University Evangelical Lutheran Church
and Campus Ministry
The Lampstand                                  May  2020
Our Mission
UELC's Mission:

To Embrace and Share the Love of God in Jesus Christ, as the Holy Spirit Empowers us.

UELC's Guiding Principles:
Jesus is our Lord and Saviour; therefore, we are to:

> Worship God in inspiring, diverse, and creative ways
> Be a community engaged in spiritual practices that attune us to the Holy Spirit's guidance for our living
> Welcome all people in their diversity to worship, learn, and serve with us
> Be a safe place to learn, explore, and debate
> Be generous stewards of the gifts God has given each of us to bless others and care for the natural world
> Continue outreach to, and further develop connections with, the academic communities of Alachua County
> Affirm human rights and work for social justice

Pastor's Corner  
Bishop Suarez  

Coming Back Together for Worship Resources
(Joint effort of Synod Bishops, adapted for the Florida-Bahamas Synod, by Bp. Pedro M. Suarez)
There will be great excitement when we are able to come together for worship again. However, because we are months away from an effective regimen of treatment, and a year away from a vaccine, we will still need to practice excessive hygiene and social distancing. As you're planning ahead, here are some recommendations:
First of all, as your Bishop, I will be updating you weekly on any new information we receive. As for now, I implore you not to return to regular worship in your church buildings for the next couple of weeks.
  • Decide as a Congregation Council when you begin worship again. Just because you can does not mean you should. Consider the age and demographic of your congregation to decide when it is right for you to begin in-person worship again. Pay close attention to the advice of our local health authorities.
  • Check with your insurance carrier; some will not cover you if you begin too soon.
  • Publish your service times and let people know what new practices of physical distancing and hygiene to expect when they return.
  • Insist that people stay at home if they're immunocompromised. Many of our seniors are lonely, bored, and yearning for community in this crisis. They will probably not listen to you unless you insist.
  • Disinfect the public spaces before people arrive, and between each service and gathering.
  • Invite everyone to use face masks even during singing, as Covid19 is airborne.
  • Train ushers/greeters to not shake hands or pass out bulletins. If you have screens in your sanctuary, don't use bulletins at all. If bulletins are necessary, place them spaced out in every-other-pew by Tuesday or Wednesday, as viruses don't live on the paper for more than 4-5 days. Some viruses live only minutes on paper, but we aren't sure about COVID-19 yet.
  • Offering plates should be placed on a table as people enter and exit. Greeters can stand behind the table warmly welcoming worshipers from a distance.
  • Prop open inside and outside doors (and if possible, bathroom doors), so no one touches a doorknob or handle.
  • Pass the peace with a simple bow to those on your right and left.
  • During announcements thank people for coming, and politely remind them not to shake hands or hug yet.
  • Holy Communion instructions will be given later in this report.
  • Offering at the doors as people enter and exit as mentioned above. Use the offering time to talk about the church's and synod's vital ongoing ministries. Let people write checks. Let them know: What's still happening? Why does it matter? How are lives being impacted? How is your church serving people during this crisis physically and spiritually?
  • Offering counters should use the same protocols as bank tellers, sanitizing frequently and sitting at a distance.
  • Greeters stand at the tables as people leave to thank them for coming and answer questions. Encourage greeters to check in with people and listen for needs.
  • Continue to adopt and encourage electronic giving.
Preparing for Communion
As we still are not sure about this virus, not having Holy Communion is the healthiest. However, we know that many are eager to receive our Lord in His Holy Supper. If you decide to take the risk and celebrate the Eucharist, here are some suggestions:
  • Altar Guild and Communion Assistants must think of their work in terms of food service preparation, like going through a drive-through restaurant. Does anyone in your congregation work in the restaurant industry? Have any had food handing training? They could be a helpful resource.
  • We do not recommend parking lot communion until your community has had 14 days of declining cases, and at that point, worship could carefully resume.
  • Communion preparers must wash hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds prior to preparing Communion. Washing is twice as effective as hand sanitizer.
  • Gloves may be used to prepare, but can be deceiving. If a glove touches a contaminated space and then then a plate or tray, it still passes the contamination on. It is best to wash hands thoroughly and frequently.
  • Common cup is usually the most sanitary means of communion since most germs are on the hands. This virus, however, is passed on by airborne droplets, and so we recommend not using either common cup or intinction until Phase 3.
  • Although not recommended yet, plastic and glass individual cups could both be equally clean. Glass and reusable plastic cups should be soaked for a minute in soapy water after the service. Consider using a diluted chlorine soak after washing.
  • Those preparing communion must wash their hands, then place glasses in trays sufficiently spaced so that communicants can take their cup without touching the others. After filling the cups with wine, the trays are placed on the altar. There is still the risk of airborne particles.
  • Plastic-wrapped wafers are being considered (not recommended) and could be emptied onto patens without touching them. There should be separate patens for each communion assistant distributing bread.
  • The wafer is safer: We do not recommend using bread for a while, whether homemade or from the store. Bread requires more handling than wafers.
  • Pastor and communion assistants should wash hands during the offering. Washing is significantly more effective than hand sanitizer. (You've touched stuff during the service.)
  • The pastor should consecrate the elements without touching them. The fraction and elevation are optional and should be omitted for the time being.
  • Those distributing wafers should try to avoid touching communicants' hands as much as possible.
  • Those distributing wine should only touch the trays, holding them out for communicants to take a cup.
  • It is best, for a number of reasons, for communion assistants to commune last. This keeps them attentive to hygiene during distribution, and also makes the congregation aware that communion assistants are confident.
  • Communing in one kind (only wafer) is acceptable, recommended, and appropriate. The crucified and risen Christ is fully present for them in, with, and under one element. (UMG 44D)
Worship Resources
Worship resources are available on the synod webpage and also on the ELCA website:
Below are a litany of return, prayers, and so forth you may use or adapt.
Litany of Return

