Was ‘give thanks’ the first thought on your mind when you woke up? If you’re like me, probably not. Usually we ‘give thanks’ when we have a reason: nice weather, after receiving special gifts, when a fortunate event occurs, when hearing unexpected good news. Those situations prompt thanks. Staying home away from family and activities does not.
Still, the psalm-writer encourages you: ‘Give thanks.’ Understand, he does not infer giving thanks in good situations only, nor does he live ignorant of the presence of very real troubles. Psalm 107 lists the troubles the Israelites faced: slavery, wandering in the desert, lack of food and water, rebellion, and death. Still, he says: ‘Give thanks!’ Why? Because God has rescued the soul from hell and the Christian knows this. It remains a blessing to trust in God through joy and trouble, for you will lose nothing. It remains a blessing to thank God for giving patience and strength for trouble. (If you haven’t done so already, I strongly encourage you to read and meditate on Psalm 107. You’ll benefit from doing so.)
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1).
PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE UPDATE AS SOME INFORMATION HAS CHANGED.
Late last week, Governor Whitmer extended her ‘Stay-at-Home’ order until May 28th. Beginning this Monday, your church council will begin putting together a set of guidelines (taking into account CDC recommendations) that can be used when worship resumes and will discuss possibilities for reopening worship. Again, when the safe, appropriate time arrives, you will receive instructions regarding worship. Until then, worship materials remain available in one of several formats:
Pastor Ewald remains available by appointment for devotions and private communion in his office during this time of restrictions. (This type of activity is allowed under the current Executive Order, 2020-77, pt. 16.) Please call to schedule. He holds steady office hours (8:00am-5:00pm) at St. John, Clare He will be at Faith Harrison Wednesday afternoon (1:00pm-5:00pm). He also will try to contact you via telephone, e-mail, Facebook, or text message about every 7-10 days. Please do not hesitate to reach out to him.
Last week, our Michigan District sent out a special request.
Can you make face masks? A WELS member has been handing out face masks in Detroit to Bangledeshi immigrants, most of them Muslim. He tells them that Christians care about them because Christ cared about them and died for them. He is known in the community. These contacts are very well received by the immigrants and even by Muslim leaders in the area. There is a severe mask shortage in the area and quite a bit of social pressure to wear them. So far 1000 masks have been distributed.
Tom Metzger of the Michigan District Mission Board is collecting masks to be given to this man for distribution. Christian symbols are allowed (though not required).
You may contact the church office regarding delivery of these facemasks. Also, please do not publicly post the sensitive details of this blurb on social media, such as "Bangladeshi immigrants" or "Detroit." Believe it or not, America is still not the safest country for Muslim-turned-Christian converts. Please keep this man and his Muslim community in your prayers.
Please contact the church office should you have difficulty picking up essentials or are experiencing hardship. We will do our best in meeting reasonable requests. Also, fabric facemasks have been donated to the church by Jim, Ann, and Betty Schaeffer. If you have need of one, please reach out. We will make sure to get one to you.
God fill you with peace and patience as we wait for restrictions to loosen and as we care for our fellowman. Also, to all mothers and mother-figures, Happy Mother’s day!
Rev. Andrew G. Ewald