December 2020

It seems as if the last ten months have been a whirlwind since we have not gathered in our     typical fashion.   But the blessing of our Gruetli location for Worship has been extraordinary and brought about not only a new way of doing and being the church but also some new friends along the way.  At the November Council Meeting, I shared the following request from our Executive Conference Minister, Rev. Bridget Stevens.

If your congregation has been worshipping or gathering in person again, even with distance and masks and lots of really good safety precautions, please stop, at least through the end of January and maybe until the spring.”

At the meeting, it was agreed upon to be in Covenant with the request of the Conference and to promote the safety of our congregation.  Henceforth,  we have been worshiping at Gruetli!   However, with the cold weather approaching, Gruetli isn’t going to be feasible 100% of the time.  We will continue with Gruetli through December, including Christmas Eve, if the weather cooperates.   On those Sundays that we can’t gather at Gruetli; I ask that you use the church website or listen on KTLX at 9:30 am in the Columbus area for Worship.  

So that I can use some vacation, and to keep us apart, we will not have services on December 27th, 2020, or January 3rd, 2021.  Then, unless we are Blessed with a heatwave, we will only gather for online or radio Worship in January.  If something changes, you will be notified by email or the Dial My Calls caller if you have signed up. You can always call the church answering  machine for the most current plan.

 I know this is a challenging plan.  But my brain (and the conference staff) remind me that safety overrides courtesy, and this too shall pass.

I encourage you not to get slothful with your weekly Worship and to make sure to set aside time to listen to or watch Worship and attend Worship in person, as soon as we can safely hold it. See you on Christmas Eve, if not before.   

                                                Blessings, Pastor Adam


August 8/18/2020

Over the last several weeks, many individuals have voiced that they would like to continue worshiping at Gruetli as long as possible. It has not only been a safe haven for us as we need to distance from one another but also desire to gather in closer proximity than any building can afford building but a new and renewing experience as we gather in the beauty of God’s creation.  

The Church Council discussed this at the meeting on 8/18/2020 and has decided that we will continue to gather for Sunday Worship at our Gruetli location until the weather makes it unfeasible.  While services will currently remain at 9:00 am (so we can beat the heat) for the time being, we might need to move them to 10:00 am in the  future so that we can have some heat!  

So for the present time, we will continue Sunday Morning Services at our Gruetli location and on the Radio and via our Church Website. 

So how will we know if Sunday Morning Church services are being moved to a different time or returning to the building?   
You are invited to continue to call the church office answering machine for current information. 

At this time we are asking everyone to call the church office or email and update your information so that we can more easily contact you.


July 2020

We are tentatively considering returning to the use of our St. Luke’s building for worship on Sunday, September 13, 2020 at this time, it is subject to change based upon the COVID-19 numbers not only in Platte County but the surrounding area as well. 

The reopening of our church building for worship during the continuing threat of the coronavirus should not be interpreted as a diminution of the threat of the virus. Failure to adhere to appropriate safeguards during the conducting of such services could result in the continued spread of the virus.   It is imperative that we not let our safeguards down and maintain (6) six feet of physical distancing between our household/family groups.

We are going to require masks since we know that the purpose of a mask is primarily to protect others from you!!!   This is not only the “Golden Rule” but also the “Platinum Rule” The latest data from indicates that for a gathering size of 50 in Platte County Nebraska The risk level is the estimated chance 47%  that at least 1 COVID-19 positive individual will be present at an event the county. 

This being noted, for the time being the service will continue to be around 30-40 minutes in length to minimize our exposure time and to build our tolerance for the use of a mask.  

Services will continue to be available online and radio, but they will be a week behind.  If you would like to join us on Sunday Mornings live from the St. Luke’s Parking lot, there will be designated spots for live radio listening as well.

The following safeguards will be used as we return to the use of the St. Luke’s Building.  They are listed in the order you will notice them and will need to implement them as you come in the doors of the church.  

