping together in the same physical space.  I am also excited that we will be improving our audio/visual experience online for those who cannot get out, as of yet.  

In Christ, 

Pastor Mease, IIM
 

Deciding to Go Out 

As communities and businesses are opening, you may be looking for ways to resume some daily activities as safely as possible. While there is no way to ensure zero risk of infection, it is important to understand potential risks and how to adopt different types of prevention measures to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.  As a reminder, if you have symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days; or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, stay home. Follow guidance for quarantine and home isolation. 

In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. So, think about:

  • How many people will you interact with?
  • Interacting with more people raises your risk.
  • Being in a group with people who aren’t social distancing or wearing cloth face coverings increases your risk.
  • Engaging with new people (e.g., those who don’t live with you) also raises your risk. o Some people have the virus and don’t have any symptoms, and it is not yet known how often people without symptoms can transmit the virus to others.
  • Can you keep 6 feet of space between you and others? Will you be outdoors or indoors?
  • The closer you are to other people who may be infected, the greater your risk of getting sick.
  • Keeping distance from other people is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults and those with underlying medical conditions.
  • Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there is less ventilation.
  • What is the length of time that you will be interacting with people?
  • Spending more time with people who may be infected increases your risk of becoming infected.
  • Spending more time with people increases their risk of becoming infected if there is any chance that you may already be infected. 

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WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU GO:  

Asking these questions can help determine your level of risk: 

Is COVID-19 spreading in my community?  

Find out by viewing the latest COVID-19 information and a map of states with reported COVID-19 infections. 

What are the local orders in my community? 

Review updates from your local health department to better understand the situation in your community and what local orders are in place in your community. Also find out about school closures, business re-openings, and stay-at-home orders in your state. 

Will my activity put me in close contact with others? 

Practice social distancing because COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with others.

June 9, 2020 - Reopening Update

Dear Members of Prince of Peace,  

If you have not figured it out yet, things change.   Shawnee County Health Department surprised us with their most recent guidelines (http://www.snco.us/HD/Document/ad_astra_3.0.pdf).   Under the section on Mass events open to the public (which we understand to be where churches should get their guidance), the number of participants jumped to no more than 2,000 or 50 percent of the total capacity (or expected attendance) of the venue (whichever is smaller) after social distancing and mass gathering rules are applied.  We expected that number to be 35 for this 2 week period of time.  

So we are both excited to be able to offer worship to people earlier than expected and at the same time concerned about how we will be able to manage the social distancing requirements (and the most important part – keep our members and guests safe).  

We are planning a soft opening.  Those strongly encouraged to attend will be our singers and members of the Board of Directors.   We also know that some of you have been disappointed about the July opening date – so if you are feeling strongly about coming to church, please come.  We hope this to be a learning weekend – and if the numbers are not a church full – we can learn more safely.  Also, Holy Communion will not be served during the service but after the “virtual participants” have been excused. On Sundays we may continue to do it this way.

If all goes well we plan to offer both our services the next weekend.   We may still find a way to limit the number of “in the flesh” worshipers – we will see how this soft open goes.   

There are some guidelines we have for those attending worship:

  1. If you have an underlying health issue, please stay home.  Until we know we can safely have you worship with us in the flesh, we prefer to worship with you on the internet.   Services will be live streamed at 10:00 am on Sunday.   When we get the capacity to record and store them, you can watch church anytime you want and as many times as you want.
  2. If you are sick or running a temperature, please, please stay home.   If Mary or I see someone who looks like they are not well, we will do a quick assessment and either isolate the sick person or ask them to go home.   This is not a time when we can take lightly spreading any disease.
  3. Greeters will be in marked areas – They will greet you from a six foot distance.
  4. Each person shall pick up a wipe, to be used at the end of the service to wipe your chair (we will wipe our chairs instead of stacking our chairs.)
  5. We encourage you to bring a mask to wear or use one of the ones we will provide.  Our masks will be sanitized between each use.
  6. Please maintain 6’ between other worshipers if you move around during the service.
  7. Chairs will be spaced 6 feet apart.  Families may move chairs to sit together but we ask that after you wipe your chair down at the end of the service, you move it back to the spaced position.
  8. Upon entering and exiting the church, please try to maintain 6’ between you and the next person or family.  If the south doorway is too busy and if you are able, please use the north doors.
  9. Count on things to change again.  But we are making progress.

