Cancelation of All Events Until Further Notice

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Our community, our nation, and our whole world finds itself in a time of significant uncertainty. As new information flows quickly about COVID-19, we are aware of the rapid spread and its potential for future spread. In a time such as this, I pray that we find comfort in the most familiar words of Jesus: “do not worry” and “peace be with you.”

Throughout the past few days, I have been in constant contact with our congregation’s Executive Ministry Team and members of our faith community who work in public health and medicine. We have been monitoring the situation carefully and prudently seeking guidance regarding how we gather as a community. This afternoon, we received further guidance from Governor Roy Cooper, who called for communities of worship to refrain from gathering in the near future.

After prayerful and considerable discussion, Augsburg’s Congregational Council made the unanimous decision that effective immediately, all in-person events at Augsburg will be canceled until further notice.

The Council will work with our trusted partners to review community conditions on a regular basis to determine when it is appropriate for us to gather again as a community. This decision is one that is shared by many of our partner churches in downtown Winston-Salem and throughout the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The exception to this decision is that the Augsburg Overflow Shelter will be able to continue to operate in the Family Life Center through the end of shelter season on March 31. Our partners at City with Dwellings have already instituted a number of contingency plans and procedures to ensure the safety of our guests, volunteers, and City with Dwellings staff. Emily Norris will continue to lead this effort and serve as the liaison between these communities.

Not gathering in-person as a community does not mean that our community of faith will not continue. Pastors Wollner and Carter, Cantor Olsen, and others are working to provide opportunities for worship online and through other mediums. You can expect that this Sunday morning, we will still worship and Christ will still be present, even though we can not physically come together.

Keep an eye out for further information regarding our Sunday worship. Additionally, our staff will be available during the week to address concerns you may have. Our pastors will continue to be available for conversation and care throughout this difficult time. Please let us know if there is anything that your church can do for you.

We know that this is a difficult and surreal time for many. We will continue to be active in our communication efforts in the days and weeks to come to keep you as informed as possible. If you have questions, please ask them. If you have concerns, please share them. We will walk through this time of uncertainty together. Let us keep in prayer those who are impacted by this virus, those who are called to care for them, and all who are impacted in these anxious times. May the peace of Christ continue to sustain us.

God’s peace be with you,

Pastor Paul Wollner
On behalf of Augsburg’s Congregation Council and Staff