Weekly Updates

Weekly Updates

A Note from the Council President
Tim Wodrich
November 19, 2020

Worship: 

The church is open but the building is closed.  We have virtual weekly services with some exciting changes coming soon!  I will explain more shortly.  Due to the North Dakota Smart Restart Plan change of Cass County to a High Risk (Orange) level, worship will be offered online only with a minimum number of worship leaders.  Maple Sheyenne building will be closed except for worship recording.  The staff will continue to work remotely.  All Christian education and youth activities will be offered online only.  Confirmation classes are being held virtually.

Please join our weekly Fellowship Hour on Sundays at 10:30 AM.  It is a great way to check in, see and have fellowship with our members.  You do need to bring your own coffee though or as the late Bud Tehven would say, Lutheran Holy Water.

Interim Pastor:

I have great news!  Pastor Diane Krumm will be our interim pastor starting December 3rd.  Thanks to your prayers, God guided Pastor Diane to MSLC.  We will be blessed with her experience and guidance during this time.  When the Executive Council met with Pastor Diane, we all collectively felt comfortable with each other.  Her journey has led her to several small North Dakota towns and parishes.  She has served in Bethlehem Lutheran in Bowbells; Tri-Parish: Zion, New Hope & First Lutheran in Towner Upham & Willow City; and most recently in the Prairie Rivers Parish near Wyndmere.  I have named just a few of the places Pastor Diane has served.  In these current trying times, The Executive Council felt she will be a great asset to MSLC.

At this time, Pastor Diane has asked me to wait to share her contact information since she is busy moving to the Fargo area.  She said she will be hard to get hold of in the near future.  We are busy getting her set up with email and other contact methods.  Please say a prayer for Pastor Diane at this time of transition for her.

Call Process:

Soon I will reach out to the Synod on how to proceed with the Ministry Site Profile (MSP) that must be completed for Maple Sheyenne.  The MSP is designed to stimulate our reflection, to be a summary of the characteristics and ministry of Maple Sheyenne, and to serve as the first impression that we wish to give to prospective Call candidates.  

When Pastor Diane’s name was forwarded to us from the Synod, a request was made.  In full transparency, Pastor Diane requested to serve as an interim with the option to be considered for the call.  This simply means that she will walk with us preparing MSLC for a new pastorate, but when our profile is done, she would like to be considered as one of the candidates.  Earlier, she had asked the Synod about our congregation thinking she would like to interview with us when we were ready.  Knowing we were looking for an interim, Shar Gumke from the Synod called Pastor Diane to see if she would consider an interim open to call.

Please keep in mind our congregation does not have to call her for our pastor when we get that far in the process but it could be an option.  Most of the time, interims do not want to be considered (most interims are rostered ministers) but Pastor Diane would like to keep the option open.

The leak has been found!

You may have heard of a water leak in our church.  A number of people have searched for it and as usual, it would in the last place we looked.  Jay Sandvig was in a far corner under Maple Hall and discover a wet spot.  Yesterday, he had a plumber in to repair a break in one of the outside spigots which had a small split in the line due to frost damage.  Several spigots were repaired with new freeze proof spigots and several shut off valves were replaced to be in better compliance with code.  For more details, please reach out to Jay.

Something Missing?

I thank the people who have reached out to me about a few things that were accidentally overlooked.  We are working to improve our communications to everyone.  More mailings will be done in the future.  As we navigate through things in the near future and you notice something not being done, please contact either myself or the church.  I thank the people for letting me know several of the items not being done.

As always thank you for your generosity and your faithfulness to our church.  Keep the church’s mission in mind to SERVE GOD, GROW FAMILY, BUILD COMMUNITY.  If you feel called to give to make these virtual services possible, please check out our website and the donate online icon at the bottom of the main page.  If you prefer, the US mail is another great way to send a check to the church.  For now, the church is open but the building is closed.

See you in virtual fellowship!

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

A Note from the Council President

Worship changes: The Church Council has made several changes in how we will conduct services at Maple Sheyenne.  Due to the North Dakota Smart Restart Plan recent change of Cass County to High Risk (Orange level), worship will be offered online only with a minimum number of worship leaders.  Maple Sheyenne will be closed except for worship recording.  The staff will continue to work remotely.  All Christian education and youth activities will be offered online only.

Maple Sheyenne Lutheran received great news last Friday.  Our bank, with whom we received our Paycheck Protection Program loan through, notified us that our loan has been forgiven.  We fulfilled the requirements for the loan forgiveness several months ago and submitted our paperwork to the bank.  They then submitted it to the Small Business Administration (SBA).  SBA has determined that MSLC fulfilled the loan forgiveness requirements which means our total loan amount was completely forgiven.  We have been waiting patiently and our prayers have been answered.

Our search for an interim pastor continues.  A week ago, things were not looking so good but the Lord is watching out for us.  The first several interim possibilities passed on the opportunity.  When things were looking like we would proceed without an interim pastor, another name was passed on to the Executive Council.  In the near future, the Executive Council will meet with the potential interim pastor to see if there is a good fit for them and Maple Sheyenne.  Please pray for the church leaders and the synod staff who are assisting in the search, as we continue our search for an interim pastor.  Nothing is guaranteed in the process.  Care must be taken to ensure that the correct decisions are made for the betterment of our congregation.

After we hopefully find an interim pastor, a Ministry Site Profile (MSP) must be completed for Maple Sheyenne.  The MSP is designed to stimulate our reflection, to be a summary of the characteristics and ministry of Maple Sheyenne, and to serve as the first impression that we wish to give to prospective Call candidates.  

As we navigate through things in the near future and you notice something not being done, please contact either myself or the church.  Pastor Nichole did many small tasks which few knew of.  She made an effort to tell us them but some may have been missed.  We have already found a few tasks that were not being done and steps are being taken to correct the oversight.

As always thank you for your generosity and your faithfulness to our church.  Keep the church’s mission in mind to SERVE GOD, GROW FAMILY, BUILD COMMUNITY.  If you feel called to give to make these virtual services possible, please check out our website and the donate online icon at the bottom of the main page.  For now, the church is open but the building is closed.

See you in virtual fellowship!

Tim Wodrich

MSLC Council President

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

A Note from the Council President

At the last Church Council meeting which was held Monday, September 21st, we had a guest from the Eastern North Dakota Synod.  As I had mentioned in an earlier note Shar Gumke, who is the Associate with the Bishop for Congregational Life, attended the meeting to discuss the Call Process.  She reviewed the Call Process Checklist with the Council which lays out how we will proceed.  The first and foremost activity she pointed out is that we need to do, both as the Council and as a congregation, is to pray.  We need to ask for God’s guidance and wisdom to lead us through the process.

After Shar talked through the process, she had some great news.  Several people heard about Pastor Nichole’s leaving and they had indicated some interest in being an interim pastor at Maple Sheyenne.  The Executive Council will reach out to them to see if they still have interest and would like to meet with us.  If there is a match with our collective goals then we could move to make a short-term contract with them as an interim pastor.

The Worship & Music Committee will meet next week to plan out how we will have services in the near term.  Their small team of dedicated people will be looking at their resources and how MSLC can provide worship services over the next several weeks.  They will also discuss how we could interact with an interim pastor who may be coming soon.  They have a lot of planning to do and activities to plan for.  We must remember, they are a small group and can only do so much.

Please pray for the Council to guide their decisions to be the best for MSLC.  Pray that an interim pastor can be found who can lead us through these times.  Nothing is guaranteed in the process.  Care must be taken to ensure that the correct decisions are made for the betterment of our congregation.

Rest assured that MSLC is moving forward in our next steps for calling a new pastor.  As things progress and the Council learns more, we will share with everyone so you know what is happening along this journey.  Please pray for the Church Council as we navigate through this process.

As always, thank you for your faithfulness to our church.  Keep the church’s mission in mind to SERVE GOD, GROW FAMILY, BUILD COMMUNITY.  

Blessings,

Tim Wodrich

MSLC Council President

August 26, 2020

Greetings MSLC Community,

Where has the summer gone?  It has been the longest and the shortest summer all at the same time.  The longest since my family has greatly limited our exposure to the public thus, we didn’t leave the house much.  The shortest in that school starts tomorrow for our girls and even today the teachers are scrambling to get ready for tomorrow.  The common response today at school was “be flexible and go with the flow”.