Based on Psalm 122
Let us give thanks to our God!
I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord!"
Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers."
For the sake of my relatives and friends, I will say, "Peace be within you."
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.
A reading from Hebrews:
Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the
new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21 and since we
have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet
together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day
Let us pray.
O God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, you are our refuge and strength, a present
help in time of trouble. Though the mountains quake in the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and
foam, we will not fear. For many weeks we have not been able to meet, now as we come back together
may our songs of joy and our prayers for thanksgiving rise to you. Hear our grief for all who mourn and
our hope for deliverance from this pestilence. Give us grace to grow and learn from these difficult days,
for you are our hope and salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Processional Hymn:
A Mighty Fortress
O God Our Healer in Ages Past
My Hope is Built on Nothing Less
Now All the Vault if Heav'n Resounds
Prayers of the People
For your church in every time and place, that we might carry on Jesus' ministry of healing. God of mercy,
Hear our prayer.
For Bishop Elizabeth, Bishop Pedro and for our Pastor. God of mercy,
Hear our prayer.
For the world, recovering from this global pandemic. God of mercy,
Hear our prayer.
For all who bear office in our land, especially Donald, our President, and Ron, our Governor, that they might make good decision that benefit all people. God of mercy,
Hear our prayer.
For all who are sick in body, mind or spirit. God of mercy,
Hear our prayer.
For all doctors, nurses, chaplains and all hospitals workers. For those who are working to eradicate this pandemic. God of mercy,
Hear our prayer.
For grocery store workers, truckers and all who keep supply chains open. God of mercy,
Hear our prayer.
For all those who are in need of any kind today, especially those we name before you now.
God of mercy,
Hear our prayer.
For all who have died during this time of pandemic, and for all who are grieving the loss of loved ones in this time of crisis, especially those we name before you now. God of mercy,
Hear our prayer.
In thanksgiving for all your saints. God of mercy,
Hear our prayer.
God of the ages, keep all your beloved children safe from disease. Draw near to us, for only in you can we live in safety.
Into your hands we commend ourselves and all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through Christ our Lord.
+ Bp. Pedro
The Rev. Pedro M. Suarez, Bishop
Florida-Bahamas Synod, ELCA
Council President's Report    
The church council has continued to stay in touch via regular Zoom meetings during this time of quarantine. While we have not had the normal full committee reports, we have been focused on prioritizing issues important to the congregation.

One of the issues we have been discussing is a Synod proposal around "sharing" Pastor Terrance's time with Gethsemane Lutheran Church (GLC) now that their interim pastor has concluded his term of service. Some of you may remember (if you happened to be in church that particular Sunday) that I made an announcement about this proposal at one of our last "normal" Sunday worship services. We are still exploring as a council exactly how this will work, especially in light of the COVID-19 crisis. What is known at this point is that Pastor will be supporting GLC in some capacity, likely beginning near the end of May/beginning of June. Once we are able to resume community worship (more on that later), it is likely the arrangement with GLC will require a change in our worship service (most likely to ~ 10:55 AM although this is not firm) and one day of Pastor's normal office hours will be dedicated to GLC.

Two members of our Council (myself and Vibeke Vala) will meet with two Gethsemane leaders and Pastor Terrance to discuss and explore issues pertaining to UELC sharing Pastor Terrance during this challenging time and beyond. We will keep you updated and seek your input in the coming weeks. I know that yet more change may be difficult to comprehend but for now, let's see these times as an opportunity to connect with and support each other at UELC and Gethsemane.