In Christ, 

Pastor Mease, IIM     

 

June 2, 2020 - Reopening Update from Pastor Mease

Dear Members of Prince of Peace, 

Our reentry task force met this morning and have made some tentative suggestions.   In looking at the Shawnee County Health Department (http://www.snco.us/HD/coronavirus.asp), we are being guided by two issues.   One is that Phase 3 could begin as early as June 8.  Phase 3, as we are currently understanding it, would still limit congregation size below what we anticipate attending.  We believe the step of moving into the Sanctuary and broadcasting our Zoom meetings with a limited congregation (under 10) provides the need for worship at this time. 

Beginning June 7, Holy Communion will be distributed at the Preschool entrance.  We ask that people get in line between 1:00 and 1:15 pm.  This will shorten the amount of time it takes for us to do distribution without adding a significant wait time for participants.  We will continue distribution until all those in line have been served.  This type of distribution will continue until it is no longer needed.  We do know that some of our members will not be able to attend in person worship for the foreseeable future.  If you desire to have communion brought to your home, please contact the church office. 

We tentatively have set our first live in person worship service to be July 4 and 5.  We foresee this to be a soft opening.  The July 5 service will be broadcast as we currently are doing.  We have noted that Shawnee County anticipate the impact date of Memorial Day to be between June 22 and July 6.  If cases spike during that time frame we may postpone live in person worship.  The county also noted that the currently daily growth rate of the virus is 2%, which they note is “TOO HIGH!”

We have “heard” that sound was an issue Sunday.   We will make an adjustment to the “singers” and “organ”, which we hope will improve things.   Currently we are using a laptop to shoot our video.  We are still waiting for the Audio/Visual Equipment to arrive and be installed.  So keep giving us feedback and we hope that once we have equipment that will make mixing our sound easier, things will improve. 

We will have word out soon about our on-line VBS.  Children will be able to watch the videos from home and parents will be able to pick up a craft and instruction kit to make the experience more interactive.  There will be no charge for VBS this year, but we are asking for donations to cover the cost of the handout materials.  

Finally, yesterday we prayed with Ralph Anderson’s family at his bedside in the hospital.   Ralph is being moved to Midland Hospice today.  His death will be the 6th death to occur during this pandemic.  So we will have several funerals in probably August and perhaps sometime in July (depending on the number of people we can have in an event).  Pray for Susan and for all those who have lost loved ones and have had to grieve alone without the fellowship of the church.  We know that your fellowship with them and us will sustain us and that your Resurrection gives us hope.  

 

Pastor Mease, IIM  

May 18, 2020 - Reopening Update from Pastor Mease

Dear Members of Prince of Peace,  

 

Last week Governor Kelly extended Phase 1 with what is now Phase 1.5.  What this means is that remain in our Phase 1 until the Governor moves us to Phase 2.  This is what Phase 1 – 3 may look like for our congregation:

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church Reopening Plan

Here are some things you can do to help:

•          As we begin to reopen the church building and come together again, we are asking each member to show empathy and compassion with each other. All our members have different fears, anxieties, distractions, and concerns. Returning to church services may exacerbate some of these emotions and distractions. We see ourselves as a welcoming, caring, loving, and growing community of faith. Of course, we don’t always live by these core values because we are a broken, sinful people. But when we are at our best, these define who we are. We are asking everyone to be patient with each other during this stressful and scary time. 

•             Stay home if you’re sick. 

•             Wear masks in public settings.

•             Social Distance – Maximize physical distance (6 ft or more) in public settings, especially if you have a medical condition that puts you in a high-risk category. 