What hasn’t been idle has been our church.  Many changes have been happening around the grounds of the church.  The recent rains have the grass growing like it was spring.  Trees has been removed and the never-ending task of removing dead and falling limbs or trees has not ended.  Recently the plants around the church have been covered in butterflies.  The landscape is alive with color.  With the recent heavy rains, we had some water in the basement.  One of the sump pumps malfunctioned which allowed water to accumulate in a limited area.  The pump is now working fine with some new components.  We did lose some items due to water damage in the two small rooms on the north side of the basement.

Have you noticed the improvements in our virtual church services?  The Newlands continue to do miracle things for us.  We are looking for people who would like to help with our virtual services.  If interested, please contact myself or Dan Newland.  We have been getting in new equipment to enhance our video capabilities.  Now we can seamlessly switch between different camera inputs.  The Worship & Music Committee has been working very hard to improve the virtual service.  As we have been improving in one area, we have discovered other areas to improve.  Work is in process to advance our audio capabilities.  On a sad note in this journey, we have discovered a number of sound and electronic items has disappeared.  They were expensive items to lose and they will impact some of our worship capabilities.  Due to the losses, steps are being taken to restrict access to the church.  We are enhancing our monitoring of the buildings and grounds.  If you need access to the church, please reach out to a Council member and we will work with you for access to the church.

Keep an eye out for our next monthly newsletter.  There will be an article on the recent Eastern North Dakota Synod Assembly.  Over 300 people were involved in the Zoom meetings and elections.  I was amazed at how well the Synod staff was able to conduct the meetings with that many people from around the state participating by Zoom.  Bishop Eaton presided over the bishop elections even though she was in Portland, OR.  She took time from her busy schedule of seeing her daughter and grandchild.

I hope you are able to participate in the August All Member VBS Bags being handed out this Wednesday evening.  The Education Committee has been working hard on them.  I fear this note will get to you late which is my fault.  Sometimes life throws one challenges one wasn’t really expecting.

Speaking of challenges, which can be opportunities yet discovered, I am sad to say Pastor Nichole will be leaving us soon.  She will be taking a call with another church.  Please see her note.  We will miss her thought-provoking sermons and challenges she has led us through.  She has started to open our eyes to things around us which we may not have noticed or realized before.  She has been guiding us through the start of our Covid-19 journey and though we have a long way to go, she has shown us opportunities we didn’t know where there.  Pastor Nichole has helped us to discover the power of virtual church and how we can reach more people because of it.  I am sad to see her go but I also wish her the very best in her journeys.

If you haven’t joined us yet on ZOOM Fellowship please consider it as we love to stay connected to one another.  This is how we will fellowship.  You will find the bulletin and the zoom link in your email each Saturday.  Also, the best part of Virtual worship is that you can access this worship anywhere and anytime you have access to Wi-Fi which means you can binge watch worship or catch up on last week’s worship whenever you want

As always thank you for your generosity and your faithfulness to your church.  Keep the church’s mission in mind to SERVE GOD, GROW FAMILY, BUILD COMMUNITY.  If you feel called to give to make these virtual, in-person and audio experiences possible, please check out our website and the donate online icon at the bottom of the main page.  Thank you for being the church outside and gradually inside the building!

God bless and take care,

Tim Wodrich, President of Church Council

FROM THE DESK OF
PASTOR NICHOLE A. JOHNSON

August 26, 2020

Dear Beloved of God at Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church,

Greetings in the name of Christ!  It is with deep sadness, profound gratitude, and unending trust in the Holy Spirit’s guidance that I write to inform you that I am resigning as your pastor effective October 4, 2020.  I was called to Maple Sheyenne to serve alongside you as you discerned whether you wanted to reach out to your neighbors around you or whether you wanted to stay a niche’ church for those who wanted a small congregation.  We struggled in areas of youth and family, with volunteerism and leadership, while accepting the post Christian reality.  Our time together was also used to further your gifts of traditional worship, forging a lasting relationship with the Fargo Veteran’s Cemetery and making MSLC not just a destination church but one with a clear mission statement.  This mission statement is concise and wise – Serve God, Grow Family, Building Community. You are doing some really amazing ministry in the midst of a pandemic, thriving in changing technology and administratively you are solid thanks to staff and council leaders.  I do not fear for your future as I step away so that you may call someone who further encourages you all to be the small church with the big heart. 

My family and I have deep gratitude for Maple Sheyenne and the village we have been a part of for the last eight years.  I am a stronger single parent because of Maple Sheyenne.  My time with my girls and influence over them is waning, however.  It was “now or never” so to speak, if we were going to move and if I was to give them a different experience before they spread their wings and fly from my nest.  We have nothing but deep gratitude for your love for us while here. 

Although this may come as a shock to many and seem like terrible timing, given the global pandemic we find ourselves in, I trust in the One who knows us completely and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in community which nudges us out of our comfort zones and into amazing new futures we could have never dreamed.  The leaders you have in place are your best and the synod will not abandon you in your search for supply, interim and called pastors.  There is never a good time to leave but I trust the process of discernment I have been on for over two years as I pray you trust the one you will now enter into as well.  

Finally, the pandemic will make saying goodbye a challenge.  I welcome small gatherings of under 10 outdoors and deck and patio visits with masks and safe distances.  I have heard that there may be plans in the works for a drive thru goodbye.  Whatever we decide to do, please know that I treasure each one of you and our limited time together.  Let’s make the next month one of mutual love and encouragement of spirit. 

In Christ’s Grip and Hanging On,
Pastor Nichole Johnson

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

Weekly Update for 8/14/20

Greetings and happy middle of August!  Wow, I never expected to be able to say that the summer has gone fast but it sure has!  Perhaps the days were long but the weeks and months were short!  As we continue with our very gradual re-opening at church here are a few things you need to know.  
1. Synod Assembly:  This weekend all 197 of the Eastern North Dakota Synod will be gathering over the ZOOM format for the business of the church and to elect a new synodical bishop. Tim and AJ Wodrich and Pastor Nichole are representing Maple Sheyenne.  Please pray for each candidate and their congregations as well as guidance from the Holy Spirit.  Look for BIG NEWS on Sunday, August 16th on our Synod’s Facebook page and Website! 

2. Worship:  This weekend’s worship is provided by the Synod.  If you want to take part in the live simulcast you will need to be ready to worship for 9:00 AM.  The link will be provided in the weekend worship details email.  

TO PARTICIPATE ONLINE: https://livestream.com/accounts/24798519/events/9236433

LINK TO FACEBOOK SITE: https://www.facebook.com/ENDSynod

There will be no In-Person Worship on Wednesday, August 19, 2020.  
3. Vacation:  Pastor Nichole will be on vacation from August 17 through August 21.  Devotions will be suspended for the week to allow Pastor a true vacation.  If you have a pastoral emergency please contact Pastor Nichole on her cell phone and she will get you connected to the Pastor on call.  

4. August All Member VBS Bags will be available for pick up on Wednesday, August 26th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  This bag will include a Blessing of the Backpacks, a service for Home Communion, a lesson for all ages, a VBS Family activity, and important information about Fall programming!  You don’t want to miss this fun or important info provided!  

Thank you for continuing to be supportive of your church and being flexible as we navigate re-opening.  The year 2020 will certainly go down in infamy as a time when the church learned to be the church outside the building!  Keep checking your email, the monthly newsletter, our Facebook page and the website to stay up to date with all church activities. 

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Downloads\Nichole signature (2).jpg

In deep gratitude for all of you,
Pastor Nichole

Recent Update: July 29, 2020

CORONAVIRUS PRECAUTIONS
We’ve been closely tracking the news of the coronavirus (COVID-19) both locally and globally. Our council, custodial and pastoral staff make up the team monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and partnering with local officials and medical professionals to formulate a preparedness plan. This plan will change and adjust based on the updates we receive, but as of today, here are the precautions we are taking to increase health measures, alleviate concern and fear, and take preventive measures regarding infectious disease.
__________________________________________________________

GREETING
When we have a time of greeting during services, we will greet each other with spirit fingers, the peace sign or waves instead of handshakes.

MASKS
We strongly encourage everyone to use a mask.  Masks are provided. Ask an usher.   

SANITATION STATIONS
There are two stations with a touchless hand sanitizer dispenser available.  Please use them liberally and as often as you see fit.  

DOORS
To minimize your need to touch door handles, a volunteer will hold exterior doors open to greet you at the Maple Hall door. You will exit through the narthex.  Please observe the floor signage. 

OFFERING
Offerings will be received following services as worshippers exit the sanctuary. Other options include online giving available at www.maplesheyenne.com.

