Dear Community and Friends of LHUCC,
We are entering the fourth month of physical distancing. Since mid-March, the Linden Hills UCC congregation and community groups have not gathered in the physical church building. Through online platforms like Zoom, Youtube, and Facebook, and the genuine connection and care expressed through phone calls, handwritten messages, and physically-distanced conversations, we continue to be the church together.
On behalf of us all, I share immense gratitude to our church trustees, especially Kolleen Sogard, for providing the cleaning supplies and to church sexton, Connie Martin, for cleaning and disinfecting the church offices, bathrooms, and high-touch areas. There is signage at the west (office) entrance instructing visitors to follow safety protocols, as well as a table just inside the entrance with masks and hand sanitizer for guests to use.
Currently, our staff works in the building on a part-time basis and works remotely the remainder of the time. We have welcomed groups of up to 3 people in the fellowship hall for church business meetings, and we have welcomed individuals into the sanctuary for prayer or recording for worship. After a discussion with the church Cabinet and guidance from the health, civic, and Conference leaders in Minnesota, we have updated our church’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
-We will continue to worship virtually over the summer
-We will continue to facilitate small group gatherings online and offline
-We will continue to follow the guidance of health and state officials by wearing masks, disinfecting often, and remaining physically distanced and at home as much as possible.
-We will continue to encourage groups of more than 3 people to gather online, physically-distanced, or outdoors
-We will revisit these decisions in September
While we are hoping for the best outcomes that allow us all to safely gather together again, we are committed to seeing COVID-19 infection rates and related deaths decrease across our state and world. Here is information from the Minnesota Department of Health: https://www.uccmn.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/worship-guidance-ACC_tcm1045-433301.pdf and from the Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ: https://www.uccmn.org/resources/covid/.
Let us be in prayer for our congregation, community, state, and world. Let us be in prayer for all those who are suffering. Let us be in prayer for those working diligently to find a cure for and mitigate the spread of this virus.
I am grateful for each of you.
Pastor Lawrence Richardson
“I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” -Ephesians 4:1-3
If you are looking for an Al-Anon or AA meeting, the following information has been given to us by members of the AA community:
West Suburban Alanon Club
5235 Woodhill Rd. Minnetonka MN 55435 (15 min drive from LHUCC)
Alano Society of Minneapolis
2218 1st Ave S. Minneapolis, MN 55404
Greater Minneapolis Intergroup (AA’s official office)
952-922-0880 Answered 24/7
Guidance for Reopening Churches
This week, Rev. Shari Prestemon, Conference Minister of the Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ released a statement along with information for churches to use as a guide for reopening. Our leaders will use this, along with information from state and health officials as we consider the next steps toward reopening the church building for large gatherings. You can find the document here: https://files.constantcontact.com/73d71b6a001/a13cba0f-5326-4151-944a-fcdc0869c5ef.pdf
Volunteering During COVID-19
If you’re looking for ways to give time during this critical period, visit one of the websites below.
CDC Recommended Resources for Families
Ideas for Helping Children Cope with Emergencies and Disasters: https://www.cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/helping-children-cope.html
Ideas for ways you and your kids can de-stress during the Coronavirus: https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/how-you-and-your-kids-can-de-stress-during-coronavirus
Mental Health and the Coronavirus
If you or someone you know is experiencing increased anxiety or depression related to the Coronavirus, there is support. The county’s crisis lines continue to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Adults (18+): 612-596-1223
Children (17 and under): 612-348-2233
Adults (18+): 651-266-7900
Children (17 and under): 651-266-7878