•             Avoid socializing with large groups. 

•             High-risk individuals should only leave the house for essential needs. 

•             Minimize non-essential travel. 

•             Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

•             Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

•             Cover coughs and sneezes into an elbow or tissue. Throw the used tissue away and immediately wash your hands.

•             Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including phones, keyboards, doorknobs, handles and light switches

•             Check in (via phone/letter/text/email) with friends and family who are isolated. 

 

Phase I – Beginning May 4, 2020

•             Mass gatherings of no more than 10 individuals will be allowed. Prince of Peace Lutheran Church will continue virtual Church Services, Bible Study, and Sunday School.

•             The church building will continue to be closed; however, assigned volunteers and staff will be in the building beginning and/or continuing the deep clean of the building.

•             Masks: Individuals are strongly encouraged to wear cloth masks in public settings as appropriate.

•             High-Risk Individuals: Are advised to continue to stay home except when conducting essential functions.

 

Phase 1.5 – beginning May 18, 2020

  • We will continue our on-line live worship services but on May 31 we will begin transmitting from the Sanctuary.
  • Drive through communion will continue, on Sunday afternoons from 1:00-2:00 pm. Drive through communion will continue until it is no longer needed (times may change, however)

 

Phase II – Beginning May ?, 2020

•             Mass gatherings of no more than 30 individuals will be allowed. Prince of Peace Lutheran Church will continue virtual Church Services, Bible Study, and Sunday School.

•             During Phase II, the church building will reopen, and the office will be open for a few hours a day. (WILL WE SET OFFICE HOURS) 

•             Please keep in mind, when in the office each person must maintain 6 feet social distance from each other and that we cannot have more than 10 people in the office at one time. If you are visiting the office and the office is full, please wait in the common area until the office clears out. We will also have gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes available for you to use while you are in the office. We understand how difficult this is but need to keep our precious members safe.

•             Masks: Individuals are strongly encouraged to wear cloth masks in public settings as appropriate.

•             High-Risk Individuals: Are advised to continue to stay home except when conducting essential functions.

 

Phase III – Beginning ????, 2020 (When governor approves phase 3 for the state)

•           Mass gatherings of no more than 90 individuals will be allowed. During this phase, we must avoid any instances in which groups of more than 90 individuals are in one location and are unable to maintain 6 feet of distance with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity. This does not limit the total occupancy of our church building but requires that we limit mass gatherings in areas and instances in which physical distancing cannot be maintained.

  • During Phase III, the church building will be open, and we will begin to hold services in person. At that time, we are planning on returning to two services and Bible study (Saturday 5:00 pm and Sunday Bible Study 9:00 am and Service at 10:00 am)   Children’s Sunday School will continue virtually at 11:00 am
  • Please keep in mind, while this will be a joyous time for all of us, we need to ensure the health and safety of our precious members and therefore will be changing how we do things on Sunday morning.
  • Chair set up – chairs are to be returned to their original place and all chairs used will be wiped down with the wipe you received as you entered.
  • Greeters will change and how we enter and exit church will be different – so we maintain social distancing.  Where greeters stand and how they greet will also be different.
  • During communion, servers will wear masks and gloves to distribute the Sacrament. We will also encourage all members to wear masks and maintain social distancing when in the building.
  • Offertory – We will not pass a plate, rather we will have an offertory box where members can drop their offerings and attendance cards.
  • Maintain 6 feet social distance from each other
  • Church cleaning - We will wipe down chairs after worship, minimize contact and hopefully keep us all safely worshiping together.
  • Due to the space constraints of room B/C, we will have the 9:00 am Bible class in the big space.  We will ask members stay in the same chair during the Bible Study and the church service, so your chair won't need to be sanitized in between the Bible class and our Sunday Service.
  • If any of our gatherings exceed 90 people, B/C will be set up as overflow.
  • Recognizing we have members who are more vulnerable or just don’t feel safe in a large crowd, we will continue virtual Church Services, Bible Study, and Sunday School.
  • Masks: Individuals are strongly encouraged to wear cloth masks in public settings as appropriate.

