Atonement Lutheran is doing an outreach mission project for the month of September where we will be accepting urgently needed items for the Cornerstone Rescue Mission.
Be part of this project and help by placing the items listed below in the collection box located in the Atonement Lutheran welcome center:
- Laundry Detergent
- Dish Soap
- Personal Hygiene Items. (Soap, tooth brushes and paste, deodorant, razors, etc.)
Atonement Lutheran Church, 602 Auburn Dr, Rapid City, SD 57701
If you have questions, contact: 605 343 3155 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Atonement Lutheran!
It is so good to finally be with you, thank you for your patience and support in this time of transition for my family and I.
The keyword here is patience which is what we have to show a lot of right now. As I had mentioned in my letter to the congregation, this is a difficult time where I feel grief and it left me hopeless at times and maybe you feel the same way.
The feelings you feel right now are all valid. This is not an easy time. But this time will pass. There will be a day again where we can sing hymns and hug each other.
We all know that. We know that day is coming. In the meantime I want to share with you words of encouragement from Bishop James Hazelwood of the New England Synod that deeply resonated with me and might encourage you too:
Bishop James Hazelwood is in his bicycle clothes and helmet, about to go up a hill on his bicycle: (paraphrased)
“I am trying to make it up this hill but I wanted to stop and say: Faith? You bet! Cannot do it without it. Look, we are in the middle of a crises and it is three fold: It is the corona virus, it is the climate crises, and it is a crises of meaning in our culture and society. But we are in the middle of it. And this is where God has placed us and where God has called us and we are not going to look back in nostalgia for the way it was. We are going forward and the Holy Spirit is going to lead us there. And I am hoping to catch up with the Holy Spirit.”
I want to invite you to call on the Holy Spirit not to wait up for you but to help you catch up.
Please do not hesitate to contact me via email or phone. You find me at the office Wednesdays, 2-6 pm but I am more than happy to schedule a date and time with you outside those hours.
May you be blessed with peace, believe in the beauty of hope, be accompanied by the Spirit of love, and receive the comfort of faith. Amen
Pastor Sonja Pilman
Dear Piedmont Valley Lutheran Church
I am overjoyed to be with you in person now! It was great getting to know you a bit and worship
with you on GoToMeeting back in May.
I have started as your pastor during a difficult time. Many of you are feeling grief, frustration,
and helplessness as I do. But as difficult as this time may be, we are still church together. No
matter how we meet, be it online, in the parking lot, outside or in our building, we proclaim the
good news and are church together! My hope and prayers are that we will be stronger and closer
as a church when this pandemic is over and we can go back to normal.
I understand that everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to how we can worship
We as the council have talked about what worship will look like for us until the end of August:
- We will continue to offer you being part of the worship service through a streaming
service like GoToMeeting or Zoom. This is a valid way to be part of worship, know that
we will continue to acknowledge and welcome you when you are joining us this way.
- We will continue to offer the radio transmission (99.3 FM) so you can join us at the
church in your car or on a camping chair under a tree outside with a boom box should
you prefer that.
I will set up a table outside the church and bless the elements for communion 30 minutes
before worship service. You can come get them to take home, or to your car, or chair
until 8:50 AM.
- We will worship outside starting this Sunday, July 26. Please sit at least 6 feet apart from
people who are not in your household. Even after worship do not stand closer than 6 feet
to people when you want to talk to them. You are invited to wear a mask even outside.
You can bring your own camping chair or use one the church provides.
- When it rains we will have service inside and continue to have people sit 6 feet apart.
Inside, masks are required for the whole service. Since people can have the virus but
show no symptoms at all, we wear a mask even when we feel fine to protect the most
vulnerable of our congregation. Should you not want to wear a mask, please use either
the radio transmission or the GoToMeeting as an option. The parking lot has WIFI and
you can take part in the service on your smart device.
- After service we can stand outside and have a social distancing coffee hour. Bring your
own coffee, juice, snacks and we can connect with each other.
And the virtual connection will stay open for at least 30 minutes to have social time.
A big thank you to the council and leadership for offering many options for worship! I am
impressed how much you have done and want to lift up the hard work!
I am not an expert for the situation we are in and rely on authorities to help us make decisions
during this time. The South Dakota Synod does not recommend us having in person worship yet.
Most ELCA churches in the area are not having in person worship yet. As your pastor I see how
this health crisis is turning into a mental health crisis and coming together as God’s family is
important. The Synod recommends us to wear masks, not to sing, and to social distance especially
when we meet inside. As they are there to give us guidance like this I trust their expertise and
hope you do too.
I am counting on your help to make the most vulnerable of our church feel more safe so we all
feel comfortable to worship whatever way we chose to worship. This verse has helped me in
approaching the worship question: “But in humility, consider others as more important than
yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3
The council will revisit our guidelines every month and adjust them according to the guidance of
the Synod, the CDC, and the South Dakota Health Department.
Please contact me if you have questions and thank you
for your support and prayers,
Pastor Sonja Pilman