FELLOWSHIP
All fellowship activities will be suspended for now.  

BATHROOMS
Please follow the instructions posted in the bathroom so that we can lessen the spread of the virus.  (It takes all of us!) For your own increased safety consider using the facilities at home before you leave the house.  

VISITS
Hospital and nursing home visits are suspended under guidance from those institutions and visits will be conducted via phone calls or other methods per each institution’s instructions.

SELF-QUARANTINE
As per CDC guidelines if you are feeling any symptoms of coronavirus or have a pending Covid Test, you are asked to stay home and heal and keep others well.  We want to highlight that we continue to provide our recorded worship on Sundays at 9:30 am with Fellowship on Zoom at 10:30 am.  We encourage you to take some time to understand proper prevention measures to avoid spreading the virus by reading through the CDC recommendations cdc.gov. We will provide necessary updates as warranted and as we closely monitor the spread of the coronavirus.

CLEANING
We will be cleaning the sanctuary and bathrooms two or more hours after the use of them to try to catch all the settled droplets with disinfectant. 

UPDATES
To stay updated please go to our Website:  www.maplesheyenne.com Click on “Latest Covid19 Updates” for our biweekly news.

Virtual Worshipwww.mapleshyenne.com/virtualworship/  or search “Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church” on YouTube. Please remember to link and subscribe to the channel and like each worship!  

https://www.yanktontransit.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/e3b03494b49b7a18360ae2f67168fb55_facebook-like-logo-high-facebook-like-logo-clipart_1396-600.jpeg

Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church

AUDIO ONLY OPTION
If you have a hard time hearing or do not have internet access we provide a wonderful opportunity for you to listen to the gospel, sermon, devotions and more from your phone.  Just dial 1-855-955-4024 and listen for the prompts.  These are the 6 extensions: 
1. Biweekly Updates 4.  Weekly Sermon
2. Daily Devotion 5.  Weekly Prayer List
3. Weekly Gospel Reading 6. Previous Day’s Devotion

July 15, 2020

Greetings MSLC Community,

Wow, how things have changed and are changing almost on a daily basis.  It is hard to keep up with them.  You will notice a visible change at the church.  Most of the large pine trees just north of the church are now gone.  They were in very rough shape with a number of broken and nearly dead ones thus they were taken down.  The stumps will be ground out in the near future.  Our beautiful cemetery is now very visible from the road.  Since a number of trees were taken down, there is an opportunity for you, if you need firewood, to cut up the felled timber.  It is in a pile west of the cemetery behind the outdoor worship area.

We have received the initial payment from our insurance company to cover the damages to the church from a previous wind storm.  Jay Sandvig, Property Chair, has been working with a contractor and work will soon start.  In working with the contractor, Jay also negotiated work to be done on repairing the windows in Maple Hall and painting of the main building.  It was agreed that the church will pay for materials and the contractor will donate most of the labor.  He has also worked with another contractor to correct several plumbing issues and repair a water leak in the foundation.  

I know many people want to know what happened at the Church Council meeting earlier this week in relation to in-person worship.  The Worship & Music Committee had met several weeks earlier to discuss how an in-person worship could happen.  After long, thoughtful and spirited discussions Barry Bowman sent to the Council their recommendations.  The Council reviewed them and voted to gradually resume in-person worship with a number of conditions.  After much Council discussion, it was decided to proceed with very small steps and take things at a gradual pace.

Virtual services will continue as in the past with virtual service being broadcast on Sundays.  Due to our very limited resources, an in-person service will take place on Wednesday evenings.  It will be recorded and edited for release on Sundays.  The in-person service will take place inside the church in order to be reliable and in a conducive environment for services and recordings.  We at this time do not have the equipment and infrastructure for live streaming.  The first in-person worship will be held in the sanctuary at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, July 22nd.

Going forward, depending on what we learn from the above, availability of equipment and personnel, and the preferences of those attending, we could continue with in-person Wednesday evening services with Sunday morning broadcast, or we could switch to Sunday morning in-person services.  As stated earlier, we will proceed with small steps.  One thing for sure is that we will continue with providing virtual services.

If one does not feel comfortable with this arrangement or are not feeling well, please continue to worship with us virtually.  Consulting the ND Smart Restart guidelines and the guidance from the Eastern ND Synod, a number of conditions will be followed for in-person worship:

  • Sanitizing of the worship space
  • Only one doorway will be used to enter and exit the church and it will be propped open so no one touches a door knob or handle.
  • Ushers will warmly welcome worshippers from a distance.
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance between family groups.  Not all pews will be used.  People will be ushered into a seat starting at the front of the church and working toward the back.  At the end of the service, people will be ushered out in the reverse order.  No mass exit.
  • Do not shake hands, wave greetings instead.
  • Wear masks
  • Bulletins will be placed in the pews before the service.  They will not be handed out.
  • During the playing of hymns, contemplate the words and if desired, quietly hum along.  Please do not sing.
  • No communion or sharing the peace by shaking hands.  Pass the peace with a simple bow to those on your right and left.
  • Offering plate will be placed on a table as people enter and exit.
  • Increased cleaning will happen with the bathrooms if they are used.
  • No fellowship will follow the Wednesday service.  The Sunday virtual Fellowship hour at 10:30 AM will continue.

If you haven’t joined us yet on ZOOM Fellowship please consider it as we love to stay connected to one another.  This is how we will fellowship.  You will find the bulletin and the zoom link in your email each Saturday.  Also the best part of Virtual worship is that you can access this worship anywhere and anytime you have access to Wi-Fi which means you can binge watch worship or catch up on last week’s worship whenever you want!  You don’t even have to comb your hair and put on a clean shirt to see a service.  Please remember to like our YouTube channel as well as each worship.  Our likes and thumbs up add up!  

Please check out the church calendar online.  There have been many updates to it.  One may have noticed an outdoor concert by Beyond Blue.  It will not take place outside this month.  Please stay tuned as the Worship & Music Committee may be able to arrange for a virtual concert.  Details are being worked out.

Meetings and activities can resume in the church with groups of 12 or less.  Maintain 6 foot distance between people and masks are to be worn.  All people must sign in when entering the building.  With the church starting to open gradually, Pastor Nichole and Marlene Seim will be available but by appointment only.  If you need to meet with them, please call either Pastor or the church and they will make arrangements.

Through your generosity in June our givings exceeded our expenses which is great news!  Our expenses will start to climb as activities start to happen at church.  Extra cleaning and supplies will be required to ensure a safe place to worship.  Look for a financial snapshot update in the August newsletter.

As always thank you for your generosity and your faithfulness to your church.  Keep the church’s mission in mind to SERVE GOD, GROW FAMILY, BUILD COMMUNITY.  If you feel called to give to make these virtual, in-person and audio experiences possible, please check out our website and the donate online icon at the bottom of the main page.  Thank you for being the church outside and gradually inside the building!

God bless and take care,

Tim Wodrich, President of Church Council

June 24, 2020

Greetings MSLC Community,

I am delighted to hear about all the hard work that is happening at church.  Much of it is not seen but we can see the results of it in our virtual services.  Some things have been up on hold but a great number of activities are happening in our church community.  Thank you to all the people who are serving us.

Things are, and will be, looking different around the church.  We are still working with the insurance company on coverage but progress is happening.  As previously mentioned, the playground/swing set was heavily damaged.  After looking at it, it was decided to remove it.  You will not see it anymore but there are discussions on replacing it in the future.  Jay Sandvig, Property Chair, has been working with contractors for repair quotes.  He has received encouraging feedback but we are awaiting word back from our insurance company.  A very visible change will be happening in the next week.  As you have seen, the large pine trees between the church and cemetery have been suffering a number of broken limbs and main trunks.  A young company approached the church to help take down the damaged pine trees at a very reasonable price.  A group met last night with the young man and it was decided to take down most of the pine trees.  A number of trees were in declining health and multiple ones had severe damage sustained to them in the last several years.  In removing the damaged trees, the remaining ones were not worth keeping.  In the end, we will have fewer trees but they are in good condition.  Also a severely deteriorated cottonwood tree will be taken down in the outdoor worship area.

I have been listening to our Worship and Information Hotline, have you?  We received feedback from our congregation that not everyone could tune in to our virtual worship.  What a great way to connect with the church without needing a computer, TV, smartphone or some other digital device.  It was good to hear a number of different member’s voices reading scriptures.  Call the toll free number, 855-955-4024, to get the weekly update, the daily devotions, the gospel and the sermon.  It was super easy to use.  Based on great feedback from people, we now have six options.  If you missed yesterday’s devotion, don’t worry since you can still hear it.

