UPG Coronavirus Response
Based upon guidance from the CDC, WHO, & the PA. Department of Health, and with an abundance of caution, our UPG campuses and St. John's Windish Lutheran Church are open for worship on Sunday mornings on a rotating basis (see information here) and for Sunday School at our Light of Christ campus, but remain closed for other purposes until further notice. This decision was made after carefully researching all relevant information about this unprecedented situation and spending a great deal of time in prayer and discernment.
Below are links to material to help navigate this strange period
We live-stream worship on Facebook from one of the church sanctuaries each Saturday at 5:00 PM. Later you can view videos either on our Facebook page or here using the YouTube button below.
We now celebrate Holy Communion at our live-stream/ video worship .
Every day we publish a Daily Prayer and Scripture Journal. While you may use this at any time, we suggest you consider spiritually joining as a community in reading and praying at 7 o'clock each evening.
Here is an
you can use in the midst of the spread of COVID-19
To get our weekend bulletin, please email the church office
From Parish Nurse Donna Musselman
Our parish nurse continues to provide us with useful information. Here is general information about Covid-19, posted on March 31:
All you wanted to know (and then some!)
Here is a link to a video about making a
Donna shows how to thoroughly wash hands and how to put on and remove a face mask.
Doctors keep discovering new ways the Coronavirus Attacks the body. This article describes what this disease is and what it does, as currently known
What about offerings?
Even though we can't bring our offerings to church during this time we can still contribute. Please see our
Coffee and conversation with the pastors
Weekly Bible Study
No Bible Study this week (Thanksgiving)
For our young people
Something to do while you're stuck inside
Our Sunday School children with help from our adult members are sending drawings and messages of hope to our Homebound Members. If you would like to participate please email Lynn Terry at lynnjt680@verizon. net.Thank you!
Calls of Compassion and Caring
Read about it
Learn how Thrivent can help you
Due to the increased rate of infections our buildings are again closed, including worship and Sunday School
Prayer and Scripture Journal
Calls of Compassion and Caring
CCC is a newly formed ministry that was created in response to Covid 19 restrictions. Volunteers from all three campuses, Light of Christ, St. John’s Windish and St. Peter’s, call members of the communities of faith to say hello and check on any needs they may have. They report those needs back to the coordinator who passes the information on to a facilitator. We have over 23 callers from all three campuses making calls. Both the callers and those receiving the calls enjoy the interaction and the personal contact. As a result of these calls the UPG and St. John’s Windish have provided services to over 15 families including food shopping and gift cards. If you are interested in joining this ministry, please call the church office of any of the campuses to sign up!
How to wear a face mask How to wash hands
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When Martin Luther was dealing with The Black Death plague, he wrote these wise words that can help inform the way we approach things happening in our world right now…
“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me, and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”
Luther’s Works Volume 43 pg. 132 the letter “Whether one may flee from a Deadly Plague” written to Rev. Dr. John Hess
We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience this may cause but we feel this is the best step we can take to keep everyone safe.
Greetings and peace to you all!
As you are keenly aware, the normal operations in the world and in our community of faith have drastically changed due to the recent coronavirus pandemic. The leadership of our community of faith is acutely aware of the profound impact this pandemic is having on both individual and corporate belief systems.
We offer this message to try to highlight some “things” that we “think” we know and how our community of faith is planning to proceed during this unprecedented time. I have constantly been reminded of the slogan that became part of our corporate psyche at the beginning of the United Proclamation of the Gospel. “We do not know where we will end up or how we will necessarily get there, but we do know and trust that our Lord is travelling with us during this journey.”
Until we receive recommendations from health officials to establish normal operating procedures, both campuses of the UPG will remain closed. This decision also affects our partners in ministry such as AARP, Headstart, NA, AA and others. We lift these partners in prayers and hope to return to our normal relationship with them as soon as is safely allowable.
In the meantime, the leadership of St. John’s Windish Lutheran Church and the leadership of the UPG will be working together during this immediate time to share our combined resources for our communities.
The UPG website and regular emails from the UPG will be the best source of information during this time period. If you don’t currently receive regular emails from the UPG, please consider sharing your email address at firstname.lastname@example.org We have also updated our phone messages and are checking phone messages regularly in order to share information across the community. If a pastoral emergency arises, please call the church and choose the option to speak to Pastor Jerry. Your call will be forwarded to my cell phone. If I am unable to “pick up” please know that I will respond to your message as soon as possible.
Worship – There will be no public worship celebrations offered on any of our campuses until such time as local health officials deem it appropriate to gather for worship. We will not work against the best practices being offered by health officials. Each week we are offering a “live stream” worship on Saturday evening at 5 PM through the newly created UPG Facebook page. This is a joint venture with Rev. Suzanne Trump of St. John’s Windish. The broadcast location of the “Live stream” will alternate among our three buildings. We are emailing a Worship bulletin to everyone on our email list and placing this bulletin on our website on Friday for you to use during the “Live Stream.” (A word of thanks: Augsburg Fortress has extended their copyright license to include “live streaming” for the next six months)
Bible Study and Meetings - We are now conducting “video conferencing” for Bible Study, meetings and "Coffee and Conversations with the Pastors." The Youth Group and 4-6ers are also meeting this way. Please be patient with us as this is unchartered waters for the leadership of our community.
The daily lectionary utilized by most main line churches will also be attached to the daily prayer if you would like to read the same Scripture lessons as many of our sisters and brothers in Christ.
Visitations – Following the guidance of health officials, Home Communion visits and pastoral visitations will only occur in “emergency circumstances.” We have contacted our ministers of home communion and shared with them that they should NOT visit homebound persons for the safety and protection of all concerned. We have asked our ministers of home communion to be in more regular contact with their homebound sisters and brothers to check in with them and see if there is any way that we can offer practical help during this time. Hospital and home visitations will also follow these same guidelines. If you feel that there is an emergency and you need a pastoral visit, please contact Pastor Jerry.
Offerings – The leadership of the community of faith is hoping that we will remain steadfast in sharing our resources to advance the kingdom of God, even in a time when we cannot gather in community. See information on this page about how you can continue to give during this time.
Staff - The leadership of the community of faith has determined that we will continue to pay the salaries of our staff during this time. Note that the staff continues to work hard to keep our community of faith together, informed and inspired by God's loving presence.
A new Ministry Arises – We have begun a new ministry designated as Calls of Compassion and Caring, or the “CCC Ministry.” We are looking for people within our community of faith who are comfortable making telephone contact with others. If you might be willing to participate in this new ministry, please call the church office and leave your name and your phone number. This ministry has been well-received, and the volunteers are energized by their calls to members of all three congregations. Each volunteer is given three people to contact each week to check on how they are doing and to offer some companionship and support during this time period.
In summation, while this time period is inevitably bringing severe disruptions to our daily lives, I take comfort knowing that God is continuing to move within our midst through our community of faith.
A prayer: God of compassion and grace, in Your steadfast love accompany all of us. As You ever work to restore and renew Your people, allow our bitterness to be overcome with joy, allow our fears to be overcome with a word of hope, allow our anger and frustration to give way to patience and peace, and allow all hatred to be overcome with words and works of love. Allow us at this time when we cannot gather as “church” to be Your Church. Amen.