Coronavirus Updates

Response of Redeemer Covenant Church to COVID-19 (coronavirus)



04/30/2020 1:00 p.m. A MESSAGE from Pastor Ben Pease

Connecting With Each Other and With God

Good afternoon! I’d like to thank ALL of you who have continued to live out our calling and identity as the Body of Christ by reaching out to connect with and care for each other. There have been many truly wonderful examples of love in action as you have taken extra care to look out for each other during these challenging times of relative isolation. Thanks, too, for reaching out with the love of Christ to your neighbors as that has been possible.

1 John 4:19 says that we love because God first loved us. It’s so important that we stay close to God during this time of restriction, especially if we hope to have enough love in ourselves to be well-positioned to love other people. As I did on Sunday, I want to recommend to you RightNow Media as a trove of excellent resources for growing in your faith and for aiding your own study of the Bible. Contact me or the church office for information about a free subscription.

Also be sure to stay connected to our Sunday service options, whether it’s the prerecorded traditional service or the live Zoom contemporary service (or both!). And if you hear of anyone who lacks the computer access for either of these services, please pass the word along about our new call-in option for the recorded traditional worship service (see below).

God bless you with a strong sense of his love for you and with opportunities to share that love with others!

Pastor Ben

Dial-a-Service: call in to hear a recording of last week’s full traditional service, or just the sermon:
1. Dial 978-990-5097
2. Prompt for access code: 2427186 followed by #
3. You will be prompted for what recording to listen to:
Press 1# for full service with all music, Press 2# for only the speaking parts and no music



04/23/2020 1:00 p.m. An INVITATION from Redeemer Leadership:

Please join us for the 2020 Spring Congregational meeting this Sunday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom!

It is so very important that you are there to hear what is going on with the church, even though we are far apart!

You can join through the link below on a computer or device, or you can call in with the phone number and information listed below! If you have any questions or need help connecting, email Leadership Team or call the office (763-561-8769) and Krista will get you to the right person to help you connect.

(Zoom meeting no longer available.)



04/16/2020 11:45 a.m. A MESSAGE from Pastor Ben Pease:

Greetings, Redeemer Family! I hope you’re doing well and that you’re holding up okay as we all continue to stay in place and experience isolation much more than we’re used to. Please know that our staff, Elders and Leadership Team members are praying for you often and working to help you stay connected to each other and to our shared mission and ministry at Redeemer.

Much of our meeting together lately has of course been by Zoom. It’s been amazing to see how quickly so many of us have become accustomed to this tool, and it was a blessing to connect by Zoom with so many of you on Easter morning. Stay tuned for some new opportunities to connect by Zoom and in other ways in the days ahead, especially now that we know that we have at least several weeks ahead when things are far from “normal.”

God bless you and your families!

In Christ’s love,
Pastor Ben



04/09/2020 12:10 p.m. A MESSAGE from Pastor Ben Pease:

I pray that you are well and that this Holy Week has been filled with moments of remembering this week in the life of Jesus long ago AND moments of seeing God at work in the here and now.

As the Governor has extended the Stay at Home order, we continue to hunker down, make adjustments and try to make the most of things. But it can still get lonely and the strangeness of the whole situation can feel stifling, isolating or empty. Even as we cling to God in this time, we find him perhaps inviting us to remain open-handed and let certain things slip from our fingers. I know that a lot of families with kids at home have needed to hold VERY loosely to plans and expectations!

This prayer by Charles de Foucauld has been a blessing to me this week, and I pray it is to you as well:

Prayer of Abandonment to God

Father,
I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my spirit;
I offer it to you
with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands,
without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.



04/04/2020 11:00 a.m. UPDATE from Redeemer Leadership:

Highlights:

  • Church building closed through April, but Redeemer community is open!
  • Many ways to connect; let’s continue to Grow Together and Go Together.
  • Save the date! Spring Congregational Meeting on Zoom, April 26, 6 p.m.

