CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

 
 
 
 

Thursday, October 1

The Lincoln mask mandate continues through October, 
Aside from a few exceptions, those ages 5 and older are required to wear masks unless six feet of separation can be maintained at all times.
 

8:00a 9:30a & 11:00a In-person worship

Masks are required for entering the building. Please wear a mask from the time you exit your vehicle until you are seated in a pew. Once seated, please maintain six feet of separation throughout the service. At the end of the service, we ask that you put your mask on before leaving the pew. When outside, you may remove your mask.

9:30 Online worship
Pj’s, sweatpants, and bedhead are optional. Worship with us online at 9:30, or watch any time here. Register your online attendance and submit prayer requests here.
 
1st & 3rd Monday communion
Although we will not have a full worship service on 1st and 3rd Mondays, we will offer communion for those who worship online and would like to commune. Please arrive by 6pm for this very brief opportunity to take communion.
 

Thursday, August 20

 

Updates on the Lincoln mask mandate at Messiah
To help avoid any confusion with regards to our previous post on July 23, please read over it again as you return to in-person worship.  Pastor John also posted this short video to clarify our compliance with the mask mandate.
 

Thursday, July 23

 

How the Lincoln mask mandate affects ministry at Messiah
On Monday, July 20, Messiah’s Executive Team met and discussed the Lincoln mask mandate. Aside from a few exceptions, it basically says that those ages 5 and older are required to wear masks in a building that is open to the public unless six feet of separation can be maintained at all times.
 
We ask that everyone attending any in-person worship service wear a mask from the time you exit your vehicle until you are seated in a pew. Once seated, please maintain six feet of separation throughout the service. At the end of the service, we ask that you put your mask on before leaving the pew. When outside, you may remove your mask.
 
In the past weeks we’ve had some people remaining in the Great Hall to visit after our worship services, which is wonderful. If you choose to do this, please wear your masks or maintain a distance of 6 feet at all times.



8:00a & 11:00a In-person worship  

Masks are required at this service. Please wear a mask from the time you exit your vehicle until you are seated in a pew. Once seated, please maintain six feet of separation throughout the service. At the end of the service, we ask that you put your mask on before leaving the pew. When outside, you may remove your mask.

9:30 Online only worship
Pj’s, sweatpants, and bedhead are optional. Worship with us at 9:30, or watch any time here. Register your online attendance and submit prayer requests here.
 
1st & 3rd Monday communion
Although we will not have a full worship service on 1st and 3rd Mondays, we will offer communion for those who worship online and would like to commune. To schedule a time to commune on either of these Mondays, call the church office and ask for Marcia at 402.489.3024.
 

Wednesday, June 10

 

We have some changes from last week’s in-person worship

Thank you for continuing to be flexible and understanding. We receive updated guidance regularly and will continue to change our worship to reflect that new information. Our source for guidance is the city of Lincoln’s COVID-19 response website, which is working closely with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

Last weekend, the Lincoln-Lancaster County moved from a High Risk of Covid-19 spread to a Moderate Risk of Covid-19 spread. That has allowed us to make some modifications to the worship services we offer.

On Sunday, June 14, we will offer the following services:

8:00 In-person worship  
Please wear a mask as you exit your car to enter the building, and continue to wear it until you are seated in a pew. Once seated and socially distanced, you may remove your mask (This is in accordance with the recommendations from the website above, which states that face coverings are recommended only for symptomatic people and those who are unable to distance.). When worship concludes, please put your mask on before leaving your seat and wear it until you are in your vehicle.

9:30 Online only worship
Worship with us at 9:30, or watch any time here. Register your online attendance and submit prayer requests here.

11:00 In-person worship
Masks are optional for this service, assuming that you will maintain a safe distance from others at all times.

On Monday, June 15 at 11am
This service is specifically for those at a higher risk from COVID-19. We will require you to wear a mask at all times for this service. We encourage those at higher risk to come to this service or continue to worship online.
 

Communion Will Begin This Week

 
Communion at the end of in-person services
We will offer communion at the end of all of our in-person worship services. The pastors and elders will wear masks and gloves. Those who wish to, will go forward to receive communion, then leave the worship center and go directly to their vehicles. The ushers will release you from your pews like we are used to doing, but we will ask that you stay at least six feet apart from the individual/family ahead of you.
 