Throughout each Phase the Governor will continue evaluating the state’s progress and, if appropriate, issue a new executive.

SO, WHAT ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE?

Good question.   I want you to know that the COVID shutdown has not stopped all progress toward Prince of Peace calling your permanent pastor.   

We have a new preschool director, Amy Hoytal, who comes on board July 1.  

A draft of a new Constitution and Bylaws was sent out for comment to the Board of Directors today.  We have had a Task Force that has drafted the above Reopening Plan.  Contributions have been made, bills paid, services prepared and usually transmitted without much of a hitch (ok – this past week was an exception).

Once those documents go back to the District for approval we will move on to develop a much needed Policy, Procedure and Job Description Manual.   

We have ordered new audio/visual equipment that should make services in the sanctuary more enjoyable and should enhance our ability to both live stream services in the future as well as provide copies to shut in members and others upon request.

We have provided ministry to 5 members of our congregation who have died, to their families and will assist them in preparing funeral services when we are able to assemble in groups larger than 90.

Your Interim Task Force has met several times by Zoom just to stay connected.

This is the vision I have for how we will move toward calling a permanent pastor:

  • We should complete our Bible studies on the issues raised by the District sometime this summer.   As soon as face-to-face gathering are possible, we will spend as much time as needed to discuss these issues.
  • The Board of Directors and Task Forces (both Interim and Reopening), Board and Committees will meet before the end of summer to begin to create a vision for the future of Prince of Peace.
  • Late Summer to early Fall we will walk each member of the congregation through a six hour Town Hall process.   For those who prefer longer and less frequent we will offer two groups (both after Saturday and/or Sunday Services) that meet for 3 hours at a time.   We will offer both day and evening sessions that last 1.5 hours that will meet 4 times.   We will also offer a virtual option (not sure of the time of that one).   There may be some other special groups that we will gather for town hall meetings to meet their needs (thinking now of Youth and Nursing Home patients).
  • Reports to the Board of Directors would be completed by October 15 and to the congregation by November 15.
  • In early Fall we will also have a Consecration Sunday to enhance our Stewardship and financial giving.
  • We will be meeting with our District Vice President after our Bible Studies have been completed. We should at least have submitted our constitution by mid-summer.
  • I would think you could reenter the call process by the first of December.
  • If the congregation wishes and I have no other congregation needing to begin an Interim in February, I am open to extending my contract one month at a time – you would need to make that first formal request by November 1.   Please keep in mind that you might be better able to get by with a vacancy pastor who would work part time.  That would be a cost savings to the congregation.  I just want you to know there are options and that if we have not completed our Interim work, constitution, and bible study issues – I will ask to stay on for a month to month basis.

In the midst of all this, I also am wondering (I seem to wonder a lot) what we have learned on this COVID Detour of our Interim Journey.  Are we open to seeing how God may have been revealing to us important learning? What have we missed, and what do we need to make sure we celebrate when we are fully back together? What haven’t we missed, and maybe willing to let go of when we are back together? What have we discovered we are missing in this experience, and what new ministry opportunities do we have in meeting that ministry need for the future?  See!  Lots to wonder about!

In Christ, 

Rocky Mease

Intentional Interim Pastor


May 4, 2020 - Reopening Prince of Peace

 

