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 Statement of Sanctuary
As a community of the people of God, we are called to minister to all
people in our world, knowing that the world is often an unloving place.

Christ calls us to reconciliation and wholeness.  We are challenged by

the Gospel to be agents of healing within our society.




As we have come together over the past months and year, we have been training and storing reserves not knowing always how we will use them.

We have gathered around ancient scriptures, preaching, singing and music, a radical welcome against injustices, fellowship and times of silence and breathing to remind us that in God is a deep peace and lasting hope.

Who knew just a few days and weeks ago, life could bring us here.  Life has always been uncertain, yet we have been able to live with an illusion that we can control life.  Each year Lent puts before us our mortality and finitude.  Today, we stare at them in the face.

Today, we draw from the deep well of our faith.

We are fasting from all kinds of things these days.  Isolation and distancing could lead us to turn in on ourselves.  Prayer takes on new urgency as we hold close those who are isolated, stressed or ill.  Pray for those who do not have a home in which to shelter.  Pray that we would all find our home in God.

I invite you to take the time for silent prayer.  Find a quiet space, hold some sacred or special object, make the sign of the cross and pray for the body of Christ, pray for the health of the world, pray for me, your pastor who needs healing and health, and pray for yourself that you would know that you are loved and named beloved.

We have entered into a period when all the community is not able to be present together in bread and wine.  All meals are holy. I ask you take a moment for a table prayer and blessing before eating.  Remember farmers, food processors, grocers, and those who are anxious this day.

We stand on the edge of the tomb as we stare into the face of our vulnerabilities, uncertainties of what this virus means for our bodies, for our economy, for the world and for our lives.  


Now, You are the body of Christ and individually members of it.   The peace of Christ be with you!

Pastor Jason Bense

Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer

Gethsemane Lutheran Church


Do not be afraid!”  The message of the angels is the assurance of our faith amidst all of life’s unusual and difficult circumstances.


Living in a time of a world wide pandemic is a new experience for nearly all of us.  Presently, the call for public health preventative measures has the hope and potential to prevent, slow and stop the spread of COVID-19 and potentially exponential illness.



This Week's Calendar

Bible Study in the Easter Season
Tuesdays at 1pm and Thursdays at 11am:  
ONLINE Zoom Meeting 935-429-5852.  Phone access is (312)626-6799 then type in zoom meeting number 935-429-5852#.  If password is required (pray2heal).

Daily Online Prayer
4 pm - Daily Prayer and Check in with Pr. Jason 
ONLINE Zoom Meeting 935-429-5852.  Phone access is (312)626-6799 then type in zoom meeting number 935-429-5852#.  If password is required (pray2heal).

Sunday - April 26  -
Worship In the Home, 10 am,  ONLINE Zoom Meeting 935-429-5852.  Phone access is (312)626-6799 then type in zoom meeting number 935-429-5852#.  If password is required (pray2heal).

If you are unable to join by phone, smart device or computer, please join in solidarity of personal prayer and quiet during these most holy days.  If can, let me know how you are doing, and I will try to do the same.

Choose love. Please continue to reach out to one another to ensure everyone is fed, well, and staying healthy.   We want to pray for those who are ill.  I want to know if you are ill; please call or  e-mail me at

We are always stronger together, stronger in faith, and sustained by grace.

Christ's peace,

Pastor Jason Bense


Let us pray.  Dear God, we give you glory for your wonderful creation of Life.   We ask for your help in conquering the coronavirus which is causing havoc and taking lives throughout the world. Help us work together with all countries to save lives and protect all care workers and all those on the front lines.  Help us develop equipment to protect them and help us develop cures for this world crisis. We ask for strength and your guiding Spirit for all world leaders and for continued hope for all of us. Let your love show through each of us as we deal with our daily needs. We thank you in the name of Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Bishop Eaton writes:  “This pandemic and the need for social distancing is happening during Lent. Communion means community and Real Presence. Could it be that one of our Lenten disciplines in these days is fasting from the Eucharist?  When disaster or a crisis strikes the urge is for people to come together. Now the recommended response is to stay apart. Could this Lent be a time of reflection, particularly about what it means to be the body of Christ and the power of absence for good or for ill. How do we stay connected when gathering is discouraged? How do we care for the neighbor in need?






The Return of the Prodigal Son

 "The anguish of abandonment was so biting that it was hard, almost impossible, to believe that voice.  But friends, seeing my despair, kept urging me to step over my anguish and to trust that there was someone waiting for me at home.  Finally, I chose for containment instead of more dissipation and win to a place where I could be alone.  There, in my solitude, I started to walk home slowly and hesitantly, hearing ever more clearly the voice that says: 'You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests."  Henri Nouwen reflects in our book for Lent, The Return of the Prodigal Son.  Copies of the book are available in the church office and the focus of our study on the midweek gatherings of Lent.



© 2020 Gethsemane Lutheran Church
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