  1. The ushers and greeters for the Sunday will each be assigned a door. They will not be shaking hands etc. They will be holding open the doors for you so that we are not touching common door handles before we even start!


  1. There will be a hand sanitizing station at each entrance, you are asked to make sure your mask is on and then sanitize your hands before entering the Sanctuary.


  1. Upon entering the Sanctuary, you will see foam pool noodles attached to the pew we would like you to sit on and near the location of that noodle. Please do no touch every row along the way. We have made every effort to try and measure off the 6-foot spaces between family groups where you normally sit. However, this was not completely feasible so please keep in mind the earlier you come you are more likely to get your routine seat.  Some people may need to sit up further than normal.  The balcony will have one row of pews available as well as the reception room will have two rows, if you would feel more comfortable further from others.


  1. For now, there will be no congregational singing, however there will continue to be the use of recorded music and piano/organ music or even a solo, if someone would like to volunteer,


  1. The offering will not be taken during Worship to prevent the common touching of surfaces. There will be a common collection container in the back of the church that you are invited to place your offering in either before or after the service.  Please try not to touch the top of it if possible.


  1. There will not be a greeting line after church. The ushers will dismiss and pace the departure of those present at the conclusion of the service so as to limit/prevent the interaction between parties.  You are asked to not congregate in the church or on the grounds.


  1. There will be no fellowship hour at this time, but it will be evaluated as soon as it is safe to due so.
  2. Please note we will not be able to run the fans or the air conditioner during worship to reduce airflow and the spread of potential particles. They will be ran before people come to worship. 


So what safeguards are occurring behind the scenes that you might not see?

  1. The Hand Sanitation stations will be being filled with the Nebraska Hand Sanitizer which is 80% Alcohol, while our supply of that lasts. We will switch to “Instant Hand Sanitizer” which is 75% Alcohol. These will be filled on Sunday mornings as they evaporate overnight if they are not in an airtight container.


  1. Since all surfaces have been cleaned, between services only visibly soiled surfaces will be cleaned and the Sanctuary will be Disinfected with MARC 10 Quatra-Cide. This product is a broad-spectrum hospital-grade disinfectant which is also a cleaner, detergent, fungicide, deodorizer, virucide and mildewstat. It controls over 120 bacteria, fungi and viruses (Including Coronavirus).  M-10 Quatra-Cide may also be used as a carpet deodorizer to control and reduce the growth of odor-causing bacteria, and as a laundry additive to provide residual bacteriostatic and residual self-sanitizing activity against odor-causing bacteria.  EPA-registered. It can be used on all surfaces including wood, carpet, in the bathroom and many more places. Best of all it comes right here from Mid-American Research Chemical Corp. (MARC) right here in Columbus, NE.   This product is left to airdry so we do not wipe it off decreasing our risk of exposure.

These are the main events that will be occurring. Please feel free to call with any questions. More Information will be provided as we get closer to returning to the building.

4/29/2020 2:00 p.m.

St. Luke’s Friends and Family,

As the Governor discusses re-opening businesses and easing gathering restrictions, congregations are beginning to have consider similar decisions. As much as I wish this was a simple process, it is not. Yes, Government agencies have the authority to tell churches when they can re-open. However, a congregation should not feel compelled to re-open simply because the government permits it! 

As Christian’s one of the places we look to for guidance is of course scripture, I refer to you 1 Corinthians 10 and focus in on 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

“23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”

Like most of scripture the heart of the matter is loving your neighbor as yourself.

The first step in any process is to Assess the situation and how it would effect all of us as neighbors?  Factors for us include: Average age of the members attending and everyone’s vulnerability (such as people with suppressed immunity), and risk tolerance for the members the congregation. Would we really social distance? Would people be able to just use the sanctuary and then go home or would people want use the bathrooms to? Would and could everyone really correctly wear their mask the whole time?  How would we thoroughly sanitize all the spaces used in the church before and after each use? What costs would be involved in taking this precautions (Additional Chemicals and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)). How do we get enough PPE in stock at this time to not cut corners so that we might not, “seek our own good, but the good of others.”

