Dear Church,
 
After a potential exposure to COVID-19, a couple of your staff (including me) are getting tested and being quarantined. So far symptoms are mild or non-existent, and we hope to keep everyone that way. However, we are at a place where we need to take an important pause in some church functioning to make sure we continue to keep our building safe. 

Your Session has voted to pause all non-essential work at the church for the next two weeks. Lynnette will remain in the office to receive mail and maintain communications, but most of the staff will be working remotely until the two weeks are over. Please be patient with all of us as we navigate what needs to be done to keep everyone safe and healthy. Here are some important changes happening over these next two weeks: 

  • Worship will be recorded and shared on Facebook and then posted on our website again like we did previously. Sorry – I’m quarantined!
  • We are no longer collecting ornaments for a Community Christmas tree. I know, we’re bummed too! We’ve switched gears on the Advent wreath stuff too…see below for the details.
  • All committee meetings and gatherings will be online for the next two weeks. This includes Sunday School, youth activities, PW, etc.
  • Please do not come to the church for two weeks. If something absolutely cannot wait, call ahead, wear your mask, and keep contact minimal.
Thank you for being flexible, kind, and caring for one another and for our community as we do our part to mitigate the contagions. We hope to be back live from the sanctuary the Sunday after Thanksgiving to kick off Advent worship! 

Peace be yours,
Pastor Lindsay

PLEASE KEEP IN PRAYER…
Chuck Rowen who is at home recovering from recent surgery; Eydie Swanson who is recovering following double knee replacement surgery; and Sheree Palm who had breast cancer surgery last week – there are more opportunities to supply meals for the Palm family. Click HERE to sign up.

CONNECTIONS SHELTER VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED!
Because the Connections Shelter provides an essential service to our neighbors experiencing homelessness, they will still be operating while our church doors are closed. This means they still need volunteers! IF YOU ARE FEELING WELL and have not had any exposure to COVID-19, please consider signing up HERE to volunteer for the week of November 15. This is the week we are assigned to support Connections’ efforts alongside Hosanna Lutheran Church. If you have questions or concerns, please call April Austin at 763-300-8692.

VIRTUAL ADVENT COFFEE HOUR
Over the next couple of weeks, we’re challenging you to make your own Advent wreath! Use a sturdy paper plate, get some greenery (fresh or otherwise!) to make a wreath, find four votive (or other) candles of some kind that are tucked away in a drawer or on a shelf! We will also host an Advent Coffee Hour over ZOOM on November 29 at 11:30 am to catch up with one another and share our Advent wreath creations!

SUNDAY MORNINGS  LIVE-STREAMED WORSHIP ON FACEBOOK

Remember to join us each Sunday at facebook.com/FPCmankato for worship at 10 am! If you are unable to watch live, you can always access recordings of all of the above at fpcmankato.org/virtualchurch

POINSETTIA ORDERS DUE NOVEMBER 22
Just like everything else this year, we need to be creative with our Advent tradition of poinsettias. This year, due to COVID-19, flowers and suppliers are limited, so a pre-order had to be placed before we could even get the news out. That said, poinsettias are still coming to brighten our Advent worship space, and we are still making a list of all your loved ones for whom you’d like to purchase a poinsettia. Plants will be donated to local rehab facilities (Becky’s Flowers will deliver for us) UNLESS you let us know that you would like to pick yours up at church. Click HERE for an order form .

PW CIRCLE MEETING NEXT WEEK
PW Circle will meet on Wednesday, November 18 at 9:30 am at Laurie Drake’s home, 23 Summer Hill Road, instead of in the church lower level as previously planned. Laurie will lead the Horizons Bible Study lesson #3: Into the Light: Women’s Lament. Karen Nelson and Norma Thomas will provide professionally bagged refreshments. Please notify Sally Coomes at 625-9279 or scoom5978@gmail.com if you wish to add your name to the list of attendees. The Thank Offering will be dedicated at our meeting.

FAIR TRADE MARKET
Mankato Fair Trade has created an opportunity for you to shop at an online Fair Trade Market this year since our annual in-church Fair Trade market and the Fair Trade kiosk in the River Hills Mall will both be unavailable. Jane Dow of Mankato Fair Trade will order your items through Joyce Bucklin of Care & Share/10,000 Villages in Mountain Lake. Joyce will deliver the items to the various participating churches.

Here’s how it will work:

  1. Decide what products you want. Write down the quantity and the SKU # by viewing these websites: 10,000 Villages at https://www.tenthousandvillages.com/ or SERRV at https://www.serrv.org/
  2. Place your order with Jane Dow by MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23 via email: janedow47@gmail.com or give her a call at 507-469-5537. Be sure to mention that your delivery location is First Presbyterian Church.
  3. Joyce Bucklin at Care & Share/10,000 Villages in Mountain Lake will order the products with a 20% discount as well as no shipping charge.
  4. When Joyce Bucklin receives the orders, she will sort them and deliver our church’s orders to FPC some time on Wednesday, December 2. You can pick them up on December 3 or later. Church office hours are Monday thru Thursday, 9 am – 2 pm and Friday, 9 am – 12 noon.
  5. You will give Lynnette a check made out to Care & Share to pay for your order when you pick up your items. Please ring the doorbell at the parking lot entrance and Lynnette will give you instructions. Expect to sign in at the door and wear a mask.

Buying Fair Trade items supports fair prices to producers, good work conditions, good environmental stewardship, workplace empowerment and transparency, no slave or child labor and a better quality of life for worker communities. Please contact Jane Dow janedow47@gmail.com or Sally Coomes scoom5978@gmail.com with any questions. Thank you!