A number of different groups are looking into what it will take to start in-person services and the continuation of virtual services.  Many discussions are happening and they are consulting the ND Smart Restart guidelines and the guidance from the Eastern ND Synod.  To do services, it takes a whole family of MSLC people to provide and produce our services.

If you haven’t joined us yet on ZOOM Fellowship please consider it as we love to stay connected to one another.  It has been great seeing others, hearing what they have been up to and seeing faces again.  We even get to see and hear from people’s pets!  You can find the bulletin and the zoom link in your email each Saturday.  Also the best part of Virtual worship is that you can access this worship anywhere and anytime you have access to Wi-Fi which means you can binge watch worship or catch up on last week’s worship whenever you want!  You don’t even have to comb your hair and put on a clean shirt to see last week’s service.  Please remember to like our YouTube channel as well as each worship.  Our likes and thumbs up add up!  

As always thank you for your generosity and your faithfulness to your church.  Keep the church’s mission in mind to SERVE GOD, GROW FAMILY, BUILD COMMUNITY.  If you feel called to give to make these virtual and audio experiences possible, please check out our website and the donate online icon at the bottom of the main page.  Thank you for being the church outside the building!

See you virtually in church!

Tim Wodrich, President of Church Council

June 17, 2020

Greetings family and friends of Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church,

I am so humbled by how you continue to be the CHURCH without the building.  I am humbled by all the hard work that goes into worship, meetings, planning that may never see fruition, and loving one another through creative connecting. You are also responding to the pleas for volunteers on our Facebook page.  You make me so proud to be your pastor! 

Our building is taking a beating as of late due to the wind and storms.  Our swing set has been demolished, we had damage to the bell tower window, shingles torn off and roof needing repairs.  We have put in a claim with our insurance company and there will be more updates to come as those building projects move along.  Pray for an end to the wind and volatile weather! 

Our building continues to be closed due to our faithful and deliberate response to COVID 19 through July 13th.  We will continue to reassess when to reopen after our July council meeting.  Many things need to be worked out so that we can provide a safe experience in person as well as to continue to provide virtual worship. Our worship and music committee, our tech producers Dan and Ben Newland and the council are working diligently to set a plan in motion for how we attend to all the issues from sanitation to the outdoor set up and recording of worship in the future.  These pieces take time and the right equipment.  As you already know, we are reaching far more people through virtual worship than we had in attendance on Sunday mornings prior to COVID 19.  This presents an exciting challenge to us when we think about reopening for in person worship.  We also know that virtual worship is not for everyone.  I want to thank you personally for sacrificing for the sake of the whole.  This is discipleship in action. 

We know that our virtual worship is not accessible to everyone.  I hope by now you have checked out the toll free number :1-855-955-4024.  This is a way to get the audio of this communication, weekly gospel and sermon and the daily devotion.  This week we are adding two new extensions based on the recommendations of those using this number.  You can now listen to the PREVIOUS day’s devotion as well as a prayer list of those we as a parish are praying for.

This week in worship we will be honoring dads in worship as well as continuing to have Virtual Fellowship.  If you haven’t joined us yet on ZOOM Fellowship please consider it as we love to stay connected to one another at least a little.  You can find the bulletin and the zoom link in your email each Saturday.  Also the best part of Virtual worship is that you can access this worship anywhere and anytime you have access to WIFI which means you can binge watch worship or catch up on last week’s worship whenever you want!  Please remember to like our YouTube channel as well as each worship.  Our likes and thumbs up add up! 

As always thank you for your generosity and your faithfulness to your church.  If you feel called to give to make these virtual and audio experiences possible and to keep the church’s mission to SERVE GOD, GROW FAMILY, BUILD COMMUNITY please check out our website and the donate online icon at the bottom of the main page.  Thank you for being the church outside the building!
See you in Virtual Church,
Pastor Nichole

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

June 10, 2020

Greetings MSLC Community,

The Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church (MSLC) Council met last Monday evening.  One of the topics discussed was the status of worship for MSLC.  After much discussion and reviewing of the data and information, the Council decided to continue the suspension of services and activities at the church through July 13, 2020.  It was a unanimous decision.  In July the Council will meet again and review our status.  As the situation develops, the Council will re-evaluate our position at that time and update everyone as needed by email, Facebook, Twitter and our Website.  Some of the reasons the Council took into considerations were:

  • Cass County COVID-19 rate is in fluctuation
  • Historical summer attendance drop off
  • Limited resources (Pastor, Worship & Music committee, Tech support, cleaning)
  • Unknown how to handle both in-person and virtual services concurrently

The Worship & Music committee met separately before the Council meeting and they also recommended that we continue the suspension of services.  The Eastern ND ELCA Synod has provided additional information and guidance for congregations to consider (http://www.eandsynod.org/covid-19-resources) which the Council used in their decision.

Do you remember the storms Sunday night?  What a thunder, wind and lightning storm!  In fact so much wind that the church suffered some damage.  We had damage to the roof shingles, Maple Hall roof, the belfry and playground set.  Actions are underway to repair the damage.  Thankfully no damage was done to the inside of the church.

Have you tried the MSLC’s Worship and Information Hotline?  It is a great way to connect to the church without needing a computer, TV or some other digital device.  Call the toll free number, 1-855-955-4024, and you get the weekly update, the daily devotion, the gospel for the current Sunday and the sermon.  It is super easy to use, even though I had no problems using it.  It can be used when fishing, catching some sunshine or enjoying your morning coffee.

Churches United continues to suspend the meals served by MSLC.  We have budgeted monies for this valuable work we do for the community.  Even though we are not there in person, we continue to financially support their needs.  MSLC has sent our budgeted monies to them for the months we have not served and will continue to do so.  Money donations are always welcomed to help them in their valuable work.  If you have any questions, please contact Darin Thoreson.

Daily Devotions (https://maplesheyenne.com/daily-devotions/) continue every day on our website for inspiration.  MSLC continues to investigate new ways to stay in touch with our congregation.  Remember to sign in if you should enter the church.  Sign-in lists are near the doors at church.  As an extra precaution, please sign and date the next time you go into church.  If the unfortunate situation should arise where someone becomes ill, it will help us to notify others so they can take precautions.  We ask this for your protection.

Thanks to everyone who continues to contribute to our worship experiences throughout the week.  Thank you to our pianists; Annie Samson, Donna Linnertz and AJ Wodrich.  Thank you to our Worship and Music Committee (Barry Bowman, Donna Linnertz, Barb Olive, Annie Samson, and AJ Wodrich) who plans and implements our worship experience.  Many thanks to the technical talents of Ben and Dan Newland.  

It is great to have virtual fellowship Sunday morning at 10:30.  It really helps in the connection with our church family.  Keep up to date in worship by looking for your email on our worship and fellowship details in your email inbox on Saturdays.  

Our financial situation continues to remain stable but we historically will see drop off in giving as the summer goes by.  Mother Nature has given us some unexpected expenses this week which will be repaired.  I thank you for your generosity to our congregational family and your dedication to MSLC with your resources!

As always, please let the church office know if you or someone you know needs help in any way.  We have people willing to provide masks, run and do errands or lend an ear.  Please do not hesitate to let the church know if someone is having a hard time in this isolating and anxious time.  Give someone a call on the phone.  My family personally really appreciated the recent phone calls from our church family.  Hearing their voices was the next best thing to being there.

See you virtually in church!

Tim Wodrich, President of Church Council

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

June 3, 2020

Greetings Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church family and friends, 

As 2020 continues to get more intense and chaotic we hold tight to God’s faithfulness and know that wherever two or three are gather in Christ, there Christ is among them.  Here is what you need to know about MSLC this week: 
This Weekend’s worship will be provided by the Eastern North Dakota Synod with a sermon provided by presiding bishop of the ELCA Rev. Elizabeth Eaton.  We hope you will tune in with all our Lutheran brothers and sisters for this virtual worship experience.  

MSLC’s Worship and Information Hotline is now available!  You can call the toll free number 1-855-955-4024 and get this weekly update, the daily devotion, the gospel for the current Sunday and the sermon. It is an awesome service for those who don’t like the digital format, who don’t have their computer with them on vacation or at the lake or for those who simply prefer to listen to an audio version.  Look for more extensions to be added in the future.  Spread the word!  