Communion by appointment 
You also have opportunity to receive communion on Monday from 4:00p-5:00p or 6:00p-7:00p. When you call to sign up, you will be assigned to a 15-minute time slot within the hour you request. We will limit each 15-minute slot to approximately 20 people. When you arrive and come forward to receive communion, you will have opportunity to self-reflect on confession of your sins and God’s abundant grace shown through His forgiveness.

To sign up for these slots, please call the church office between noon and 3pm at 402.489.3024 and ask for Marcia.

Thursday, June 4

What to expect when we return to worship on June 7
Masks are required at the 8:00 service
Masks are optional at the 11:00 service
 
When you arrive 
the main doors will be propped open so that you can enter the building without having to touch the door handles.
 
In the Great Hall 
the seating areas will be covered. We’re asking people to avoid using them at this time.
 
New offering boxes
are at each entrance to the Worship Center. If you haven’t switched to electronic giving and still prefer to use your offering envelopes, you can place your offering in the boxes as you enter or leave the worship center.
 
As you enter
The worship center doors will be propped open, and you may sit wherever you’re comfortable. Please don’t use the pews that have signs on them.
 
Choosing your seat
If you’re alone, or only have 2 or 3 people in your family, we ask that you consider moving to the middle of a longer pew, leaving room for a few people at each end of it. If your family is larger, please find a place at the very end of a pew, so that others can sit at the opposite end, respecting the 6-foot rule we’ve all become familiar with.
 
Please bring your Bible 
There will be no children’s bags, pew Bibles, attendance cards, or bulletins. We’re avoiding having anything that people will handle during the worship service. Please consider bringing your own Bible, or making use of the Messiah app, as needed, during worship
 
For children’s needs
The cry room at the back of the sanctuary will be available for toddler and infants’ needs, such as diaper changing, etc. The nursery will not be available at this time.
 
Restrooms
The restrooms near the school office will be available, but if at all possible, please try to avoid using them. If you have children who need to use the restroom, please accompany them. The area around the nursery and main church bathrooms is a construction zone and we wouldn’t want anyone to wander in there and get injured.
 
When the service is over
Our ushers will dismiss people row by row. Please exit the building immediately and avoid gathering around the main doors. If you feel comfortable visiting with friends outside the building, you are welcome to do so. Please don’t linger in the worship center or the Great Hall, so we can quickly clean and prepare for our next service.
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, May 22

 

Have you taken the Return to Worship survey yet?

We’re going to begin offering worship on site beginning Sunday, June 7. Please click here take our survey (if you haven’t already) so we can plan accordingly.

Friday, April 10

 

GracePoint Institute for Relational Health Is Here for You

confidential, online, personal telehealth counseling 

By the grace of God, the counselors at Gracepoint seek to be an extension of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. Our vision is to promote mental, spiritual, emotional, and relational health and well-being in those who come to us for counseling and enrichment services. We accomplish this vision by providing therapists who are trained and equipped in both theology and mental health, serve as the incarnational expression of our values, and above all, provide our clients with a safe context in which to experience the grace of God in Christ.

Confidential, online, personal assistance is available. For more info click here
 

GracePoint Staff

Rev. Dr. Justin Hannemann
M.Div., Ph.D., LIMHP, LMFT
Marriage and Family Therapist, Chief Executive Officer
 
Venita Steinbauer
M.S., LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
 
Rev. David A. Muench
M.S., M.Div., LMFT
Marriage and Family Therapist, Executive Director
 
Mary Gieseke
LIMHP LADC

Substance Use, Mental Health and Trauma Therapist

Katie Reutzel
M.S., R.D., LMNT

Registered Dietitian 

Wednesday, March 18

 

Our Messiah Students

Our teachers have been working steadily to prepare for a time of distance learning.  We’ve also had some of our after school childcare workers assisting them in bringing all of their materials to the gym, so they can be picked up.  Parents will stop at Messiah and pick up their child’s materials on Thursday, from 7am – 6pm.  Parents will drive up to the curb and the bags of materials will be brought to them.
 
