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April Newsletter

April 2020 Newsletter now available!

Coronavirus Update 3/23/2020: Services Suspended

Coronavirus Update 3/23/2020: Services Suspended

Dear members of Redeemer Lutheran Church, today Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued "Executive Order 20-08 (Stay at Home)" beginning March 25 through April 6.  While this order exempts religious gatherings as long as they comply with the CDC recommendations, we think it necessary to cancel in-person worship services until April 6.  

Since this is a temporary order issued in an emergency situation designed to protect the public health, we do not feel that it infringes upon our religious liberty or our right to assemble.  We appreciate our Indiana state government providing an exception for the essential work of churches and those that provide spiritual care. However, we feel our resources can best be used if we suspend in-person worship services and provide quality opportunities to hear the Word of God through other means.

We will record/live-stream services as we are able on YouTube, Facebook, and the Redeemer website.  Holy Communion can still be received by making an appointment with Pastor Kleinschmidt.  The Church Office will be closed during this time, however, the executive order allows us to maintain the building, ensure security, and gather materials to work from home.  Pastor Kleinschmidt and Vicar Stoltzman can be reached at home during the stay at home order, their home phone numbers have been printed in every bulletin.  If you need those numbers or need to contact Stacy you can email: info@redeemerhighland.org  

At this time we don't know what will be happening for Holy Week/Easter, we will update everyone when we have more information.  Recorded services and information have been made available on our church website: www.redeemerhighland.org.  And soon online giving for offerings will also be available.  Please share this information with those Redeemer members who may not have access to the internet or email. 

--Redeemer Congregation President Don Kaegebein, Vice President Dan Nieman, and Redeemer's Board of Elders

Coronavirus Update 3/20/2020

Coronavirus Update 3/20/2020:

"With a handful of confirmed cases in our area, and following our Response/Action Plan, Redeemer has moved to a condition “RED.”  Lenten midweek services have been cancelled, however online devotional services will continue to be offered. Worship services on Saturday and Sunday will continue as planned (as of right now), Bible study continues to be offered between services.  We plan to offer an online recording of a weekend service for those staying home.  At church, we encourage people to sit the recommended 6feet apart and to continue good hygiene practices.  The pews, altar rails, and hymnals are being cleaned between services.  Little Lambs Preschool has been cancelled and plans to resume 5/1/2020.  Confirmation classes are cancelled and plan to resume 4/14/2020.  Tuesday morning ladies Bible class has been cancelled until further notice.  Most of our meetings have been cancelled, however if you haven’t heard about yours, contact your committee chairperson or group leader.  An online giving service is being set up, look for more information in your Redeemer Reminder emails, you can also mail your offerings if you like.  Thank you for continuing to support your church and give thanks to God in this difficult time.”  

--Redeemer Congregation President Don Kaegebein, Vice President Dan Nieman, and Redeemer's Board of Elders

Coronavirus Update 3/17/2020

Coronavirus Update 3/17/2020:

"With a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Community Hospital in Munster today (3/17/2020), and following our Response/Action Plan, Redeemer has moved to a condition "YELLOW."  Confirmation classes for Tuesday, 3/17/2020 are canceled and plan to resume 4/14/2020.  Dartball for Tuesday, 3/17/2020  has been canceled. Lenten service for Wednesday, 3/18/2020 is canceled but we plan to have a devotion online for your Lenten worship. Worship services on Saturday and Sunday will continue as planned (as of right now). Most of our meetings have been canceled, however if you haven't heard about yours, contact your committee chairperson or group leader.  This is a developing situation and we expect more confirmed cases to arise in our community, at which time Redeemer will move to the next level of our response plan and more modifications and/or cancellations may be announced." 
--Redeemer Congregation President Don Kaegebein, Vice President Dan Nieman, and Redeemer's Board of Elders

Also, Swaddling Clothes Shopping Day planned for Saturday, March 21st has been canceled.

Redeemer Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update:

"Redeemer Lutheran Church is aware of the concern of the COVID-19 virus. Our congregational leadership has developed a plan of action in the event of increased risk in our community. We continue to follow the recommendations of professionals in relation to the threat level in our area. Currently, we are at a condition "GREEN" level, this means that all Redeemer worship services will be held as planned. Holy Communion will continue to be served as scheduled. Our Little Lambs Preschool has already closed following the recommendation of schools in our area and parents have already been notified. We continue to clean and disinfect the church facilities with special attention to high traffic areas. We encourage people to follow the best practices for reducing virus transmission, such as washing their hands and staying home if sick or at a high risk for infection. Our leadership is staying informed about the virus and we are ready to take further precautionary measures if necessary." --Redeemer Congregation President Don Kaegebein, Vice President Dan Nieman, and Board of Elders

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Additionally:

1. We are committed to providing corporate worship and Holy Communion for as long as we can in a manner that is as familiar as we can. Church services will continue as scheduled. Offerings will be received at the door rather than passing the offering plate down the aisle. No one is offended if you skip the greeting line after service. No link has been shown between receiving Holy Communion (common or individual cup) and virus transmission. Our cleaning crew is regularly disinfecting hymnals, pews, and other high contact surfaces in addition to our regular cleaning.

2. We are aware of the CDC/State of Indiana recommendations for limiting gatherings to 50 people or less. With some people already self-quarantining, our regular attendance at each service will probably be below this guideline. While there are no known confirmed cases in our community of Highland or the adjacent towns, we expect that will change in the near future. At that time, we may move to a condition yellow, and further modifications/changes will be announced by our congregational leadership through email and social media. IF worship services were to be totally cancelled, the Board of Elders will contact the membership of Redeemer by phone.

3. Pastoral visits to hospitals and nursing homes are already being limited by facilities in our area, and we expect more to follow suit. Our congregational leadership has decided that Pastor and Vicar should suspend all routine hospital and shut-in visits. In the case of a life-threatening emergency, please call the Pastor/Vicar/Church directly and we will come if at all possible.

4. Bible classes, Sunday School, and other committees/groups are free to decide if they are going to continue to meet during condition "GREEN". At the time of this writing, all are continuing to meet as scheduled. Contact your teacher or committee chairperson for more information or to express any concerns you may have.

5. If you are an "at risk" individual or have specific concerns, please do what you need to do for your health and wellness. Feel free to contact Pastor for devotional resources if you're staying at home.

6. While the church office remains open during condition "GREEN" we would ask our membership to limit non-essential calls and visits. Thank you for your understanding.

Redeemer Action Response Plan for Coronavirus (PDF)

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