Thank you to all who continue to contribute to our worship experiences.  Thank you to Annie Samson, Donna Linnertz and AJ Wodrich for playing piano.  Thank you to our Worship and Music Committee who plans and implements our worship experience – they are:  Barry Bowman, Donna Linnertz, Barb Olive, Annie Samson, and AJ Wodrich.  Thank you to the technical gifts of Ben and Dan Newland.  Thanks to all who continue to tune in and to fellowship afterwards.  Keep up to day in worship with by looking for your email on our worship details in your email inbox on Saturdays.  

Re-opening the Building continues to be on people’s minds and hearts as North Dakota has begun to reopen its economy after the lockdown for the pandemic.  Our council continues to evaluate all the circumstances surrounding how that might take place.  We are continuing the keep up with the ND Smart guidelines with advice from the Eastern North Dakota Synod as well as the ELCA.  There are also local factors to account for like the continuing erratic numbers in Cass County.  Additionally, we need to be clear that even when we go back to some type of in-person worship we will still be providing a virtual one for those most vulnerable.  The guidelines all around suggest that in the beginning an in-person worship would be allowed only if masks are worn, social distancing followed in addition to no singing, no communion, no fellowship and signing in with record of your presence.  Other things to consider include the drop in attendance over the summer months normally and the need for more volunteers than normal to pull off two worship options.  Finally, and this is exciting, we have been reaching far more people with each virtual worship than attend church on a normal Sunday.  

As you see, there are lots of pieces to this puzzle that need additional investigation and research so we as a council can make the best decision for Maple Sheyenne in the coming months. Our council meets on Monday, June 8th and will make a decision for the coming month.  Please pray for these leaders and their wisdom as well as their success in gather all the information this week to make the best decision possible.  

Our financial situation continues to remain steady and will drop off in giving as the summer approaches.  As always we give you thanks for your dedication to MSLC with your resources!  

THANK YOU to all those who have been kind and generous in your texts, phone calls, notes and gifts these past two weeks as you continue to show love to your pastor in this time of stress and grief.  I am indeed the luckiest pastor around and thank God for the privilege of doing ministry with you!  Have a great week and remember to love one another!

See you in Virtual Worship,
Pastor Nichole 

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

May 27, 2020

Greetings family and friends of Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church, 

I am so humbled by how you continue to be the CHURCH without the building.  I am humbled by all the hard work that goes into worship, meetings, planning that may never see fruition, and loving one another through creative connecting.  You make me so proud to be your pastor!  

Our building continues to be closed due to our faithful and deliberate response to COVID 19 through June 8th.  That night our council meeting to decide what makes sense to do moving forward.  Perhaps you may not know, but we are reaching far more people through virtual worship than we have in attendance on Sunday mornings.  This presents an exciting challenge to us when we think about reopening for in person worship.  Our council is committed to making sound decisions based on medical advice, our synodical church bodies and the experiences of those who have already begun meeting again in person.  As we forge ahead into the summer months our attendance historically has declined and we want to be able to put our energy into good worship however the format.  Stay tuned.  

A trend that we are seeing is that fellowship through virtual means is declining, probably due to the better weather and possibly because some of us are loosening our restrictions and visiting with others elsewhere.  We will continue to have virtual fellowship after worship on Sundays but we will discontinue Coffee Break on Thursdays.  Thank you to those who participate on Sundays and those that had a break with us on Thursdays.  

Tonight is our last confirmation class for our 8th graders and we will resume confirmation in the fall.  8th graders will be writing their faith statements in August in preparation for their Affirmation of Baptism in October.  Our Graduate Recognition didn’t make it into last week’s worship so we will be trying again this week.  Tune in to hear from Gabe Sandvig about what’s next for him. 

This Sunday, May 31, 2020 is Pentecost Sunday.  Remember to wear red and to take a selfie wearing red!  Every entry posted on our Facebook page in the comments under Pentecost Selfies will be entered in to a drawing for a family ice cream treat!  In our weekly worship email sent on Saturdays we will continue to include the prayer list for our congregation.  Please use that not only during worship but throughout the week.  

Finally, we know that our virtual worship is not accessible to everyone.  This week we launch our Worship and Information Hotline.  You can call this toll free number :1-855-955-4024 and follow the instructions to the audio of this publication, the daily devotion and the weekly sermon.  More to be added later!  Go ahead and try it out today!  

As always thank you for your generosity and your faithfulness to your church.  If you feel called to give to make these virtual and audio experiences possible and to keep the church’s mission to SERVE GOD, GROW FAMILY, BUILD COMMUNITY please check out our website and the donate online icon at the bottom of the main page.  Thank you for being the church outside the building!
See you in Virtual Church,

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Downloads\Nichole signature (2).jpg

Pastor Nichole

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

May 20, 2020 

Dear Beloveds, 

Here is your weekly update!  

The church and office remain closed and we are continuing to work from home.  Please contact us via phone, email or Facebook. If you do use the building for anything remember to sign in on one of the clipboards provided at the doors.   

ALL the services will be available on our YouTube channel and you will be able to find the link on our Facebook page and website.  Look for our worship email in your Saturday inbox! 

Worship Help Needed:  We are looking for families with the ability to video and upload those videos to send to our producer Ben Newland to enhance our worship experience.  If you would like to play special music, or read our lessons you would be much appreciated!  Contact Pastor Nichole or Barry Bowman to sign up! 

Our Education team is hard at work preparing a fun To-Go Bag for a Family Event in June that will further our mission to Grow Family.  Watch for more to come on that!  

As always, if you or someone you know from MSLC is in need of something – anything we are here to help!  We have several people still willing to run errands for people if needed.  Please continue to connect with one another!  This is a marathon and not a sprint so if you have already connected with someone early on perhaps now is the time to do another round of connection!  Remind those most isolated how to connect with us alert Pastor Nichole to any specific needs.  If we work together on making sure everyone is not socially isolated – then we will see each other again after this Pandemic is over!  

Memorial Day festivities will look a little different this year!  You are invited by our neighbors — the Fargo National Veterans Cemetery to attend their virtual Memorial Day Service.   Visit www.facebook.com/fargonationalcemeterycommittee to view the event on May 25.  

Finally, I give God thanks for all of you.  How you love one another is amazing and inspiring.  I know people from MSLC who are making masks, phoning people who are out of their comfort zone, being tender with people in a hostile space, loving people who are being unlovable, and praying unceasingly for this world that seems to have gone mad.  I see you all and what you are doing and I love you all.  

May you find grace enough for today and the days ahead! 

See you in virtual church! 

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Downloads\Nichole signature (2).jpg

Pastor Nichole

P.S. Sending warm congratulations to our graduates, Gabe Sandvig, Allison Hilde, and BreAnn Benson! Wishing you all the best on your next adventure!

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

May 13, 2020

Greetings MSLC Community,

COVID-19 Update:  

The Eastern ND Synod of the ELCA has provided additional information and guidance for congregations to consider.  In reviewing the information, the Church Council has decided to continue the suspension of services and activities at the church through June 8, 2020.  As the situation develops, the Council will re-evaluate our position at that time and update everyone as needed by email, Facebook, Twitter and our Website.  Some of the reasons the Council took into considerations were:

  • Cass County COVID-19 rate is still rising
  • A large percentage of the MSLC population are high risk people

Some of the traditional activities MSLC has participated in May will be cancelled such as the LYO Valley Fair trip and Memorial Day activities.  Red Willow Bible Camp has suspended all Summer and Day Camp programs.  Churches United continues to suspend serving meals by MSLC.  They are looking for volunteers who can help in other ways such as packing meals to be handed out.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Darin Thoreson.  Money donations are always welcomed to help them in their valuable work.  

Graduation Sunday this year will be a virtual event on May 24th.  VBS continues to plan activities for later this summer.  If interested in those activities, please contact Chris Hayden.

Our neighbors, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Fargo National Cemetery, will host its inaugural virtual Memorial Day event on May 25, 2020.  The virtual event, as a COVID-19 precaution, will be coordinated by the Fargo National Cemetery Volunteer Committee.  MSLC has worked with them in the event.  Please visit www.facebook.com/fargonationalcemeterycommittee to view the event on May 25.

