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April - Matthew 9:9

Wish it was an April Fools' Joke

Dear Faithful Followers,

Don’t you wish someone would just say April Fools’? Just 'take back' these last two weeks--restart and reset. I know for sure that I do! I miss seeing the kids in the hallways and interacting with all of the parents. I miss the events and activities that we had planned the last two weeks and the upcoming weeks, depending on how long this will last. Just knowing that we may finish the school year in this manner hurts my heart.

I was messaging with a friend, telling them the hardest thing is that I am losing track of time-- what day it is, what time it is. Not having the daily routine of school really confuses me. Of course, I do have more time to do some housework and organizing, just ask Rebekah! In reality, I am also super sad for our 8th graders and the high school Seniors in our community. These are special years for them and although they will never forget this year, they are getting cheated out of some amazing experiences. Same with college athletes. With sports being canceled, it may cause someone to lose out on a college scholarship. Sports were the highlights of my high school days, and if I couldn’t compete, I would have been really lost.

Then there's Church! I miss not seeing all of you each week. There are days these past few weeks I would just sit in the empty Church, doing my devotions, and get a tear in my eye because I want you to be here, too. With that being said, we are doing what we can with video and YouTube. Pastor and I are recording each service so that you can have some routine and normalcy. Our goal is to provide more resources to you in the near future as well. We have to remember that WE are THE CHURCH. It isn’t the beautiful building that sits on our property--it is US that lives and breathes our Mission to Reach Out, Educate, and Nurture through the Gospels. We can do that from home. 

As this virus spreads, it is affecting people we know and love, and we need to be praying for them. We also have others that need prayers who are going through tough times financially or with health issues. Please continue to pray for Phil Stapleton and his family as they battle this cancer. We uplift him and his family to find comfort in our Lord Jesus. Lastly, continue to pray for us, as a Church and School. We have always been blessed believing that God will take care of us. We are asking you to continue to think and pray about your tithes and first-fruit offerings. Please visit our website and click online giving. You can sign up for automatic giving or a one-time giving. We have been blessed by some of the companies we do business with to postpone bills or delay payments. So far we have been able to cover payroll. We are also looking at all the different programs available now, the CARES Act being one of them. Concordia Planning Services and CEF have been a huge help through these uncharted waters. But the truth of it remains: we have payroll and we have bills. If we don’t have offerings and tuition, we will be hurting. Give online - this eliminates the need to handle money for our Finance volunteers. The less physical money they have to touch the better off they'll be. Please continue to pray for all of St. Matthew: its members, Pastor, and employees, that we may continue doing God's work.

Please let us know if we can be of any help to you: praying, help with food items, or just a phone call. We are here for you during this time. We are needed in this world now more than ever before. People are looking for something more, something higher, someone who is in control. Of course, we know who has all of this under control, and that is God. He is the One we need to be shining our lights to.

I was amazed --and even giggled-- seeing Pastors and Churches try to figure out how to setup online services! I follow a handful of Lutheran Churches, and even more Pastors on Facebook and YouTube, and although some online services were very low tech, they got it done! They figured it out and the Words of God are flowing through the entire world. You see, when we preach and praise God in-house, only those of us who are there actually hear it. But putting sermons and services online, the entire world gets to hear about Jesus and the Love our God has for us.

Our Service that we put up yesterday on YouTube (at the time of this writing), already has 184 views! The Service we put up last week has over 300 views, and I can tell you, it's not just our members who are watching! Check out these analytics provided by YouTube:

  • 8.3% of the 300 viewers came from searching “Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.” We also got views because our video popped up when someone searched “Grace Central Lutheran” and “Central Lutheran Church" and even when someone searched “church service”
  • 70% of the viewers are not subscribed to our YouTube channel

If you are watching us on YouTube, please subscribe as it helps the rankings of our videos, resulting in more people seeing them, but it also helps us obtain a custom URL {aka web address}.

We love you all and we are praying for you. Stay safe!

Your Humble Servant, 

Dan Burk