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Dear Sisters, Brothers, and Friends in Christ,
Welcome to worship! Virtual style!
To join our worship service, simply click on the link below. If you have any trouble with this link, you can also access the worship video via the link that you will find on our WCC website or Facebook page.
  • It might help us to feel even more connected if we all “tune in” at 10 A.M. today.
  • But feel free to join us for worship whenever and however often you wish.
Connected by the Rev  Jeffrey D  Braun  March 15, 2020
Worship service, Sunday, March 15
Connected by the Rev. Jeffrey Braun
We have also provided fun, faith-based materials for children to use during our service. Simply click on the link below to download these printable materials.
1. God Calls Me. Coloring sheet
2. Children's Worship bulletin

We are grateful that you will be worshipping with us as we continue to live into our Winnetka Congregational Church covenant, “To walk together in all God’s ways.”
God’s Peace,
Jeffrey D. Braun
Senior Pastor
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Date: March 12, 2020
Subject: Please Read - An Important Message from Our Senior Pastor

Dear Sisters, Brothers, and Friends in Christ,

As COVID-19 continues to spread, our congregation is asking what countless people and organizations are asking: How can we respond? As a church, our response will be based on science and facts, research and discussion, prayer, and what will best ensure the well-being both of our congregants and of the broader human community of which we are an inseparable part. Equally, our response will be grounded in our faith in God, our unbreakable spiritual union as a church, and in our belief that Jesus is with us in every possible trial.

COVID-19 presents an extraordinary challenge. In order to be part of the solution-and not part of the problem-our response as a church and as Christians needs to be equally extraordinary. We want to protect our church members from either contracting or transmitting this illness (however unintentionally or unknowingly). More broadly, we want to do whatever we can to prevent the kind of avoidable spike in infections that could overwhelm our healthcare system and/or put anyone more at risk.

As such, with the full support of our Executive Committee, and grounded in our Congregational values, our church will take the following steps. We appreciate deeply your personal willingness to honor and support our church's response. And, we will endeavor to keep you updated as things develop (as they surely will).

· As of March 15, we will move to "virtual" worship. This means that WCC will NOT offer worship on Sunday morning in person in the sanctuary. Rather, we will offer worship remotely. Our church staff is already collaborating on how to provide this. Our "virtual" worship will not be exactly like our usual "live" services. It will, however, offer us a chance to gather in the Spirit at our usual worship hour (or whenever you might choose to watch it). We will provide further details over the next 24-48 hours. "Virtual" worship will continue until facts warrant our return to our usual model.
· Our Servants Mission Trip to Puerto Rico has been postponed. We look forward to rescheduling the Servants trip as soon as that is feasible and safe. Pastor Sarah will provide updates as they are available. Should anyone wish a refund for their child's trip fee, we will gladly provide it. Postponing is surely a deep disappointment to our youth, their families, our Faith Guides, and our whole church. That said, the spiritual momentum, energy, and bonds forged in preparing for this trip will endure despite this change in plans. This is a delay. But not a denial.
· Spiritual Enrichment is cancelled until further notice: Associate Pastor Jeffrey Phillips is looking into how we might offer virtual options in the interim.
· Youth Programming is cancelled until further notice: The staff is looking into ways to maintain a sense of connection during this hiatus. Details will be forthcoming. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either Associate Pastor for Children, Family and Youth, Sarah Lohrbach or our Church School Coordinator, Shelli Brown
· All regular church meetings, gatherings, study- or book-groups, and rehearsals are cancelled until further notice. All meetings should move to a virtual model, using telephones, conference-call technology (available on all cell phones), internet-based meeting programs (such as Zoom or WebX), or FaceTime. In the coming days, the church staff will provide input on how to use Zoom, should you wish to. If you have questions, please contact our Executive Director of Operations, Patti Van Cleave It is important that we honor this suspension of the use of our facility and not make exceptions that will undermine our collective response.
· Pastoral Care and Care & Calling: Our pastoral staff and our lay Call and Calling team will move to a virtual model of care, relying on calls, cards, and emails. We will be especially attentive to those who might feel or be more vulnerable or isolated in this period. Please contact Associate Pastor Jeffrey Phillips with questions
· Rummage Sale: Executive Committee and I are in close conversation with our Rummage chairs to determine if we will be able to proceed with Rummage, which is, of course, not until May. We will keep everyone closely posted.

COVID-19 presents a fluid and serious challenge. And our response needs to be robust, concerted, and willing. For further updates about how COVID-19 is developing and for key tips on personal care, how to mitigate the chances of infection (such as handwashing and social distancing) and what to do if you feel sick, we recommend the CDC website For more local information, you may also visit:
· Illinois Department of Public Health:
· Cook County Department of Public Health:

It will feel strange, perhaps even scary for some, to respond as we are. Not being able to gather in our beloved church building will inconvenience and unsettle us. But it is for our good and for the common good.

And let us remember that in this or in any trial, God never ceases to love and guide us. In the face of challenges, however extreme, our call to be "church"-to be that ever-connected, ever-connecting, ever-caring body of Christ alive in the world-does not dwindle. It only grows stronger! This is an extraordinary time. So, let our faith, our thoughtfulness, our prayerful actions, and our compassion be extraordinary, too, that we might weather this storm together? both as a family of faith, and as a willing part of the broader human communion.

Wishing you God's Peace, and welcoming any thoughts, concerns, or questions you may have,


Jeffrey D. Braun
Senior Pastor
Dawn Huntsman 
Administrative Assistant
The Rev. Jeffrey D. Braun
Senior Pastor
c: 203.913.2574
The Rev. Sarah A. Lohrbach
Associate Pastor for Children, Family and Youth
c: 815.370.0261
The Rev. Jeffrey L. Phillips
Associate Pastor
c: 847.636.6111
Elaine Harrison
Director of Connections Ministry
c: 773.808-4202
Shelli Brown
Church School Coordinator
Matthew Hunter
Director of Music
Jill Hunt
Patti Van Cleave
Executive Director of Operations
Waldek A. Ziolkowski
Maria Sobczak
Paul Allen, Pastor Emeritus
Joseph A. Shank, Pastor Emeritus

Phone: 847.441.3400
Pastoral Care
A reminder: When you or a loved one is admitted to a hospital or other health care facility, please let your pastors know by phone or email. Due to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), such organizations are prohibited from providing confidential information to anyone, including clergy. Contact any of us at 441-3400 or via our emails.

 Jeffrey D. Braun | Jeffrey L. Phillips | Sarah A. Lohrbach
725 Pine Street, Winnetka, IL 60093
Copyright © 2020 Winnetka Congregational Church, All rights reserved.

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