Confirmation and the Book Club will continue to meet virtually.  Look for updates for meeting times and links.  Due to technical challenges, Facebook Live Story Time with Pastor Nichole will be discontinued.  Share your need for caffeine on Thursdays at 9:30 AM during the Virtual Zoon Coffee Break with our community.  The Zoom meeting link is 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87424873363?pwd=MW1iLzBnaFpKZGRmdTNUUHgvdnlpQT09

Meeting ID: 874 2487 3363, Password: 818248

Daily Devotions (https://maplesheyenne.com/daily-devotions/) continue every day on our website.  Check them out for inspiration.  MSLC continues to investigate new ways to stay in touch with our congregation.  Stay tuned for some exciting upcoming additions.

Remember to sign in if you should enter the church.  Sign-in lists are near the doors at church.  As an extra precaution, please sign and date the next time you go into church.  If the unfortunate situation should arise where someone becomes ill, it will help us to notify others so they can take precautions.  We ask this for your protection.

As always, please let the church office know if you or someone you know needs help in anyway.  We have people willing to provide masks, run errands or lend an ear.  Please do not hesitate to let Pastor Nichole know if someone is having a hard time in this isolating and anxious time.  Give someone a call on the phone.  Hearing their voice is the next best thing to being there.
See you virtually in church!

Tim Wodrich, President of Church Council

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

Greetings Friends and Family of Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church, 

This is your weekly update!  I know many people are anxious and excited to move forward to reopening!  However, our building remains closed until the council re-evaluates the situation after the council meeting on May 11th.  Next week’s weekly update will include details about how, when, and if we will reopen. Our council continues to balance the latest information from the CDC, ND Smart resources and the Eastern ND synod guidelines as well as our unique demographic and context.  Please stay tuned to our website, your email and our Facebook page for the latest updates. 

Virtual Worship continues and we give thanks for everyone who is lending their talents to make worship not only happen but to provide an experience that is the best we can do in the times we find ourselves in.  When you finally get to see those who have helped with worship, please thank them!  If you haven’t tried our Zoom Virtual Fellowship on Sundays at 10:30 am you are missing seeing the beautiful faces and voices of Maple Sheyenne members!  Look for the Zoom code on Facebook each Sunday and in your Weekend Worship email! 

Thursdays at 9:30 am we also offer a Virtual Zoom Coffee Break for anyone who wants to join us.  Look for the code in your Weekend Worship Email AND the Facebook Post for Thursday’s Coffee Breaks.  Grab your favorite beverage and join us!  

Last Sunday we started a Facebook Live Story Time with Pastor Nichole.  I read a book to our kiddos and it is available to look at it even now on our Facebook page. This will continue in two ways.  Each Sunday at 7pm I will read a book on Facebook Live.  At 7:30 pm you and your kiddo can join me for a zoom call with the same book so that kids can interact with me while I read the book.  Details for that Zoom call are available in your Weekend Worship Email and will be provided in the comments of the Facebook Live post.  

Finally, Happy Mother’s Day to all those moms and motherly hearts.  May your day be filled with love.  Thank you for your continued work in loving kids into being who God created them to be.  

See you in virtual church, 

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Downloads\Nichole signature (2).jpg

Pastor Nichole

P.S. You all have been so faithful to your church!  We appreciate those who continue to remember their church financially. We are staying afloat and for that we are grateful.  If you would like to contribute to the continued ministry of Maple Sheyenne please go to our website at scroll down to the bottom of the homepage to Donate Online and click there. You can also send in a check by mail.  We check the locked mailbox every other day!  Thank you!  

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

April 29, 2020

Greetings fellow people of Maple Sheyenne Lutheran,

COVID-19 Update:  With all the recent changes, we are still keeping our services and activities suspended at the church through May 11, 2020.  Soon the Eastern North Dakota Synod will provide an update for us to follow which we will re-evaluate our position and update everyone as needed by email, Facebook, Twitter and our website.

I want to thank people for their services to the church.  Here is a partial list and I greatly apologize for the ones I missed.  Thanks to Joel A., Doug T., Tom L., Jay S., Marlene S., the Worship & Music Committee, Barry B., Ben N. and Dan N.  The Alter area floor has been worked on.  The plumbing, sumps and water lines have been repaired or are in the process of being improved.  The church’s computer performance is being improved.  A worship bulletin is published and sent out.  These and so many other small projects are being done while following distancing guidelines with a few people.

Remember to sign in if you should enter the church.  A sign-in lists are near the doors at church.  As an extra precaution, please sign and date the next time you go into church.  If the unfortunate situation should arise where someone becomes ill, it will help us to notify others so they can take precautions.  We ask this for your protection.

Sara Hill, Council Treasurer, has provided a quick financial update.  The following is our current financials from the beginning of the year to the end of March:

Approved Budget Givings  $34, 931
(Non-Designated Offering)
Actual Givings $29,373
(shortfall of $5,558)
Approved Budget Expenses $34,931
Actual Expenses             $30,922
Actual Givings less Actual Expenses -$1,549

Due to the COVID-19 crisis and to insure that our church survives and thrives though this, Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church has submitted a loan request as part of the Payroll Protection Program, aka PPP, which is part of the federal ”Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the ”CARES Act”.  This program provides small businesses and non-profit organizations with funds in the form of forgivable loans to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits and utilities. More information will be in the monthly newsletter.

Have you Zoomed lately?  Last Sunday, a number of people gathered for Fellowship Hour on a Zoom Meeting.  It was great to see each other again to share and tell of a few stories.  Keep an eye out for the link details and password in a communication from Maple Sheyenne.  Another way to connect within our community, join Pastor Nichole for the Virtual Coffee Chain with Facebook Live weekly on Thursday mornings at 9:30 am.  She will have a short prayer and reading/devotion.  It is a great way to interact with one another by using the comment section.  Daily Devotions are provided on our website.

How do you like our YouTube channel?  Are you subscribed to it?  Please ‘like’ the videos you watch.  By Liking them, it enables Ben, our Producer, and Dan, our Executive Producer, to get additional features incorporated into our channel.
See you in virtual church!
Tim Wodrich, President of Church Council

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

April 22, 2020 

Dear Faithful People of Maple Sheyenne

Easter Greetings to you in the name of the Risen Lord!  By now I hope you have settled into a rhythm of life that is sustainable as it is safe and done in service to your family and your neighbors in our community.  What we are doing by saving home is a true act of love for our neighbors who are most vulnerable and those that serve those people in our emergency and health care services.  Thank you for wearing masks, social distancing, finding creative ways to fight isolation, loving people from afar and holding out in prayer and hope for a time when we will see each other, rejoice and be safe and healthy.  Until then here are your church updates for this week!

Worship
Last week’s worship by the synod was a nice change of pace and this week’s worship will include some new changes, so stay tuned!  If you haven’t joined us yet in worship you can find us on our website, Facebook and our YouTube Channel.  Join us for Virtual Fellowship after at 10:30 am via Zoom.  An email will be sent out to you with details and the link for the Zoom Fellowship later this week for this Sunday, April 26th.

Church Building/Property
The water has been turned off in our church building while the property committee is investigating a water leak.  If you find yourself in the building please know you cannot use the bathroom. 
In consultation with council and recommended practices for churches, you are asked to sign in each and every time you come into the church building providing your name, date and phone number on the clipboard provided. 

Education
Confirmation has gone virtual this week!  In addition, we are in the process of figuring out how to provide some educational opportunities for our Sunday School children and families.  This is a work in progress and if you are available to help or have some ideas, please contact Pastor Nichole or Chris Hayden our education chair.

Virtual Morning Coffee Talk
Each Thursday we have been meeting on Facebook Live around a question.  This is a time for us to socialize. This week, Thursday, April 23rd  at 9:30am we will be taking this to Zoom to better facilitate conversation!  If you want to join in please contact me via email or phone and I will send you the Zoom link! Can’t wait to see all your smiling faces!  

Church Activities
The wedding policy rewrite committee will resume their work and will meet virtually next week.  MSLC has been asked to be on the planning committee for the Fargo National Veterans Cemetery Memorial Day Program and there will be updates in the coming weeks on how MSLC will be involved in this virtual program!  Stay tuned! Our book club met Tuesday evening on a Zoom call to discuss our latest book.
Our council and executive committee continue to meet monthly virtually as well.  Prior to this global pandemic our council agreed to update the congregation quarterly on our financial situation.  You will be

 updated by newsletter and in our next weekly update.  Thank you for your continued faithfulness to our congregation in this uncertain time.  Your commitment to our financial viability through regular giving via Simply Giving and sending in your offering has been overwhelmingly appreciated.  