April 6, 2020 - Easter

Dear Members of Prince of Peace,

He is Risen.  He is Risen indeed!  Nope, I am not jumping the gun.  He is risen and his resurrection has more significance this Holy Week than perhaps ever before.  It is no accident that the apex of this Disaster comes during Holy Week.    Know that regardless of what we see, hear about or experience this week and in the next several – Christ is Risen indeed! 
Let me address a couple of issues.  We are holding all services on Zoom this week, using the same link as the last several services.   So if you signed on Sunday, use that same link.   We will send them out regardless, but we are trying to keep this as simple as possible.  There will be no Bible Class this week; so that I don’t have to rush setting up for the service – there are lots of moving parts and I am the one moving all the parts.   Thank you for your patience with me.
If you have not been able to figure out this technology consider reaching out to another member.  You can arrange to call them and they can let their phone pick up the service so that you can listen to it.  We hope all can listen to God’s Word this Holy Week.  If you don’t know who to contact, call me and I will help you get a phone call you can use.   My cell number is 316-765-5989.
We expect to hear about how much we will receive from the Federal Government this week through the Payroll Protection Program.  Prince of Peace has continued to pay all Church and Preschool staff, even though there has been a sharp reduction in offerings and tuition.  As I wrote early on in this crisis, Christian Stewardship adapts to loss of income.   If we maintain our percentage of giving, and our income goes down, our giving will go down.   If we have been blessed to not have that happen, we are blessed to continue giving at the same percentage.  God offers us a no-guilt giving program.  His love is all that motivates us. 
It has been suggested that when people receive their Stimulus Check, they consider  contributing a portion of it to Prince of Peace’s Love Fund, to be given to those for whom the Stimulus Check will not cover their current bills.  I suspect that the greatest need will come when this crisis appears to be over, for the “have’s” but will just become critical for the “have nots”.  Pray about this and do as God directs your hearts and minds.  
Contributions can be mailed to: Prince of Peace % Bradley Hammel, CPA, 2800 SW Wanamaker Road, Suite 175, Topeka, KS 66614  or you can use the Egiving resource found on our web page:www.princeofpeacetopeka.org.
May God bless and keep you this Holy Week.  I look forward to seeing your names, phone numbers and faces on my computer screens. 
In Christ,
Rocky Mease, IIM
 

April 1, 2020

Dear Members of Prince of Peace,  

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18
So far, the sufferings of this present time are about our being homebound.  This is hardly comparable to the suffering Paul was experiencing.   But the next month may well test our capacity to endure suffering.  More than at any other time in our lives, this Holy Week, we must keep your eyes firmly fixed upon the cross and the empty tomb.  That is where we are reminded of the glory that is not worth comparing. 
Let me update you on all that has gone on – yesterday.   Yesterday we briefly considered reviving our plans to have Holy Week services (at least Easter) in the Prince of Peace parking lot.  We even had begun to figure out how we “technically” might be able to accomplish that.  I even had my bags packed to move back to Topeka.  Then God got all our attention and reminded us of the risks we might be exposing all of you to.   We believe we can keep our eyes fixed upon the cross and the empty tomb by our current means of Zoom worship.  
The Interim Task Force met by Zoom last night and talked about conducting at least this first Town Hall meeting by Zoom.   It was agreed that we would not get the feedback we desired nor the attendance we expect by attempting the process on Zoom.   So, the Town Hall meetings are postponed until we can do them face-to-face. 
Leadership this morning is pursing the CARES act, to see if Prince of Peace is eligible.  Prince of Peace has continued to pay all salaries for the church and preschool.  We are hoping we might get some government relief for keeping people employed.  
All worship services will now be on the same Zoom invitation.   If you figure it out tonight, you have it figured out till we can meet again.   We are learning more each day about how to make this technology work – and improve the experience. 
If you cannot attend one of our services on computer, pad, or phone written copies of sermons are available by email or regular mail.  Please contact the church office.   
I believe our faiths will be tested in the next month.   I also believe that our faiths will pass that test and give us strength to endure all we might endure.   You are all in my prayers.   Stephen’s Ministers are calling every member every week and reporting what they are hearing (unless it is to be kept confidential).   
I can always be reached at 316-765-5989.   If I don’t answer, leave a message.
Grace and Peace to you all, 
Rocky Mease, IIM