With the COVID-19 numbers growing almost daily in Platte County, I am of the belief that is would not be to the “good of others “ to return to the physical sanctuary and building at this time.  However, I do have a plan so that we may physically gather in proximity together.  In addition, to our current spiritual gatherings via the Weekly Newsletter, Online Worship, Radio and the Birds and Bells Gathering.

Starting on Mother’s Day (Sunday May 10th, 2020) and throughout the month of May, we will be having “Drive-In” services at Gruetli at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays. 

You are invited to:

  • Sit in your vehicle with the windows down
  • Sit in the back of your truck or on the tail gate
  • Use a lawn chair in front of your vehicle as long as you are not within 6-8 feet of a different cohort.
  • Wave or Honk ……. DO NOT TOUCH OR HUG !

   Bring your Coffee or whatever to drink as well during the service.

This will be a shorter service (roughly 30 min) of Prayer and Praise.                                                         You are also invited to bring some bread or a cracker and some grape juice or wine so that we may celebrate the Sacrament of Communion together each week during May. 



Pastor Adam


4/2/2020 10:00 a.m.

For the Foreseeable future there will be NO in Person services at St. Luke’s United Church of Christ. There will be online only events only such as Tuesday Night Bible Study which is live and Worship Services which are being prerecorded.  All members are being sent a weekly bible study mailing to participate in.  If you would like to receive a copy and are not please let the Church Office know.

The weekly services are available online on the website and will be airing on KTLX 91.3 FM.

Preschool sessions are being recorded twice a week and broadcast to our Rainbow Preschool family.

We are being guided by East Central Health District in how to proceed. The church office will be closed to the public, until further notice. We will be in communication with the congregation as the situation changes. Announcements will be made via Facebook, Email and the Church Website and you can always call the church answering machine for the most up to date information.

We appreciate all your patience as we navigate through this very difficult time for our community.

3/14/2020 2:00p.m.

Upon the request of the Local Health Authorities, we are suspending services, effective immediately and until further notice, to get ahead of the coronavirus.”

Please call the Church Answering machine at 402-564-8862 or Check the Church Website for the most up to date information.



St. Luke’s COVID-19 Plan 3/13/2020

The coronavirus outbreak, both in Nebraska and nationally, is being closely monitored by the Council, Staff, and Preschool Board concerning how it affects the operation of St. Luke’s Rainbow Preschool and  St. Luke’s United Church of Christ.

Our prime resources for decision making during the time concerning the COVID-19 virus is the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with the local health department.

St. Luke’s United Church of Christ and Rainbow Preschool will follow proven procedures to limit the spread of illnesses and prepare for contingencies.

The following precautionary measures are being used at this time to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 :


The Preschool’s closure will be based upon the status of the Columbus Public Schools as well as the Lakeview Public school District.  If your child does not feel well, you are encouraged to keep them home and monitor the situation.  An emphasis on Hand Hygiene will be part of the programming, additional precautionary measures are pending at this time, which may include the monitoring of a child’s temperature when they arrive in the morning.   


Church Services and Fellowship:

  • Greeters are asked not to shake hands or have contact with those they greet.
  • During the “Passing of the Peace,” please share some non-physical greeting, such as saying hello or a smile.
  • The Offering Plate will be placed at the back of the Church, and you are requested to put your offering in it as it will not be passed during worship.
  • Social Distancing will be encouraged.
  • During the fellowship hour, only disposable items are to be used.
  • Hand-Sanitizer is available and all are encouraged to use it upon entering church.


The following additional actions have taken place:

  • The Community Lenten Lunches are canceled.
  • Messy Church has been canceled for March; we will reevaluate for April if the risk has decreased.
  • Pastor Adam’s Ordination has been Postponed.