As always, please let the church office know if you or someone you know needs help in anyway.  We have people willing to provide masks, run errands or lend an ear.  Please do not hesitate to let Pastor Nichole know if someone is having a hard time in this isolating and anxious time.  Thank you!  Please know I miss you all and pray for you daily.  

See you in Virtual Church, 

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Downloads\Nichole signature (2).jpg
Pastor Nichole Johnson 

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

April 15, 2020

Dear Maple Sheyenne Lutheran,

Here is your weekly update.

We are still following the Executive Committee of the Eastern North Dakota Synod guidance to keep our services and activities suspended at the church through May 11, 2020.  As the situation develops, we will re-evaluate our position and update everyone as needed by email, Facebook, Twitter and our website.

I have been amazed at how people have volunteered their talents in this time of need.  Here is one such example. A very special thank you goes out to Ben Newland for all his hard work on the YouTube channel he has set up for MSLC.  Ben has really stepped up to the plate and taken this task on. Please subscribe to the channel so that you can get all the latest updates. Next time you see Ben, let him know how you really appreciate all the work he has done for us!

I want to thank everyone for giving to MSLC.  You are helping our community to survive. As you are all aware, even if we are not physically going to church the expenses continue so sending in an offering by mail or joining Simply Giving is really important. Simply Giving can be set-up to your personal preference, you can choose a one-time gift, weekly or monthly gifts. You can always update your giving preferences as needed!

As we work to be better prepared for any illness if it should happen, you will notice a sign in list near the doors at church.  As an extra precaution, please sign and date the next time you go into church. If the unfortunate situation should arise where someone becomes ill, it will help us to notify others so they can take precautions.  We ask this for your protection.

Keep calling and connecting with members of our MSLC community.  Check to see what our friends, who have been soaking up the sun in the south, have for stories during their time in Arizona.  Ask them about their journey back. See what fun and exciting things they did. Need some caffeine and company? Join Pastor Nichole for the Virtual Coffee Chain with Facebook Live weekly on Thursday mornings at 9:30 am.  She will have a short prayer and reading/devotion. It is a great way to interact with one another by using the comment section. Daily Devotions are provided on our website.

The Eastern North Dakota Synod of the ELCA will be providing the service this Sunday April 19th.  We are working to have the link on our YouTube channel. Tune in for your weekly inspiration from the Synod.

Please reach out to either myself, Pastor Nichole or leave a message with the church for anything else we can do for you to better assist you in this time of COVID-19.

See you in virtual church,
Tim Wodrich
President of Church Council

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

April 9, 2020 
Dear Beloveds, 

Weather, Flooding, and Pandemics – Oh My!  Did I mention, it is HOLY WEEK too! I hope this finds all of you healthy, safe and dry!?  

Here is your weekly update!  

The church and office remain closed and we are continuing to work from home.  Please contact us via phone, email or Facebook.  Do not send a carrier pigeon we are not set up for that technology as ofyet! 

Holy Week Worship Schedule
Maundy Thursday – 7 pm
Good Friday – 7pm
Easter Sunday – 9:30 am 

ALL the services will be available on our YouTube channel and you will be able to find the link on our Facebook page and website.  Keep looking there for all the information you need for updates and extra instructions!

Speaking of EXTRA instructions!!  You are invited to take part in virtual communion on Easter Sunday.  This is up to you whether you want to participate – remember you run the show when it is taped so you can jump over or fast forward on your device if you don’t want to take part. But if you do want to participate you will need wine or juice (any kind) and bread or crackers for this sacrament.  We are trusting God to be present in, with and under no matter where we are. If you have specific questions about this, please contact me!  

As always, if you or someone you know from MSLC is in need of something – anything we are here to help!  We have several people still willing to run errands for people if needed. Please continue to connect with one another!  This is a marathon and not a sprint so if you have already connected with someone early on perhaps now is the time to do the second round of connection!  Remind those most isolated how to connect with us alert Pastor Nichole to any specific needs. If we work together on making sure everyone is not socially isolated – then we will see each other again after this Pandemic is over!  

Finally, I give God thanks for all of you.  How you love one another is amazing and inspiring.  I know people from MSLC who are making masks, phoning people who are out of their comfort zone, being tender with people in a hostile space, loving people who are being unlovable, and praying unceasingly for this world that seems to have gone mad.  I see you all and what you are doing and I love you all.  

May you find grace enough for today and the days ahead!
See you in virtual church!

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Downloads\Nichole signature (2).jpg

3-31-2020 — Your weekly update is located in Maple Sheyenne’s Monthly Newsletter sent by mail or found in your email dated April 1st. If you did not receive your newsletter please let us know and we would be glad to send you one. The instructions for Palm Sunday worship were included in that newsletter.

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

March 25, 2020 

Dear Followers of Jesus at Maple Sheyenne Lutheran, 

We are becoming pros!  Pros at practicing physical distancing, staying at home and learning to love the ones we’re with!  Keep on keeping on …. This is the weekly update:

Worship
We are still not gathering physically for worship.  However, please find our worship (usually a scripture and sermon) on our new YouTube channel: Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church.  You can get to it by following the links on our website: www.maplesheyenne.com under Worship Services or by clicking the links that are posted on our Facebook page: Maple Sheyenne Lutheran. You can also find a link on Twitter!  One note about our “worship”. Due to strict copyright laws we cannot broadcast our music because we do not have a license to do so.  The license is cost prohibitive at this time. So in case you were wondering, it’s not that we don’t want to provide music it is because we cannot.  Feel free to browse around the internet for those places that can provide it!  I look at it as one of the positive things about our time at home – we can check other places out virtually without dressing up!  (Remember – because our experiences are not live – you can pause and come back to them AT ANY TIME!)

Midweek Lenten Worship
Join me tonight at 7pm as we explore the spiritual practice, known as the Prayer of Examen.  Please see the attached PDF and download it for the full experience for tonight’s worship. If you cannot print it out, that is ok as the experience is about YOUR reflection!  You may want to have paper or writing utensils handy to use as well. I have used Prayer of Examen as a way to determine how God may be nudging me to act or follow. As always you can find everything you will need under the link on our website and Facebook Page!  

Daily Devotions
If you haven’t already, please grab yourself a cup of coffee and sit a bit while you read the devotion for the day by yours truly!  You can find it on Facebook or the Website if you scroll down to Preaching the Word and click the button Daily Devotions. A link is also posted on Twitter!  Thanks for the kind feedback!  You kind people make my day! 

Weekly Updates
Tim W., our council president and myself are committed to keeping you updated weekly with letters like this.  They can be found on our website and in your email inbox! A link is also posted on our website and Facebook Page.  Caution:  We do not know who we may have missed, so spread the word and make sure you contact us at the church office if you would like to be added to our email list!  

Errand and Helping Hands
If you find yourself in need of someone to run an errand to the grocery store, pharmacy, gas station or where for you, please contact the church office and leave a message and someone will be in touch with you to make it happen!  We have volunteers ready to assist you!  

Staying Connected
1. We need updated records in order to stay connected to everyone!  So, please take the time to answer our volunteer’s questions when they call you to chat!  It would also be helpful to pass along ideas for staying connected to that volunteer so we could make sure when we try to be inclusive we are not inadvertently excluding someone!  

2.  I will be hosting a Virtual Coffee Chat with Facebook Live weekly on Thursday mornings at 9:30 am starting tomorrow, March 26th!  I will share a short prayer and reading/devotion, we will interact with one another by using the comment section.  If we like this, we may branch out to other virtual communication such as Zoom or Skype. Hope to see you tomorrow! 

3.  We are going to start a Virtual Fellowship Event called “Look Who Is Calling Now!”.  This option is especially for those who would just like to have a great conversation over the phone!  If you choose to participate you are saying you are willing to call 1 person who will be assigned at random to you and you also are saying you will answer the phone (or call the person back) when another person calls you!  The matches will happen randomly but people who live in the same household will not be paired. You will have three days from the time you receive your name to contact your individual. Names and phone numbers will be provided.  Please email pastor@maplesheyenne.com and for ease of the coordinator, list your name and phone number in the message!  Let’s see where this leads us! I can’t wait to hear the stories!

4.    VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:  Do you find yourself with extra time on your hands?  Are you comfortable talking with people on the phone?  Do you want to do something constructive and helpful during this uncertain time?  If you answered “yes” to all of those please consider volunteering to be a Caring Communicator.  Training will be provided. It is simply helping Pastor stay connected to everyone so no one feels left out!  Contact Pastor Nichole if you can help in this way! Thanks for considering! 