March 31, 2020

Good Afternoon,

After a morning of thinking about possibilities and opportunities to gather in some way and receive communion, I have decided not all good ideas are good ideas.  We haven’t heard from many of you let from the last email.   And it wasn’t all that along ago, we were asking for your opinion.  But my opinion has been changed – and it figures I changed my opinion after I packed the last item to go into the car. 
All meetings, classes and Worship services will be by Zoom until the Safe/Stay at Home order is lifted.   While we might have gotten away with drive through communion, we would have still placed some people at risk.  God’s grace is sufficient that while we may desire to gather and communion, our sins are covered regardless.
I need to “Stay at Home” also.  We are all healthy – so I praise God, but that could change.  3 of my kids have been in the workforce for this whole time.  My daughter has worked with someone who has recently tested positive for the virus.  She remains healthy, but things do change rather quickly. 
I can do everything that needs to be done from home – However – if an event emergences that demands my physical presence, I will drive back to Topeka to meet that need. 
I encourage every one to remain as isolated as possible, wash your hands frequently, don’t touch your face – but most of all pray.
I will “see” you all Wednesday night – church “Live From Derby”. 
Rocky

March 25, 2020

 

Dear Members of Prince of Peace,

Every day things change.   At midnight tonight, Shawnee County has issued a Safe at Home Order.  At the current time Clergy and Churches are not considered Essential Personnel.  So we have closed the church office for the next month.  Glenda and Mary will work from home in Topeka.  I (Pastor Mease) will work from home in Derby.  Church service will be at 10:00 on Sunday and 7:00 on Wednesday.  Bible Class will only be held on Sunday morning (No Wednesday morning class).  The church building is being secured (new alarm hours) and thermostats are being set for an empty building.  If you need something at church please notify Glenda so you don’t set off alarms. 

I will be available for anything that needs my personal and physical presence.  At the current time all meetings, Bible Classes, Church Services and Pastoral Care will be done by zoom, Face Time or telephone.   My number is 316-765-5989. 

Stephen Ministers, Mary and myself are making welfare calls.  Glenda will continue to make sure the nuts and bolts that need attention will get taken care of. 

We hope that after this month, we may return to some degree of physical presence at church, but there is no assurance that will happen.  

We will continue to keep you up dated by email, snail mail when possible and by constant updates on our website and Face Book page.   If you have questions you can call any of us. 

With everything going on, drive-up communion, prayer vigils, etc. will not be offered after 4:00 p.m. today.

You will be in my constant prayers.

In Jesus Name,

Rocky Mease

Interim Pastor

March 23, 2020

Dear Members and Friends of Prince of Peace, 

It is customary to begin with a greeting, which now seems even more essential.  Grace and Peace to you through our Lord Jesus Christ.  

We are certainly in need of Grace and Peace.   God will provide all the Grace and Peace we need.  

Beginning as soon as you get this email, we have stations set up for a Prayer Vigil.  The prayer stations will be available Monday – Thursday, 9-4.  We will not assign times but if you can come in the South door, there is a station in the sanctuary, the Meyer Peace Room and in the Library.   Feel free to take some time to live in God’s Grace and Peace.  If you encounter someone, please practice 6 feet social distancing.   There will be Clorox wipes in each station to wipe down the chairs once you have finished.  There are prayer books for your use during your time with God, then please take it with you, as a precaution for the next person.  If you wish to take communion stop by Pastor Mease’s office, or the main office and we will have communion available.  

We are working on various worship options.   We are looking at worshiping in the parking lot.   There are some obstacles that might prohibit that.   That is one thought.   The other is recording the worship service in the sanctuary and posting it on Face Book – a link would be available on our web page.   For those who want to be together virtually and for those who listen by phone, the recording will be played at 10:00am on Sunday using the Zoom the platform.   Everyone will get an invitation by e-mail to watch or listen.

On Sundays, from 10:30am until Noon we will provide drive through communion in the parking lot.  Words of institution will be said for each car, unless we have figured out a parking lot way of doing things.  All elements used for communion have been consecrated (set apart for sacred use) by Pastor Mease.  The Words are repeated to help each of us remember the gift of Grace we are receiving in Jesus body and blood, in, with and under the bread and the wine.  