Redeemer Friends and Family, We are writing to let you know how thankful we are for you and all you are doing to continue Redeemer ministry through this difficult and uncertain time. The Leadership Team has been meeting each week to discuss what Redeemer staff and ministry teams are doing to continue to reach out and Grow Together and Go Together! We wish you to know that the Elder Team, Staff, Leadership Team and other ministry leaders are praying for you. We are working on new ways to connect and reach out each week and as we all learn in this time together, we pray that you know Redeemer is there for you even though our building is closed.

Many Ways to Connect: Our building will continue to be closed throughout the month of April, and we will keep you informed on our plans to open when it is safe to do so. Please be on the lookout for more Leadership Team emails and communication from other ministry leaders about this as we move through this time. As you know, even though our doors are closed, Redeemer is not closed! Our building is just a building; we are still a community of believers. So, I would like to inform you of all the ways you can connect and encourage you to find MORE ways to connect!

  • Connect to us online: We are on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We also update our website almost daily with new information at www.redeemercov.org. Connect with us online if you can.
  • Can’t connect online due to a lack of internet? Comcast is offering FREE internet for a couple of months to get you connected and have free hotspots all over the city. Let your friends and neighbors know about this service!
  • Connect with us through the phones. Our office administrator, Krista, is still hard at work during her normal business hours. When you call and leave a message, she will receive your message even while at home.
  • Connect with us on Zoom calls. We have been having prayer raids and have been meeting to corporately pray for all the needs in our church body; please join us for those.
  • Listen online to the service each week. We are getting new technology and enhancing services each week, watch for more information about special services coming during Easter.
  • Connect with your community group! It’s important to stay connected to each other and not disengage completely during this time. Stay connected with your group; contact Rob Schwanz for information about how to connect through technology or other means.
  • Help us connect to those that don’t have internet or technology. If you know someone that is part of the Redeemer family or would like to be but doesn’t have internet or easy access to connecting through technology, please let one of us or the office know.

We pray that you are well and that your relationship with the Lord is only strengthened through this time. Take time to grieve and mourn the time that feels lost right now, but know that God is still a good God. James said to count it a joy when trials and tribulations come because God is in control. He will only polish us into something more beautiful through the pressure we are facing. Let’s continue to Grow Together and Go Together throughout this time in new ways that will only strengthen our bonds with each other. God bless you and your family, and reach out to us if we can help you or if you need anything. We are the hands and feet of Christ.

From Redeemer Leadership Team

Email Leadership Team as a group

P.S. Save the Date! We will have our spring congregational meeting on Zoom on April 26 at 6 p.m. More info on this to come.



04/02/2020 10:40 a.m. A MESSAGE from Pastor Ben Pease:

Highlights:

  • Register online for “Christ in the Passover” Jews for Jesus presentation

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! As we approach Holy Week, I want to let you know about an opportunity we’ll have to examine the Jewish Passover meal and traditions from a fresh perspective. Months ago, we had contracted with Jews for Jesus to come present a special “Christ in the Passover” presentation as a central element of our Good Friday service. That service has been canceled, as have all Jews for Jesus presentations at churches.

However, I’m delighted to share with you an opportunity to see a livestream presentation of this same program, generously made available through Jews for Jesus. The link provided below will lead you to all the information you need to participate in one of many options for viewing this engaging program next week. I encourage you to find a time that works for you and your family and get signed up. You may want to look first at times for next Thursday or Friday, when we would typically gather for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. I look forward to this time when, just like the disciples, we might see Jesus in a new way in the breaking of the bread.

https://jewsforjesus.org/christ-in-the-passover-online

God bless you as you prepare for your Holy Week journey on the road with Jesus.

From Pastor Ben



04/01/2020 3:00 p.m. A MESSAGE from Pastor Ben Pease:

Highlights:

  • EasterNow App at www.easternow.com
  • Sunday audio service with Holy Communion
  • Stay tuned for updates

Hello, Redeemer family and friends! As you continue to hang tight in your homes, my prayer is that you will hang tightly to the Lord and find him utterly faithful. As you continue to live into the new rhythms of these often strange and challenging days, may you know the peace of God, which passes all understanding.

