We are half way through 2020 and who would have imagined we’d be attending church in the comfort of our home, or participating in Bible study through Zoom? While there has been much change as we conform to new ways of living while COVID-19 is active, one thing remains true – our ability to adapt and persevere. This is something I feel Hope Lutheran has always exceled at, and something to be proud of. We have been challenged in the current conditions with how to continue our ministry and share God’s word. Many have stepped up, offering encouragement, support, and talents that we maybe didn’t know we had.

The council, along with the worship committee and COVID-19 task force have been meeting, with the goal to re-start in-person meetings and worship. There are numerous steps that must be taken to ensure the safety of our members, employees and daycare families. With this in mind and the guidance of the South Dakota ELCA, the council has decided to continue worshiping from home and hosting meetings through Zoom into July. But, do know that conversations will continue, as will the investigation into other ideas for hosting worship and meetings.

While today’s situation may seem gloomy, there are many positives to be celebrated. I am very grateful to members of the council for their dedication and engagement during the pandemic. Pastor Lynnae has been very innovative in her approach to sharing the word and, along with Mary, maintaining church operations. Loren Koepsell provided his expertise in obtaining the PPP grant which offers some relief to the daycare as they are experiencing a census decline. Matt and the children’s center staff have been a great ministry to the community in these times of uncertainty. Our worship team has continued to share our message using various social media platforms and the number of followers are growing by the day. Volunteers and donations have continued to aid the many causes we support. And new and existing relationships are strengthening among our members as we take time to check-in by phone.

I thank each of you for your continued patience and prayers, and I have faith that with these continued good acts, Hope Lutheran will come out strong.

Sincerely,

Katie Studer

President, Hope Lutheran Church Council