Indoor Service attendance suspended.
Following guidance from the state and county health departments and the Northwest Synod, the Church Council voted unanimously on November 17 to close our services to in-person attendance until further notice. Although our members and guests have been diligent with masking and social-distancing during services the past two months, we judged the ongoing risk to be simply too high, considering the rise in virus cases locally in recent weeks. We will continue to monitor the situation and resume indoor attendance as soon as we are given clearance by health authorities. Your safety is our uppermost concern!
Special services underway, virtually!
Beginning with Veterans Day on November 11, we have begun offering a series of virtual special services on our YouTube channel. The schedule resumes with Thanksgiving Day, November 26, and continues through Advent. This project is an effort of love by Pastor Ron, Music Ministry Director Kris Knutson, our Worship and Music Committee and the Tech Team. We're excited about the opportunity to present worship in new and innovative ways that you will be able to participate in while staying safe at home.
Call committee update!
Our church Call Committee has completed its preliminary work, and our congregation's Mission Site Profile (MSP) has been posted to the ELCA website. For more details, see the Call Committee page on this site.
Live-streaming to continue!
With services now indoors, we have made adjustments to our electronic versions. The live-streaming of each service on our Facebook page continues, but we are no longer recording the service for later posting to YouTube. If you miss the live-stream at 9am, please remember that the service remains on the page as a recording, and can be viewed later in its entirety.
After many experiments with various configurations, we have reluctantly concluded that we will not be able to use our Sony Handycam for live-streaming, either indoors or outdoors. There are two factors which have combined to foil our efforts: the church's rural location, and its structure and floor plan. As to the location, there are currently no land-based internet providers who can give us the high-speed service that high-quality live-streaming requires. This may change in the future, but for now, the best speed we can get, which is via satellite, is still insufficient in terms of speed to support the quality of video that our camera produces. The church's structure, which means a combination of the thickness of its walls and floors, plus the necessity to locate the internet hub in the basement inside our office, degrades the available signal strength even further. Not only is the speed available to our office computers substandard, any live-streaming must rely on a wireless connection that is insufficient to support the Sony camera.
The good news is that we can continue to live-stream wirelessly from the sanctuary, and eventually from the outdoor chapel, with a tablet. This type of device does not provide the versatility and quality of audio and video that the Sony could give us, but it is the best we can do. A member has generously donated a new Kindle Fire tablet to the church, and our Tech Team will be able to use that for live-streaming as we move forward.
Get to know us via YouTube!
Many of our church activities, including sermons, choir performances and entire services, are available to you on our YouTube channel. Just click on the red YouTube button on the left, and you're there! Discover the joys of 'Tubing!
"Simply Giving" is a way to support your church!
Most of our congregation contributes to the financial health of our church by giving an offering during Sunday services, but if you're concerned about attending services due to the pandemic, other means are available for you to continue your support. You may send a check to our church directly, or you may utilize Simply Giving. If you choose to go that route, your monthly donation can be sent directly from your bank account on the date of your choosing. It's convenient, easy and completely safe. Please contact the church office for more information. And now, we have yet another way for you to contribute, and it's even easier! ↓
Helping our ministry is now just a click away!
You have probably noticed the gold button on our website pages, located to the left and under the Facebook and YouTube buttons. By clicking on this DONATE button, you can now contribute to our ministry. Donations can be made either one at a time or a regular contribution can be established, and you can donate by using a credit card or setting up direct withdrawal from your bank account. The process is operated by the same company we utilize for Simply Giving, and is completely secure. Feel free to give it a try, and thanks in advance for helping us spread the Good News!
Sure, it happens up here. If worship services are cancelled because of bad weather, an announcement will be made on radio station WJMC in Rice Lake (96.1 FM or 1240 AM), the Sunday School will be notified to call their students and the prayer chain will be activated to notify parishioners by telephone. During the week, when school activities are cancelled in Spooner and/or Rice Lake because of severe weather, all church activities will be cancelled as well, and the church office will be closed. In case of heavy snowfall and the schools are delayed or not closed, the church office will not open until 10:30 a.m. in order to give the plows or sanding trucks an opportunity to open the roads for travel.
Help us make a joyful noise unto the Lord!
Although the pandemic shutdown has kept our choirs from rehearsing and performing, the time is coming when we'll be able to raise that joyful noise again! And we'll have room for you! If you'd like to (eventually) join the Celebration Singers choir and/or the Joyful Ringers tone chimes choir (you can do both), contact our Director of Music Ministry, Kris Knutson, by calling the church, or you can send her an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.