While we are physically separated, we are still the church. That does not change. How we are the church together has to change a bit for the time being.
We currently planning for in-person worship services to be suspended until further notice. Rather than continuing to suspend worship a few weeks at a time, the Council decided to suspend worship indefinitely and make a decision to resume worship when it is safe to do so. We will notify you by mail, email, and/or phone when in-person worship resumes.
We are still worshipping as God’s people on Sundays and Wednesdays. Sundays at 9:00am, Pastor Chilton is ringing the bell tower to signal that it is time for worship. You are invited to pause and worship at home with morning prayer or join us for a worship video on Facebook and newberlinlutherans.com. Wednesdays at 6:30pm, you are invited to pause for evening prayer. An order of worship for this will be posted on our website and a video will be on our website and on our Facebook page. If you would like to participate in leading our worship together, please visit this page.
We currently do not expect to resume our in-person worship for Holy Week (April 5-12). Because God’s time is not our time, we will still mark these days when they fall on the calendar, even when we are apart. We will send home a resource to mark the days at home and have shared video experiences on the internet for those days. The palms for Palm Sunday and the flowers for Easter are coming—look out for more about them soon.
When we gather again, our first weekend back together will be a celebration of the Great Three Days, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Our first Sunday back together will be a festive celebration of the Resurrection. We will begin the process of healing as we engage in the cries of lament of Good Friday. We will hear again the stories of God’s saving works throughout time at the Easter Vigil. We will shout for joy and raise the Alleluia again on Sunday. How sweet that day shall be, when we are united again as one body in voice and song.
Fellowship and Connections
Physical Distancing Coffee Hour—Sundays 9:45-10:30am
We’re going to try out using Zoom to gather virtually and connect with each other. You can join online, with a computer or smartphone, and see each other and talk, or you can call in from your telephone.
Video call: newberlinlutherans.com/coffeehour
Telephone: +1 312 626 6799 Meeting ID: 559 681 862 Password: 009019
Council Member Check-ins
Council members and the pastor will be calling around to check-in.
Messiah Talks—Email Conversation Chain
If you’re looking for encouragement, conversation, and maybe some laughs, we hope you’ll join Messiah Talks!
An email-based effort to remain in community with each other, Messiah Talks will be an informal, unscheduled conversation enveloping as many Messiah members as want to participate. We’ll send prompts every so often to spark thoughts and conversation, and hope you make use of the “reply all” button as the threads eb and flow in organic, engaging discussion.
If you’re up for a chat and have some spare time (or not!), simply email Pastor Chilton or Kate Williard with a “count me in” and we’ll add you to the list!
Faith Formation Activities
Smaller Children of God
Families with young children are encouraged to join the Messiah Family Ministry Facebook Group. Katie Mitchell has posting stories and activities for our smaller children there. One aspect of this is continuing to develop the Sunday School Easter program as a video to be shared online. Go watch Katie’s video from March 25 for more on this.
Confirmation—Moving online to Zoom
Pr. Chilton and Stacy Sauers are experimenting with teaching confirmation online Sundays at 1pm. Parents should have the link to the Zoom meeting in their email.
Baptized We Live! Adult Ed.—Online with Zoom
We tried this very successfully on March 22. There are only a few more weeks of Baptized we live! and then will try something new at 10:30 on Zoom, until we can gather in person again.
Zoom meeting: https://zoom.us/j/499913753 OR Telephone: +1 312 626 6799 Meeting ID: 499 913 753
The New Berlin Food Pantry will continue to distribute food on the third Thursday of every month. The churches of the New Berlin Food Pantry, which includes us, are responsible for the Mifflinburg Ministerium Backpack Program in April. With the current situation, the backpacks are being distributed at the Mifflinburg Fire Company each Friday from 11:30am—1pm and 4pm-6pm.
Our Community Assistance Fund is available to help meet emergent needs in our community. If you have one or hear of a need we can meet, please reach out to Pr. Chilton.
Office and Staff
Pr. Chilton and Tina are primarily working remotely. Pr. Chilton is checking the office voicemail and physical mail daily, except Fridays. Call or text Pr. Chilton at 570-884-4386 for anything urgent or emergent. Kellie Reilly, our sexton, is taking this opportunity to do some cleaning projects that we don’t normally have time for. We will compensate our organists for the Sundays they would normally have played at least through April.
Our counters, bookkeeper, staff, and check signers have processes in place to continue depositing offering and remitting payments for expenses, with appropriate precautions. If you are able, please consider mailing your offering to the church or using our online giving.
Mailing address: PO Box 246, New Berlin, PA 17855.
Online giving: www.newberlinlutherans.com/give
New Berlin Preschool
The New Berlin Preschool follows the Mifflinburg Area School District calendar and will reopen when the district does.
Building Use for Non-Church Activities
All non-church activities in the building are suspended until after Easter at the earliest.