COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

Updates to our worship schedule and overall church announcements will be posted here. The most current update will be posted at the top.

Update 3/19

All functions and activities of Trinity Lutheran Church & Preschool have been suspended until April 5. That includes: all worship services, Bible studies, Confirmation, LWML circles, Preschool, and meetings. The church secretary will be in and out of the office during the week, as will Pastor Tucher. If you need immediate pastoral care, please text or call Pastor at 307-689-5322.

For those who are desiring to receive the Lord’s Supper, Pastor will make himself available on an as-requested basis. Please contact him to schedule a time.

Daily devotions and Sunday’s sermon will be posted online at our YouTube channel here. If you subscribe to Portals of Prayer, the new quarter is available at the church. Please contact Wendy or Pastor to pick those up. We also have a limited quantity of extra copies available for those who would like a copy.

As a reminder, please continue your offerings. We ask that you mail them in or contribute online. If you have any questions about the online giving, please contact Pastor Tucher.

Finally, if you see a warning regarding our website and potential phishing, please know that our site is secure. We will try to get this resolved as quickly as possible.

Update – 3/17

As of now, Lenten meals have been cancelled, but services continue, both on Sunday at 9:00 am and Wednesday at 7:00 pm. We encourage you to use your judgment as to whether or not you attend services. Our live-streaming has hit a minor snag and will not be available for March 22, but we hope to record the service and then put it on YouTube later in the day. For now, a full order of service will be available for download on our website to follow along with service once streaming is available.

Please share this information with other members as well.

Congregational Letter – 3/15

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As you all know, COVID-19 (coronavirus) is currently in the news worldwide. This has caused much fear throughout the world about what has happened thus far and what is in store. In the United States, President Trump declared a national emergency Friday afternoon over the coronavirus outbreak. As of this writing, there are three confirmed cases in the state of Wyoming. While there is indeed a cause for concern, we need to remember the words of Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way…” During these times, the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh are constantly working against us, leading us to lack and trust in God and His care for us.

We find ourselves in a very unique situation as Christians. First and foremost, we find ourselves wanting to uphold the First Commandment. As Martin Luther says, “We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.” It can be very difficult to do that right now, especially with all of the fear and uncertainty twirling around us. There have been recommendations from civil government regarding the limitation of how many people should be gathered in a place. While we may not like or agree with recommendations, we find ourselves in a difficult situation. We want to keep the First and Third Commandments in all of this and not forsake our meeting together as Christians, we must also obey our civil leaders, as this is a Fourth Commandment matter. The recommendations being made by them are trying to keep all people safe. We appreciate their effort, as this is in keeping with the Fifth Commandment.

With that said, the Board of Elders and I met to prepare a number of measures for various scenarios that could happen to Trinity or our communities of Gillette, Wright, and/or Campbell County. These measures have been put in place to “help and support [our neighbor] in every physical need” (Explanation to the Fifth Commandment). There is a lot of information contained in this letter, so please bear with me. Also, please know that things may change very quickly, so please watch for emails or Facebook posts from the Church as we continue to monitor and update things as needed.

First, if you or anyone in your household is sick stay at home. This is especially true if you or anyone in your household has had a fever in the last 24 hours.
Beginning March 15, we have suspended handshaking and greeting before and after service. We encourage you to use the full space of the sanctuary during worship. The CDC recommends creating a safe distance of 6 feet between you and your neighbor. While that may or may not be possible, we do encourage room in the pews.

We are currently developing means to livestream our services on Sunday morning. This will be a work in progress while we get everything set up. We ask for your patience while we experiment on how best to provide this service to our members. We are currently looking at two platforms for this: Facebook Live and YouTube. Links will be provided at the end of the letter. We encourage you, if you are able, please come and hear the Word of God and receive His gifts of Body and Blood. In the event you are not able to attend, we hope this method provides you the opportunity to hear the Word of God. We will make a download of the order of service so that you may follow along with the service.

Until further notice, we will suspend passing the offering plates during the service. Instead, the offering plates will be located at the rear of the sanctuary as you enter. We ask that you please place your offering in the plates upon entering the sanctuary. The ushers will bring the offering plates forward during the proper time of the service as we give thanks to God for His good gifts given to us. To that end, we encourage you to consider contributing your offering through Tithe.ly, our online giving portal. The link will be provided below. Please note that the expenses of the church will not decrease during this time, even though some functions of the church may not be meeting regularly. 

During the time reserved for the offering, the pastor and elder will wash our hands in the sacristy before beginning the Service of the Sacrament. Also, the trays for the individual cups will be spaced every-other, allowing for more room between cups. We will continue to provide the chalice; please know that if you have any concerns communing from the chalice, you are free to commune from the individual cups. We will limit the number of communicants to 8 per table, allowing for greater space between communicants.

We are asking for members to update the church with current contact information. This includes name, best phone number (preferably cell) and email. This will allow us to better communicate any changes in worship or important updates to our congregation. Please contact the church office at 682-4886 or email trinity@vcn.com with that information.

Currently, visitation is restricted to Campbell County Memorial Hospital, The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center, Close to Home Hospice Hospitality House, and Primrose Retirement Community. For the foreseeable future, that restriction includes clergy, though in near-death situations, clergy may be allowed (this is not 100% certain yet). If you find yourself in the hospital, please contact Pastor Tucher with your HIPAA number (found on a card in your room) so that he may inquire to your health situation. Also, if you know of others who are in the above locations, please have them contact Pastor Tucher as well.

At any time, Pastor Tucher is willing and able to come and visit at home and commune any member. If you find that you are unable to attend and receive God’s gifts, please do not hesitate to contact him for a home visit.

Again, this is a lot of information to absorb. In short, we will continue to provide regular Sunday services, Lenten services, and Bible studies until we are asked/told not to gather at the Lord’s House. We will make changes in the distribution of the Lord’s Supper to help serve and protect our neighbor.

In closing, we remember the words of Martin Luther from his hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (LSB 656)
4 The Word they still shall let remain
Nor any thanks have for it;
He’s by our side upon the plain
With His good gifts and Spirit.
And take they our life,
Goods, fame, child, and wife,
Though these all be gone,
Our vict’ry has been won;
The Kingdom ours remaineth.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Your Pastor and Brother in Christ,

Rev. Jared C. Tucher
Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church & Preschool

Links

Website: www.trinity-gillette.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TrinityGillette
Online giving: https://tithe.ly/give?c=214601
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXGuErnIDAe1cXBla4TT-dg/ (please bookmark)

Contact Information
Church phone: 307-682-4886
Church email: trinity@vcn.com
Pastor Tucher cell: 307-689-5322
Pastor Tucher email: revtucher@gmail.com