April 21, 2020
Dear School Families:
I am writing to express my sincere appreciation to you and your family during this incredibly challenging time in the life of our Nation and World. It is encouraging and heartening to see so many of you living out your faith in real-time!
As a result of COVID-19, we are experiencing issues we would never have anticipated only a few short weeks ago. We made decisions a few weeks ago that became outdated last week due to an announcement from our Governor to close schools for the remainder of the year and extend the Safer at Home order until May 26.
Many of you have seen the constant news updates with the words “flatten the curve” involved. Of course, you can Google that for yourself, but the main idea is that we need to see infections begin to flatline so we can start to pull out of this crisis.
As you know, many businesses have been ordered to close to limit contact between employees and customers. Hundreds of individuals have lost their jobs. I want to encourage you, however, we are all in this together. This situation is having an impact on every individual.
I am praying for you here at Christ Lutheran Church & School, as you provide for your family and create good learning environment for your kids at home. I am sure there are days when the burden seems too heavy to carry, and you feel that you are at the end of your strength, but this situation is only temporary. The promises of God are true, and He is faithful to deliver. Consider this passage from Deut. 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD your God, He it is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
And here’s another from 2 Cor. 12:9 “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly, I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. And another in Rom. 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
I do not presume to know all the answers to the questions you may have; however, I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we serve a God who cares and hears the cries of the heart. Therefore, as we walk through this pandemic together, I encourage you,
1. Not to take yourself too seriously; know that you are not alone, and we will get through this.
2. When it comes to getting through your kids’ classwork, please call their teachers as questions arise and use the video series that accompanies the curriculum as the teacher.
3. Take advantage of the Safer at Home order by gathering as a household to spend time in Family Devotions. If it helps, Monday through Friday, I am posting a devotional video on the congregation’s Facebook page if you are looking for something to use as a family: http://www.facebook.com/christlutheranchurchchippewafalls.
While I do not have the answers to all we are going through, I do know it is temporary; St. Paul calls it a “light momentary affliction” (2 Cor. 4:17). Remember, we are God’s children, and this world is not our home. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in one of his speeches, reminded his listeners, “We have to stay together and maintain unity.” He went on to say that during the days of slavery, whenever the Egyptian Pharaoh wanted to prolong the bondage of God’s children, he utilized a favorite formula: “he kept the slaves fighting amongst themselves.” Friends, the devil will stop at nothing to bring division in our midst, and this pandemic is just foothold for him to use. We are in this temporary situation together, and this is the time for us to draw closer together. We are nowadays closer to the other side when life finally gets back to normal.
We are in a different world today than we expected. Remember, “With men, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). God will lead you every step of the way through this situation! And, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way” (Psalm 37:23).
I am sure you have questions, and most of them probably start with the word “why.” But, let us move past the “why” and into “what.” Lord, what is it you want us to get out of this time? What can I do to be a blessing to others?
God is STILL God, and with Him in your life, “you’ve got this”! If there is anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
In God’s love and mine, Pastor Greg Stenzel