8945 Veterans Memorial Pkwy, O'Fallon, MO 63366 info@hcross.com (636) 272-4505

Holy Cross Lutheran Church and the COVID-19 “Coronavirus”

Thank you for visiting this page.  Here is the latest information about how Holy Cross is affected by the COVID-19 “Coronavirus.”  Please check here for the latest information

Monday, March 16, 2020

The following letter was communicated via e-mail to the congregation on Monday, March 16, 2020 from Pastor Andy Gimbel:

Brothers and Sisters in Christ –

Based on the recent news announcements in the last 36 hours, we are going to take action to comply with the suggestions of our public health officials and government leaders.  We will still continue to do ministry as best we can, but we will be making the following changes, effective immediately:

  • Worship services will be held live stream only.  We will be broadcasting our 7 PM Lent Midweek service as well as our 8 AM Sunday service as we have in the past.  These services will not be open to the public.
  • We will no longer be holding worship at our other regularly scheduled times (Wednesday morning, Saturday evening, or late Sunday Morning). Sunday morning education hour has also suspended until further notice.
  • All Bible studies this week have been cancelled, as well as all outside groups and organizations until further notice.  This includes but is not limited to:
    • Weekly Bible studies
    • Grace Evening Guild
    • Ladies’ Guild
    • Altar Guild
    • Quilters
    • TOPS
    • Line Dancers
    • Boy Scouts
    • Choir
    • Handbells
  • All essential meetings will be held via teleconference whenever possible
  • The preschool has also announced that they have closed today (March 16) through April 3 at the earliest.
    • Butter braid orders are due this coming weekend to the church office, so please consider ordering online.  Pickup will still take place as scheduled with as little in-person contact as possible
Even with these changes, we are still here to care for you in any way we can.  Please continue to feel free to reach out to the church, to our pastors, our DCE, and the rest of our staff via phone, e-mail, and other means.
We are working on some more opportunities to provide spiritual care through technology and other means while limiting in-person social contact, so be on the lookout for some new things as time goes.
The staff and leadership will be re-evaluating this situation next week Monday, if not before.
Finally, and most importantly, please continue to pray for our congregation, our nation, our leaders, first responders, and everyone else as they are affected by this pandemic.
May God’s peace and comfort be with you all!
– Pastor Gimbel

Saturday, March 14, 2020

The following letter was communicated via e-mail to the congregation on Saturday, March 14, 2020 from Pastor Andy Gimbel:

Brothers and Sisters in Christ

“Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in Me.” (John 14:1)

Jesus spoke these words to His disciples in the upper room just hours before He was to be arrested and crucified. Today there is perhaps similar anxiety over the COVID-19 “Coronavirus” and the flurry of headlines as a reaction to it.  Let us together take comfort in the hope we have in God through Christ Jesus, our God who is bigger than this situation and bigger than any situation the world has ever known!

So, how is the COVID-19 “Coronavirus” affecting things at Holy Cross?  Holy Cross has been in communication with the St. Charles County Public Health deparment, the LCMS Missouri District, each sending formal letters with suggestions and resources.  The pastors and staff have been checking in daily to both the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Previention (CDC) to get the latest information.  Let us share with you what our plans are right now, the afternoon of Friday, March 13.

1. We will still continue to hold our regular worship services. We believe there is great value in meeting together as the people of God (Hebrews 10:25).  Our worship services are at 5 PM, 8 AM, and 10:30 AM this weekend, with Sunday School and adult Bible class from 9:15 to 10:15.

2. Though we still will be having worship, we encourage all our members to play it safe.  If you are among those who are at an increased risk of contracting a germ or bug of any sort, OR if you are yourself feeling sick, please be encouraged to stay home.  Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ.  Salvation is not based off of your church attendance patterns (thank goodness for that, right?)  As we have shared during times of inclement weather, church is a “get to” rather than a “have to.”

3. Some things will change slightly. We will be doing away with the formal pre-service handshakes.  We will forego passing the offering plates throughout the congregation and have plates sitting in the back as you exit.  Our Pastors and elders will go to the sacristy and wash their hands before the Lord’s supper (previously they were only using hand sanitizer).

4. Some things will stay the same.  Pastors will still be friendly and greet you before and after each service.  We will still offer both the individual cup and the common cup for communion.  We are still live streaming our 8 AM service on our website (hcross.com home page) and keeping our service archive up-to-date (vimeo.com/hcross). We still offer online giving (hcross.com/give).  We will still continue to hold meetings as scheduled throughout the week. Most importantly, we still proclaim Christ crucified and risen for you!

5. Continue to practice good hygiene in general, such as: washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoiding touching your mouth, nose, or eyes with unwashed hands, avoiding close contact with others who are ill, coughing and sneezing into your sleeve at the elbow.  Please see the CDC or other government health organizations for more precautions and details.

6. Finally, please join us in prayers.  Pray for all those who have contracted the COVID-19 “Coronavirus,” all those who have lost a loved one from it, from those whose work brings them in the front lines of this virus (nurses, doctors, and other caregivers).

We cannot thank you enough for your prayers at this time, understanding that God is ultimately in control and will work all things out for good to those who love Him. We trust in His promises and rest in His peace.  I’d like to share with you once again the “Prayer of Good Courage” that I shared at the conclusion of my sermon this past weekend (also known as the Collect for Guidance in our Calling) and invite you to pray it with me:

Lord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending,
by paths as yet untrodden
through perils unknown.
Give us faith to go out with good courage,
not knowing where we go
but only that Your hand is leading us
and Your love supporting us;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

– Pastor Gimbel