EasterNow App: We find ourselves on the brink of another Holy Week, and it’s one that will see us nudged out of our usual patterns and perhaps even wondering (often and aloud), “WHAT day is this??” I’m thankful that we’ll have opportunities to connect with each other and with the Church worldwide even though we won’t meet in person for our regular Holy Week services. Please be sure to check out the email from the Adult Formation Ministry team about the EasterNow App. I’m looking forward to being prompted throughout the week to remember the journey of Jesus during that week long ago that led to the cross and through the tomb. Please be sure to check out www.easternow.com.

Redeemer Worship Online with Communion: This Sunday, we’ll again have an audio worship service posted to our website and Facebook by Sunday morning. As we gather, we will be sharing Holy Communion together wherever we find ourselves. I ask you to please have yourself and your family prepared with some simple bread and juice. I’ve always treasured Communion as something that connects us to Christians across the globe and even throughout time, so this Sunday will be one more step in uniting around the Table with those with whom we’re not physically present yet bound together in Christ. Please be sure to go to our website (www.redeemercov.org) or our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/RedeemerCov7801) for a link to our Sunday worship service.

Watch for Updates: Please stay tuned for updates from Redeemer’s leadership regarding calendar changes and gathering plans in the coming weeks. THANK YOU for your faithful connection and your support of Redeemer! God bless you as you prepare to follow along the road with Jesus in the coming week.

From Pastor Ben



03/25/2020 3:25 p.m. A MESSAGE from Pastor Ben Pease:

Highlights:

  • Redeemer Family on Remind App
  • Prayer of Release

Hello, Redeemer family and friends! Please know that I continue to pray for you, your families and your loved ones as we find ourselves in another week of life very much NOT as usual. Our Elders gathered by Zoom conference call last night and lifted up our congregation in a time of focused prayer. Please continue to let us know of any way we can support you in particular during these days of unique challenge.

Redeemer Family on Remind App: As we continue to lean into the faithfulness of God, we also continue to care for and connect with one another. I’d like to invite you to join a group texting platform that will allow us to share information and encouragement with you as members and friends of Redeemer. Amy Long has used the Remind app with great effectiveness to connect with our youth and our parents. She has now set up a church-wide Remind account that staff and others can use to communicate, inspire and connect. Here are the instructions for getting yourself set up to receive these groups texts:

  • Click here to join my Redeemer Family class on Remind
  • OR join by sending a text to 81010. Text this message @7801fam

Prayer of Release: Please continue to pray for our Leadership Team as we make decisions about gatherings and operations at the Redeemer building in the weeks ahead. We will continue to keep you informed. Thank you for your continued partnership in ministry, for your continued giving, for your steadfast prayers and for looking out for each other.

At yesterday’s virtual staff meeting, Emily Caro shared with us a Prayer of Release that I’d like to share with you:

Heavenly Father, I release to you the burdens that I have been carrying, burdens that You never intended for me to carry. I cast all my cares upon You – all my worries, all my fears.

Father, calm my restless spirit, quiet my anxious heart, still my troubling thoughts with the assurance that You are in control. I let go of my grip upon the things I have been hanging onto, with opened hands I come to You.

I thank You for Your promise to sustain me, preserve me, and guard all that I have entrusted to Your keeping. Protect my heart and mind with Your peace, the peace that passes all understanding. Father, may Your will be done in my life, in Your time, and in Your way. Amen.

By Roy Lessin, DaySpring co-founder and writer

May you indeed know the peace of God as you release your burdens to him. I’m reminded of Paul’s words to Timothy:

“I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return.” (2 Timothy 1:12 New Living Translation)



03/20/2020 1:20 p.m. An INVITATION from Pastor Ben Pease:

Highlights:

  • Redeemer Worship Online
  • Office Hours Update
  • Redeemer Gathering with Pastor Ben by Zoom Conference Call
  • Zoom Conference Call instructions below

Let’s Stay Connected: During these times of rapid change and increasing isolation, it’s important for us to stay connected. Redeemer’s staff and ministry leaders are exploring ways to help us to do exactly that, and we’ll be experimenting over the days and weeks ahead with various methods of connecting virtually, and resourcing, encouraging and equipping you in ways other than in person.