 

Our Messiah Campus
The last day that our building will remain open is Friday, March 20th.  We’re still discouraging people from coming to the building unless absolutely necessary.  Work has been continuing on our new addition.  We’ll get some new video clips and pictures to share with you before we close up here.  We are planning to deactivate all of the key fobs except for our full-time workers.  They may need to get into the building at times, but are encouraged to keep that to a minimum.  Our team that is providing the livestream worship will be in on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings.  Please take a look at this document for all of the details on who to contact during this time, so that you questions can be answered and your needs can be met.  

 

What Does the Future Hold?

As most of you know, there is no way of knowing when we might re-open the building.  We can’t predict what will happen tomorrow, let alone in a few weeks.  We’re currently planning to be closed through the month of March.  As April gets closer, we will make decisions about how long our time apart needs to be. 

What we do know, is that God will continue to work tremendous things during this time.  We know that nothing can separate us from God, though the Messiah family may need to be physically separated for a time.  We also know that we will be finding some tremendous new ways to share His Word during this time, and that we will find others that will come to know Him for the first time, or return to Him, through the ministry that takes place during this time.

Tuesday, March 17

 

Thank you all for your commitment to worship!

On Sunday, we had over 400 computers logged into our livestream worship.  Based on the research we’ve done over the years, that means we had around 1500 people worshipping together.  Praise the Lord!
 

Our Church and School staff have been hard at work these past few days

We’re coming up with the best possible ways we can continue to do ministry while living in the reality of social distancing and avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people.  Messiah is suspending all of our meetings and gatherings.  That includes school within our walls, Bible studies, gym use and anything else you can think of.  Please do not come to the building unless specifically invited for a special reason.  We’re encouraging many of the groups that currently meet to look into using zoom, to meet virtually. If you have a google or gmail account, you can log into zoom using your google account and get instant access.  

 

What are we doing on Wednesday night?

During Lent, we plan to have a livestream worship service from 6:15p to 6:45p.  We’ll then have a number of different options for people to get involved in.  Scott will share some announcements and information on the livestream until 7:00, and then Pastor Dustin will lead a half hour Bible study.  We’re working to get our high school Bible study up and running on Zoom.  Our confirmands and our children will have a variety of opportunities to work with their parents at home during this time.  We want to continue keeping our Wednesday nights as a time to gather with God and our Messiah family.

Saturday, March 14

 

Messiah families and staff,

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented situation in our community and nation. Yesterday, our Lutheran Schools of Lincoln administrators spent time together assessing how to best continue the service you have come to expect from your schools.  As part of that communication we emphasized this is a fluid situation and changes may be necessary

 

Yesterday afternoon, we received additional information that impacts our greater Lutheran Schools of Lincoln community. Based on this new information, we believe it is in the best interest of our children, families, and staff to close our schools for the next two weeks from March 16-27th. 

 

As we continue to collect information and move forward together, we encourage you to be transparent with with us if you are monitoring any health situations in your home.

 

At Messiah, we are developing a plan to continue serving you and your child(ren) with the excellent education and loving relationships you have expect from us. The teaching team will spend Monday and Tuesday working together on this plan. As noted in last week’s weekly newsletter, Messiah childcare will also be closed during this this time as this is a response to COVID-19.

 

I will personally provide additional details as they become available. 

 

Thank you for your prayers for us as we navigate uncharted waters with and for you.

Matt Stueber

Friday, March 13

 

Staff and church leaders met this morning, along with someone who works in the healthcare field, to discuss the most prudent way of balancing the protection of the physical well-being of the Messiah family while still doing ministry.

 

We will shift to online worship only on Sundays.  We are blessed to have many different ages worshiping at Messiah. For the well-being of every age, we are making the faith-based decision to worship together online. Having had nearly three years of giving people this option, we believe that God has prepared us well to be able to offer online-only worship for a short while.  We look forward to gathering together this way as a family of believers at 9:30am on Sunday morning and worshipping our Lord and Savior.

 

We will suspend any Bible studies or church activities for the remainder of March, including Wednesday nights at Messiah.  We ask that no adult groups come and meet at Messiah.  That includes ministry action teams, service groups and Bible study groups.  We’re trying to do our part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and safeguard the health of those who are most at risk from it. With that being said, we will be providing all ages with opportunities to continue to be in God’s Word in the comfort of your own home.

