EMERGENCY PHONE (941) 548-6163




In recent UPdates we highlighted the broad scope of our planning to safely re-open Messiah Lutheran Church for in-person worship. In line with guidance from the Churchwide Office and Presiding Bishop in Chicago, our Synod Office and Synod Bishop in Tampa, and CDC Guidelines, in-person worship requires several steps in order to proceed safely.

The minimum safety precautions include, among others, hand sanitizing stations at all public entrances, the use and wearing of masks, and the taking of temperatures of all persons entering the building.  We have had these items on order with suppliers since the latter part of March. At the time the sanitizer stations and sanitizer, masks, and thermometers were ordered, they were immediately placed on backorder with an anticipated shipping date of mid-June.

In line with the anticipated receipt of the necessary safety equipment in mid to late June, this is the earliest that we can anticipate safely opening our building for in-person worship. Other ELCA congregations in our Conference and Synod are following a similar timeline.

Your personal safety, the safety of our friends and neighbors, as well as our pastoral staff needs to remain paramount in our decision-making processes. These are certainly trying times, and we appreciate your patience and understanding. The risks of getting this wrong, and re-opening too soon and/or without the necessary safety precautions in place, are too dire to imagine.

In the meanwhile, we will continue to provide our thrice-weekly devotions from Pastor Rich, Deacon John, and Deacon Scott, we continue to offer times during the week to gather for study and conversation (with plans to increase these opportunities in the near future), as well as our weekly service recording on the weekend. Our recorded service will likely continue to be posted each weekend, as when in-person worship resumes, there will be social-distancing limitations placed on the number of attendees.

We all long for the day that we can resume in-person worship, and the future time when all limitations will be able to be lifted, until that time, please be assured of our prayers for each and every one of you.

Should you have any questions, you may direct them to us via email

God, our peace and our strength, we pray for our nation and the world as we face new uncertainties around coronavirus. Protect the most vulnerable among us, especially all who are currently sick or in isolation. Grant wisdom, patience, and clarity to health care workers, especially as their work caring for others puts them at great risk. Guide us as we consider how best to prepare and respond in our families, congregations, workplaces, and communities. Give us the courage to face these days not with fear but with compassion, concern, and acts of service, trusting that you abide with us always, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Life in Christ

Includes Praise and Lament

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - June 28, 2020


Though we may prefer to think of God giving us lives of joy and ease, a full life in Christ also includes sorrow and grief. To the extent we are willing to acknowledge God’s presence in every circumstance, our faith becomes integrated and sustainable through a lifetime.

The texts for today offer a survey of faith-full moments for the people of God, from arguably the most disturbing story in all our scriptures (Genesis 22; semicontinuous series) to the proclamation of God’s everlasting faithfulness (Psalms 89 and 13).

Does our worship have a blind spot? Do we avoid faithful lament?

Marked by transformation as clear and life and death (Romans 6), the disciple naturally embodies the gospel of Jesus Christ. Like it or not, this includes moments of sadness, grief, and betrayal that were very much a part of Jesus’ faithful journey. If our lives are identified with Christ, disciples can name both joys and sorrows as dimensions of Christ’s story and purpose.

The greatest challenge of faith for most Christians is the moment of suffering, so this day invites us to practice faithful lament. In an age of denial when difficult things are swept under the rug, we may resist the idea that God wants anything to do with suffering. Our scriptures, however, ensure we do not avoid earth-bound realities. The psalmist wails a prayer in faith that not only laments abandonment by God but also confesses God’s steadfast love (Psalm 13; semicontinuous series). The story of Abraham and Isaac haunts our imaginations when we expect God to make life easy.

Worship calls us to faithfully lament as well as praise. Let today be a service of full-hearted proclamation of the depths of life in Christ.

(c) 2020 Sundays and Seasons

Contact Information  
Messiah Lutheran Church
2691 NE Pine Island Rd
Cape Coral, Florida 33909
Phone 239.995.0133
Fax 239.995.2720
Mobile 941.548.6163

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