Redeemer Worship Online: Please be sure to go to our website (www.redeemercov.org) or our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/RedeemerCov7801) for a link to our Sunday worship service, which this week will be an audio recording of an abbreviated service featuring prayers, Scripture readings, worship music and a sermon that continues our series in the Gospel of Mark. The link will be available no later than 8:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Office Hours: We will not be meeting for in-person worship at least through March 29th. Please also note that the building will be accessible to staff and to those who have keys and need to conduct the ongoing business of the church. The office will NOT be staffed this Tuesday-Thursday (March 24-26), but phone calls and emails will be handled remotely. The office will be closed Fridays until further notice. Please watch for updates and additional information.

Zoom Conference Call: Also this Sunday (March 22), at 4 p.m. I’ll be hosting a Zoom conference call for any of our Redeemer members and friends who would like to join in. It will be a time of devotions, Scripture reading and prayer, and a time for all of us to check in with each other. Instructions for the call are found below. If you’ve never used Zoom but would like to join (audio and/or video) via your computer or smartphone, please log in a few minutes early so you can download the Zoom app/program. If you would simply like to join the conversation by phone, call the number given below and be ready to enter the Meeting ID number.

This will be something brand new, but let’s give it a try! I look forward to meeting with you online. I have missed our times together, as I’m sure you have as well. May God bless you and give you his peace in the days ahead. Please continue to watch for opportunities to connect WITH Redeemer and AS Redeemer.

In Christ’s love, Pastor Ben

(Zoom meeting no longer available.)



03/18/2020 1:45 p.m. A MESSAGE from Pastor Ben Pease:

Greetings, Redeemer Family! I want you to know that I’m praying for you as you navigate a situation that seems to change daily and often by the hour. I want you to know that your staff and leaders care about you and that we already miss not being able to gather as we normally do. I also want you to know that we are working to make decisions based on considerations for safety and welfare AND for our continued focus on our mission and vision. Please keep your leaders in prayer as we meet over the coming days to make important decisions regarding the details and logistics of our ongoing ministry. We will communicate with you often in the days ahead.

I know that for many of you, the changes and uncertainties of these days are causing stress and perhaps some fear and anxiety. Know that we are praying for you and that we are eager to offer care however we can. I know that many of you are offering care to others in this time, and that that has become more complicated. Our prayers are with you, and again we want to support you however we can.

We know with certainty that in the midst of change, the God we love and serve will NOT change, and that his love, power, mercy, goodness and faithfulness are reliable constants and are in fact renewed every morning as we turn to him.

I want to thank our leaders (Leadership Team members, Elders and community group leaders) who are committed to reaching out by phone over the coming days to see how each of you is doing and to see how we can best support and encourage you in this time. If you don’t receive a call by next Wednesday, please reply to this email with contact information so we can be sure our records are correct.

We have unique opportunities during this time to serve our neighbors and to be conveyors of the hope that is found in Jesus Christ alone. If you are interested in being added to a list of people specifically interested in reaching out in creative ways to our community, please email me and we’ll keep you in the loop as these opportunities are developed. We’ll be broadcasting them more broadly as well, but I’d love to build a team that we can mobilize quickly in the weeks ahead.

This is a season in which we continue to BE the Church even while we no longer meet in person AT a church building. I love that our vision statement is not tied to a physical space. We can be “A Diverse Christ-Centered Community United by God’s Redeeming Love, Growing Together and Going Together” even as we meet in new and different ways for a time.

Please continue to lift each other up in prayer and in ways that demonstrate the love of Jesus. And be encouraged by these words from Scripture:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

From Pastor Ben Pease



03/16/2020 11 a.m. UPDATE from Redeemer Staff and Leadership:

Due to the COVID-19 concerns for our church family, visitors and staff, we will be suspending the use of the church building through March 29th; effective immediately to all groups. Group meetings/activities are suggested to be postponed or canceled until the CDC or State of Minnesota recommends a change. The office will continue to be open, but access will be limited to staff, people in need, and those needing access to the building for administrative purposes. We will be re-evaluating frequently to be up-to-date with the current state-wide mandates for the protection of our community. We know this is a difficult time for people so even though we are closed physically we want to continue to Grow Together and Go Together. We will be striving to create opportunities for this to happen so be watching for further communication.

