Dear Parkside Lutheran,
Starting March 13th masks will be optional at Parkside.
Starting Easter Sunday members are asked to wear Nametags.
Moving forward we plan to have the same masking policy as the Buffalo Public Schools. However, we are delaying making masks optional in worship until the 13th so that we have time to get this information out to all of our members by mail. We will still be requiring all communion assistants and greeters to mask. Additionally, we ask that everyone continue to observe physical distancing, and if you aren’t feeling well, please err on the side of caution and stay home.
For the last two years the leaders of Parkside have prayerfully strived to be faithful to God and neighbor. We recognize that for some this decision comes way too soon. For others this decision has been requested for quite some time. The church council did not make this choice lightly. We want everyone to feel welcomed and empowered to continue to mask if they wish.
Two years ago we were in the middle of Lent when COVID-19 first interrupted our journey to the cross. We find our journey again interrupted, this time by global events such as war and by the ending of mandatory masking. I invite you to reflect on the last two years. How are you feeling? Over the last two years are there spiritual practices you have started or some you have stopped? How can this Lenten season be a return to what nourishes you spiritually?
Over the last two years the community of Parkside has undergone significant changes. We welcomed many new members, we had some members join the church triumphant, and we saw a few members move on to other communities. During this time we have continued to proclaim the Gospel, feed hungry neighbors, sent a member to seminary, and launched a TV ministry that reaches thousands every Sunday with the love of Jesus. What is undeniable is that we have continued to grow in vibrancy and vitality.
As we continue to live into our God given mission we plan to start wearing nametags every Sunday starting on Easter Sunday. We will be providing nametags for everyone who wants one. The hope is that nametags are one small way we can build community with one another. They also help us identify who may be visiting our church for the first time. The nametags will be magnetic and will be stored in the narthex of the church so that folks can grab them on their way into the sanctuary.
We are asking everyone to verify the spelling of their name between now and Palm Sunday, April 10th. A list of everyone’s names will be in the narthex starting this Sunday. We ask that everyone initial next to their household to verify that all in formation is correct. This process will also help us know who considers themselves active members. If you are not able to attend worship in the next five weeks please call or email the church office to verify information. The nametags will cost around $12 dollars. We plan to order for everyone, but donations to offset the cost are welcomed.
Other Important Reminders:
-1 in 3 households in America struggle to afford diapers. We also know
 that diapers are not covered by public assistance programs. For all of
 Lent we will be collecting Diapers. Donations can be brought to the front
 of the Sanctuary.
-On Maundy Thursday (April 14th) we will gather for Dinner Church. This will be
  a healing service constructed around a meal. Worship will be at 6:15pm.
-Good Friday Worship will be at 7:15pm, April 15th
-Easter Sunday is April 17th
As we continue this journey to the cross we give thanks that Christ not only goes with us but also that he has already gone before us. I give thanks to God for each of you and the many ways you support God’s mission through Parkside. If you have any questions or concerns about anything in this letter please do not hesitate to reach out to me. May God Bless You!
                                                                       Pastor Jeremiah