 
Our school will continue to be open at this time.  The Lutheran schools of Lincoln have decided to keep operating for the present time.  When LPS closed down for the coming week, one of the main reasons they listed was the fact that many of their students had traveled out of town over spring break, and that is not the case with the Lutheran Schools of Lincoln.  This is a fluid situation and could change at any time, but for now, they will remain open.
 
Our operational expenses will continue, so we need your financial support to continue.  We’re convinced that God wants to do great things through the people of Messiah, and we moved Forward in Faith and committed to build a large addition to our campus.  The first two months of this year have started a very strong trend of financial generosity through tithes and offerings. We’re asking you to please remember to contribute your tithes and offerings during this challenging time. You can mail it to our physical address or click on the give button on this page to access our electronic forms of giving.
 
We look forward to providing you with many unique and interesting new ways to grow your faith at home, while we allhave a break from the activities and entertainment we’ve become used to.  This Monday, the first thing the church staff will be doing is gathering to discuss how we can share plenty of resources to help you grow in your faith during this health crisis.
 
We will continue to follow Jesus in the midst of what seems to be so much uncertainty.  We believe that God is good and that He’s still in control. We also believe that God can, and will, work good from all of this. So let us make the most of this current opportunity to love God, to love our neighbors, all while sharing the Good News of Jesus. And pray that God’s will be done among us as it is in heaven.

 

Wednesday, March 11

After prayer and discussion, we commit to the following.  This is not only a response to the threat of the coronavirus, but also an opportunity to share what we have already been doing to help prevent the spread of illness at Messiah.

 

We already refrained from our time of handshakes and greetings. Early in the year, we suspended the act of shaking hands during a greeting time in worship.  We realize the warmth we share when shaking the hand of an old friend or new acquaintance, but for now, just a friendly hello is probably best.  And this always remains true: If you’re sick, stay home.

 

We have always had careful procedures in our celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Pastors and communion preparers/distributors wash their hands very thoroughly just prior to their service.  They always follow that up with hand sanitizer. We use individual communion cups. As always, the Lord’s body will be handed to you.

 

We maintain an exceptionally clean building and are ramping up our efforts. We use professional cleaning services for our building. They have informed us of the increased measures they’re taking to be even more diligent in their cleaning. Marty Haniszewski is also making appropriate cleaning solutions available to all teachers and staff at Messiah to keep our areas as free as possible from bacteria and viruses.

 

We will continue to go to people in need. Your pastors will visit the sick.  Members who are medical professionals will carry out their duties. Our people will go about their God-given callings in confident faith. Christ went toward lepers and the sick, not away from them.  In plagues, Christians have been known to walk into the burning city, not away from it. We take all necessary precautions, but refuse to abandon our neighbors in need. The call to “love your neighbor as yourself” always incurs a level of risk.

 

We will be changing the way that we collect our tithes and offerings. During this time in the service, you will be able to come to the front of the worship area and place your offerings and attendance cards in plates on tables at the bottom of the altar area. We’ll also have places by the entrances to place your offering as you enter or leave worship.

 

We already have ways for you to worship and contribute your tithes and offerings electronically. If you are at high risk for being seriously affected by the coronavirus, we understand if you choose to avoid coming to worship on campus.

 

For a few years now, we have made our livestream available so people who are sick, traveling, or overwhelmed, can worship with us from home. The absolute truth is that when we’ve had a marked decrease in physical worship attendance due to bad weather, we’ve also seen a very large decrease in tithes and offerings for the week.

 

With the current status of our Forward in Faith campaign and building project, a decrease in tithes and offerings would be devastating to the ministries we’re currently doing and planning for the future. If you do stay home and livestream, please remember to contribute your tithe or offering by mailing it in, using the website (messiah.us) or the Messiah app to make your contribution to the Lord’s work through Messiah.  To sign up for consistent electronic giving, set up an account here, or contact Erik Borgmeyer.

 

We will not fear. There’s a time for concern, but we refuse to live in fear. The stock market may crash, but we remain generous. Sickness may spread, but we remain faithful. Our trust in God is not dependent on circumstances. We don’t claim faith only in times of blessing. God gets glory in good times and bad, in sickness and health.

 

Fear not I am with you O be not dismayed
For I am your God and will still give you aid
I’ll strengthen you help you
And cause you to stand
Upheld by My righteous omnipotent hand 

(From the hymn How Firm a Foundation)