We had a good virtual turnout this weekend for Pastor Ben’s sermon, and for the next two Sundays we will continue to have an opportunity to worship in this way together. Please be checking the Facebook Page and your email for more information about ways in which we will be making this possible. The office will also be open when you come at regular church hours during the week. (Please practice safe social distancing procedures when interacting with our staff, thank you.) This is not the time to panic or feel isolated; please make times to meet with each other in creative or technological ways and stay safe.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Staying Connected: Community groups and other outside group meetings are highly-recommended to be postponed until the virus is under control. As social creatures, we want to find ways to make meaningful connections during this time. Please continue to connect on our Facebook page and reach out to one another by phone or email as it is crucial to share this burden with each other and continue to be together. If you need help finding ways to connect, reach out to someone at the church and we can provide you with some options.

Serving our Community: We know there are going to be great needs in our community over the next few weeks. In an effort to meet these needs, please continue to drop off extra nonperishables at the church during office hours. The CEAP donation barrels will be near the entrances and the office will be open to accept these donations.

Praying for Others: Throughout this time, we will be praying and we encourage you to reach out with prayer needs or to reach out and pray for one another. Whether it’s your personal prayer or gathering virtually, make prayer a big part of how you spend these days. You can submit prayer requests at prayer@redeemercov.org

Care & Support: Over the next two weeks you will be receiving a call from a Leadership or Elder Team member who will be able to support you and talk with you. If you don’t receive a call or need something in addition, please reach out to us any time. We want our community activated to care for one another and our Leadership and Elder team is here to help connect the dots. You can reach out to our staff, leadership team or elders:

Giving: While we won’t meet in-person, our ministry will not stop. Your continued giving will allow us to continue to meet the collective needs within our church and in the community. We also realize that there are some who will be in a time of need or hardship; please know that we do not expect you to extend your finances further than you are able. Thanks in advance for what you will do. If you haven’t already, consider signing up for online giving at www.redeemercov.org/giving or you can mail in your donation as well.

From the Redeemer Staff and Leadership



03/14/2020 9 a.m. IMPORTANT UPDATE from Redeemer Staff and Leadership:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

In an effort to be wisely cautious and considerate of our neighbors and friends who could be greatly impacted by the coronavirus we are going to be canceling services at our church home for this Sunday, March 15. We will continue to watch the news and the CDC reports for their recommendations and be communicating with you frequently throughout the week.

For this Sunday, to support opportunities to worship in your home or while traveling, Pastor Ben Pease will be giving a pre-recorded message that you will be able to listen to as early as 8:45 a.m. Sunday morning. You can also find some music for worship on the Redeemer Covenant Facebook page to help guide your morning worship virtually. We want to be growing and going together, even while we are “socially distancing” ourselves, so please join us online in these areas for a common time of gathering, worship, prayer and guidance.

Care & Support: If you have a need (groceries, meals, prayer, meeting with someone, or anything else), please reach out to us and we’ll do everything we can to help. We want our community activated to care for one another and our leadership and elder team is here to help connect the dots. You can reach out to our staff, leadership team or elders.

Stay Connected: As we work to create the social distance necessary to help this virus subside, we understand that limiting social connections has an impact on our spiritual and emotional well-being. As social creatures, we want to find ways to make meaningful connections during this time. Please connect on our Redeemer Facebook page and reach out to one another by phone or email to stay connected and continue growing together.

Pray: Throughout this time, we will be praying and we encourage you to reach out with prayer needs or to reach out and pray for one another. Whether it’s your personal prayer or gathering virtually, make prayer a big part of how you spend these days. You can submit prayer requests by email to prayer@redeemercov.org

Give: While we won’t meet in-person this Sunday, ministry will not stop. Your continued giving will allow us to continue to meet the collective needs within our church and in the community. Thanks in advance for what you will do. If you haven’t already, consider signing up for online giving

From the Redeemer Staff and Leadership

Coronavirus response from Northwest Conference