As always, we can do so much more together than we can do alone!  Let’s stay connected, willing to try new things and thinking about others despite the fact the world is telling us to socially distance.  Let’s physically distance but socially connect! Let’s be the CHURCH! THE CHURCH HAS LEFT THE BUILDING!! 

Hope to connect to you soon, 

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Downloads\Nichole signature (2).jpg

Pastor Nichole 

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

March 25, 2020
A Note from the Council President

I pray that this note finds you healthy and comfortable in your situation.  The times we are in are truly a unique one. First of all, I want to thank you for allowing me to be your Church Council President for the next two years.  I am honored and humbled by your faith in me and I will work to represent you well. I thank Tom Linnertz for his many years of service to the church. One thing I ask of you is to keep me informed of what is on your mind.  I will try my best to reach out to everyone but I also need your help. The more I know how the congregation feels on events, policies or just general doings at the church, the better I can represent you. Please do not be afraid to reach out to me.

A little background on me.  I grew up on a ranch near the community of Rapelje, MT which is 40 miles NW of Billings.  My parents are still on the ranch and I visit often. I graduated from a class of seven and then I studied engineering at Montana State University in Bozeman.  After different engineering jobs, I took early retirement from John Deere in 2018 after 24 years of service.

As we go down the path of virtual services, I have been hearing that people are missing the music.  I fully understand and I am lucky to get the pleasure of hearing my wife and daughters play hymnals at home which I know doesn’t help others out.  The musicians would love to provide music but there is an ethical and legal issue involved. The music we use in the hymnals is copyrighted. Copyright protects all creative work for a period of time, regardless of where it’s used: even churches, schools, and individuals need to obtain permission before they copy, transcribe, print, project or perform copyrighted content.

In church, we have the right to sing the materials since we all have hymnals.  Part of purchasing the hymnals is the right to use them. If we provided music virtually to our members in a closed restricted access environment, they would need hymnals to stay within the boundaries of copyright.  The audience must be controlled so that we know who is viewing the service. If a service is shared over Facebook or YouTube, anyone could view, hear and enjoy the music but they may not have a hymnal. In that situation, we would have a legal issue.  We could purchase a license to broadcast music but it is very expensive. Since we do not have a license, we can’t broadcast music. I ask for your understanding in this situation.

I have a request for everyone.  In this current situation we need to be a community and help each other.  If you or someone you know needs some help in getting groceries, medicine or supplies, please contact the church and let us know.  If you are willing to help in getting groceries, medicine or supplies to people, also contact the church to let us know and we will help to connect people.  Let’s be a community and help each other through this challenge that we all have to deal with.

I am looking forward to helping and serving our great community and church.

Blessings,

Tim Wodrich

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

March 20, 2020
Greetings Friends and Stake Holders of Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church, 

I know a lot has happened in the last week and it seems we are all trying to stay informed while practicing social distancing.  Here is the latest from your church!  

What we are not doing:  WE ARE NOT GATHERING FOR WORSHIP OR ACTIVITIES OF ANY KIND AT CHURCH.  We are following the recommendations of the CDC, the Governor, the ELCA, and the Eastern ND Synod.  This means that our church remains closed until May 11th and we have suspended all services and activities.  

What we are doing:   Staff and volunteers are still working, but remotely from their homes.  We are checking the church building daily. Members are being visited virtually or by phone and we are following the facility restrictions and guidelines for those who are in facilities or the hospital. We are working hard to communicate with you weekly, as well as to bring you at least a message or Word from God in place of our normal worship.  Due to licensing and copyright restrictions we are unable to provide you with the whole worship experience. Plus, no one wants to watch a full service without people gathering to sing. We are continuing to figure out how to do the business of the church without gathering together. Some meetings will be postponed, others will be held virtually. As this situation continues, we are looking at possibilities for Drive Inn worship, Drive Thru communion and perhaps Church-To-Go bags so you have the supplies to do worship in your homes.  

Here is what you can do: 
1. Please check in often through Facebook, Twitter, the website or a phone call for the latest updates.  We will update you weekly on Wednesdays going forward.  

2. We have been emailing those we have current email addresses for so if you haven’t received them, please make sure we have your up-to-date contact information.  

3.  Follow the guidelines and safety standards as best you can.  We are all in this together and how you respond matters. Stay home if you can, practice social distancing, wash your hands, don’t panic and hoard goods, pray for those who cannot stay home and are on the front lines of this health crisis and most of all, live in gratitude for what this pandemic will teach us as individuals and as a nation.  

4.  Check in on your neighbors and friends.  It will take all of us to beat the isolation we may feel.  Please take the time to pick up the phone and call someone to see if they are ok or need anything.  If you are in need of something and do not want to risk going out, please contact me or the church office and we will find someone to help!  

Finally, look forward to hearing from one of our volunteers who will be staffing a phone tree to gather accurate data to update our records.  You will get a phone call asking you to help us update our records for your household. Think of it as the pre-census! Please respond and do not be hard on the messenger!  As always, if you need anything at all, please contact me on my cell phone 815-931-9425. Together we can do far more than we ever imagined!  

Peace and wellness,

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Downloads\Nichole signature (2).jpg

Pastor Nichole Johnson   

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

March 18, 2020

Everyone,

In guidance from the Eastern ND Synod ELCA, MSLC will suspend services and activities at the church.  Following Recommendation #3, MSLC will suspend worship and other activities, for up to eight weeks (through May 11, 2020).  

As the situation develops, we will re-evaluate our position and update everyone as needed by email, Facebook, Twitter and our Website.  We are looking into ways to provide worship virtually such as Facebook live. This will take effect immediately in light of additional coronavirus cases being confirmed in North Dakota.  This will start with no Lenten services on March 18th at the church. We will work to have virtual services available.  

As you are all aware, even if we are not physically going to church, the expenses continue, so sending in an offering by mail or joining Simply Giving is really important. Simply Giving can be set-up to your personal preference, you can choose a one time gift, weekly or monthly gifts. You can always update your giving preferences as needed!

Respectfully,

Tim Wodrich on behalf of the MSLC Council

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Google Drive\Documents\Logo\MSLC LOGO horizontal.jpg

March 14, 2020

Dear People of Maple Sheyenne, 

Greetings in the name of Christ who is our Great Physician.  In the last week, amid the real and perceived threat of the Coronavirus or better COVID 19 a lot of things have changed and much remains fluid.  What we do know is that this virus is a real threat to those who are most vulnerable, our elderly population and those with compromised immune systems.  

Through consultation with the Synod and learning from other congregations about their safety plan for this virus, our council and I would like to be clear on what we have decided about our lives together this coming week.  

Sunday Worship – March 15, 2020
We will still gather to meet on Sunday morning with some modifications to our worship together.
First of all, we will be asking everyone in worship to sign in.  Secondly we will not be passing the peace, or shaking hands in the back of the church after worship.  For communion we will still use individual cups and a gloved hand will hand it to you during a continuous line in front of the altar to avoid touching the rails. An offering plate will be placed in the back of the church.  Please consider bringing your own hand sanitizer. FELLOWSHIP & SUNDAY SCHOOL ARE CANCELLED. OUR BAKE SALE FOR THIS MONTH IS ALSO CANCELLED. If you are vulnerable to becoming ill, please consider staying home. We will try, barring technical difficulties to go LIVE on FACEBOOK during worship on Sunday.  So if you choose to stay home, try tuning into worship on our Facebook page! 

Wednesday Midweek — March 18, 2020
We are CANCELLING Centering Prayer and DINNER.  But you are invited to worship with us at 7:00 pm.  The same modifications for this worship will apply – no shaking of hands and offering plate placed in the back.  You will also be asked to sign in.  

Our goal is not to live in fear but to protect our neighbor.  This virus has placed fear into many hearts but we rest in the promises of God.  I have chosen in these dark days to limit my exposure to mass media as it only raises my anxiety.  I have also chosen to check in with those most vulnerable by phone, to have faith that the grocery stores will have enough for me WHEN I need them, only use the health care system in emergencies, wash my hands and pray for our world, country, community and church.  

Finally, we will assess the situation for next week.  The information, response and situation remain fluid but we put our trust in the God who is bigger than any virus, disease and even death.  God says to us and all, “Fear not, I am with you even to the end of the age.” 

Grace and peace to you,

C:\Users\Maple Sheyenne LC\Downloads\Nichole signature (2).jpg

Pastor Nichole Johnson