Bible Class will continue to be live on zoom 9:00 am Sunday and Wednesday.  We are getting close to ending the Holy Communion Bible Study and moving on to the Bible Study on Homosexuality.   No one can say we are ducking issues in these tough times.  

Check out our web page for resources daily.  

Share with friends and neighbors the link to our services and Bible Study – we love seeing visitors on the screen.  

Know that there are continuing discussions about how best to provide the ministry of Prince of Peace Congregation and Preschool.  

Don’t forget to mail or use our web page to electronically send your donations.  

Lord of the Church, we live in times we could not have imagined weeks ago.  Some are scared.  Some are lonely.   Some are angry.   Bring Grace and Peace into our lives.  In Jesus Name.  Amen. 

In Christ Name, 

Pastor Mease, IIM


January 16, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,  

The Prince of Peace staff in consultation with the Board of Spiritual Life and the Board of Directors have taken the following actions due to the crisis of the Coronavirus  - effective immediately.

All services, meetings, classes, activities (including the phonathon, Sunday school for Children and Youth, ChristCare, Confirmation, meals, Easter egg hunt, Bowling for Youth, Town Hall meetings, etc.) are cancelled until further notice.  You will be notified if you are needed for an essential meeting.  If your group or Board wants to meet on Zoom, contact the church office.

The Office will be open Monday - Thursday, 9-4, closed Friday.  We encourage you to call the church office (271-0808) if you have questions, concerns, are sick, have special needs, just need to talk to someone or for any reason you might have (like having a joke we could post on our website.)  Fight Cabin Feever with your phone.  Limit news consumption.  This is a good time for board games, family devotions, puzzles and funny movies.

Worship services wil be held on an internet/phone platform called Zoom.  You will receive by email, by phone or by snail mail a web and phone link for the service.  We will do our best to have the services recorded and they will be posted on our website www.princeofpeacetopeka.org.  This is a new technology for some of us so be patient.  It will be important that you mute your phone.  One person's background sounds, like eating breakfast, will be distracting to everyone but the person eating breakfast.

Worship services include funerals and weddings.  Ruth Cook and Mary Spreer's memorial services will be held at a later time.  We will work with families to do small family services at graveside.

Bible Class will also be delivered by Zoom.  9:00 a.m. on Sunday and 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday.  This Bible class will be more interactive, and will give you the chance to talk to the group and text your questions if you are on a computer.  The Bible classes will also be recorded and will appear on the webpage.

Holy Communion is available during office hours.  We can serve you at the outside door or at your car (yes, that would make it a drive thru communion).  Please call from the parking lot if you want communion brought to your car.  Words of institution will be read so that all will hear those important words.  Pastor Mease will have consecrated the elements.  Call the church office to make arrangements for home communion.

Stephen's Ministers will be calling each household each week for a welfare check and prayer requests.

We will be posting websites that are important for you to follow so that you know how best to keep yourself and your family safe.  Please follow the advice of government agencies.  Th strategy being employed is meant to "flatten the curve" so as not to overrun our hospitals.  It may reduce the overall number of people who get sick, just keep them from getting sick all at the same time.

CDC.com       LCMS.org.     KDHEKS.gov

Watch out for your neighbors, friends and family.  If you are quarantined at home, use your time to reach out - keep yourself busy by helping someone else.

Pastor Mease is available by phone 316-765-5989.  His private email is rockywmease@gmail.com.  Glenda is available by phone at 785-640-6767 and her email is glendah@princeofpeacetopeka.org.  Mary is available by phone at 786-580-6650 and her email is maryhme29@cox.net.

Lord God, hear the prayers of your people, calm our fears, bring healing to those who are sick and keep those who are well healthy.  Remind us of your power and might.  Remind us of your love and compassion.  Use us to show your love and compassion to all we meet.  Amen.

 

 

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