Becky Borgert, UELC Council President
Wednesday Noon Prayer by Zoom    

Wednesday Noon Prayers by Zoom continues with a 10-minute devotional using "Christ in our home".  Then prayer requests are listed and prayed over each week. The session is then left open for another 20 minutes for optional fellowship. You can also join by phone (see e-mail for calling numbers).   Join by clicking below:
Contact Pastor Jacob at 612-202-8667, if you have problems connecting.

UELC People
May Birthdays  

5/25       Paula Waterman
5/26      Cecilia Noss
5/28      Betty Flanders
5/29      Ronald Gronwall
Continued Prayer Concerns
  -  Prayers for healing: Agnes Martinson, Lois Wilkowske, Dutch Schirmer, Ron and B everly Gronwall, Les O'Brien
Finances Update   

Members that wish to submit their offerings may do so in a couple of ways. You may send your check to either UELC office or mail them to me at 8520 SW 99th Place, 32608. Either way I will get them to the bank. Since there is no cash to be counted, it is appropriate that we don't need two counters, as we normally have. In addition to the deposit book entries, each check is photocopied for our records and accountability.

Jim Yale
Family Promise Update   

UELC truly stepped up for Family Promise of Gainesville in the month of April and the first full month of sheltering in place, and donations were met with heartfelt thanks from Director Jayne Moraski and Case Manager Vicki Knox.
  • Several of us provided home cooked or take away meals during what would have been our regular host week in April.
  • A couple more sent donations to church to be forwarded on to FP for use during this crisis.
  • Eight Publix gift cards were also donated
  • Members donated $900 in a short 2-day window, earning a $500 matching grant from ELCA's "Our Daily Bread" response to Covid-19 fund. Jayne suggested the best use of all or much of these funds is for purchasing food at 18 cents per pound at Bread for the Mighty food bank.
All four families now are living in apartments. The two families who were staying in hotel rooms have been secured a temporary apartment, negotiated in price as they had been going vacant during the crisis. This means all four families have facility to cook!  
At this point, families will shelter in place until July 31. Whether the church shelter rotation will be reinstated then or not will be decided as time will tell. If so, we would be first in rotation to host, starting Aug. 2.
Finally, speaking of firsts, we were the first host congregation for Janice's family of 5 boys, you might remember. Her middle son was in need of a kidney transplant, requiring a more permanent home just to get on the waiting list, which FP enabled in March. Here is a letter of gratitude she wrote on Family Promise's facebook page (please join the FB page if you haven't already!)
Peace, gratitude and health!

Amy Schirmer


LIFT is on hold until we can have group meetings again.  Ray Goldwire will give a presentation on "Bee keeping" in May if restrictions are lifted by then.  Keep safe, practice social distancing, and participate in the on-line activities Pastor Jacobs is producing. 

Ron Bauldree

Young Adult Ministry  
Cam pus/Young Adult Ministry weekly meetings on Thursdays, 5:30-7:00.
Young Adult and Student Ministry continues to meet by Zoom and are studying the Bible. Right now they are going through the Gospel of John.
For inquiries contact Krissi and Dan Norford ( 
Music Ministry  
Choir is not meeting. Crystal and Moses continue to work on the music selection and virtual "practice" on a song by song basis in order to adapt to virtual worship. This is changing each week as we become more equipped. Crystal will be in touch with choir members directly as and if this changes.
The Bee - What's Happening?      

The Bee is not meeting for now.
The Bee    
Adult Forum      

Adult Forum is not meeting for now.

Contact Dan Norford for more information:
Village of Hope 

At Village of Hope in Haiti the school and the health center remain closed due to COVID-19.  Please remember them in your prayers during this time.
Our Pastor and Staff
Crystal Jacob
   Minister of Music (Direct Choir and music-related ministries)

Moses Choi
  • Evelyn Simmons
    • Administrative Assistant
In This Issue

June  Newsletter Deadline

Please send any articles for the June newsletter by May 28th to Andy Noss
May  Worship Volunteers

Assisting Ministers
May 3  
May 10 
May 17 
May 24 
May 31   

Altar Guild
May 3  
May 10 
May 17 
May 24 
May 31 

May 3  
May 10 
May 17 
May 24 
May 31 

May 3  
May 10 
May 17 
May 24 
May 31 

May 3  
May 10 
May 17 
May 24 
May 31 
Sound Assistant
May 3  
May 10 
May 17 
May 24 
May 31 
May 3  
May 10 
May 17 
May 24 
May 31 

Still Collecting Diapers!

We are still collecting infant/toddler diapers for Gainesville Community Ministry. You can put them in the lime green container in the Kaiser Center. 

Gainesville Community Ministry says they often get plenty of newborn and small infant diapers, but not a lot of the larger size (fitting 20 pounds and up). 

So, if you could, donate some of the larger sizes. 

If you have questions, you can contact Krissi Norford. 

University Lutheran Church | | |
1826 W University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32603
Phone: 352-373-6945
Fax: 352-373-1679