EMERGENCY PHONE (941) 548-6163




In recent UPdates we highlighted the broad scope of our planning to safely re-open Messiah Lutheran Church for in-person worship. In line with guidance from the Churchwide Office and Presiding Bishop in Chicago, our Synod Office and Synod Bishop in Tampa, and CDC Guidelines, in-person worship requires several steps in order to proceed safely.

The minimum safety precautions include, among others, hand sanitizing stations at all public entrances, the use and wearing of masks, and the taking of temperatures of all persons entering the building.  We have had these items on order with suppliers since the latter part of March. At the time the sanitizer stations and sanitizer, masks, and thermometers were ordered, they were immediately placed on backorder with an anticipated shipping date of mid-June.

In line with the anticipated receipt of the necessary safety equipment in mid to late June, this is the earliest that we can anticipate safely opening our building for in-person worship. Other ELCA congregations in our Conference and Synod are following a similar timeline.

Your personal safety, the safety of our friends and neighbors, as well as our pastoral staff needs to remain paramount in our decision-making processes. These are certainly trying times, and we appreciate your patience and understanding. The risks of getting this wrong, and re-opening too soon and/or without the necessary safety precautions in place, are too dire to imagine.

In the meanwhile, we will continue to provide our thrice-weekly devotions from Pastor Rich, Deacon John, and Deacon Scott, we continue to offer times during the week to gather for study and conversation (with plans to increase these opportunities in the near future), as well as our weekly service recording on the weekend. Our recorded service will likely continue to be posted each weekend, as when in-person worship resumes, there will be social-distancing limitations placed on the number of attendees.

We all long for the day that we can resume in-person worship, and the future time when all limitations will be able to be lifted, until that time, please be assured of our prayers for each and every one of you.

Should you have any questions, you may direct them to us via email

God, our peace and our strength, we pray for our nation and the world as we face new uncertainties around coronavirus. Protect the most vulnerable among us, especially all who are currently sick or in isolation. Grant wisdom, patience, and clarity to health care workers, especially as their work caring for others puts them at great risk. Guide us as we consider how best to prepare and respond in our families, congregations, workplaces, and communities. Give us the courage to face these days not with fear but with compassion, concern, and acts of service, trusting that you abide with us always, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Overhearing Jesus

Seventh Sunday of Easter - May 24, 2020


At the ascension we, like the disciples in today’s reading in Acts, are left looking at the sky. But in the High Priestly Prayer (John 17), Jesus brings us back to earth. In the prayer he speaks not only from the perspective of the risen and ascended one, but as the Word of God, now made flesh. The prayer anticipates the accomplishments of this Word, which does not return empty (Isa. 55:11), namely in the fulfillment of the “hour” of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. It is as if Jesus has already ascended “to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17), and has returned to tell us something vital.

As we overhear Jesus, we learn that God’s character and motive are identical to those of Jesus, who has now, fully and completely, “made God’s name known.” We no longer have to speculate about the nature of God. God’s purposes and love are made known in Jesus. But we also learn about ourselves. Jesus’ prayer frequently mentions the “world”—the world at once hostile to God and God’s anointed, and yet also beloved of God (John 3:16). With Jesus’ commissioning today we have our work to do, to make God known in and through Christ Jesus. The Living One works through us as “words within the world,” who no longer seek meaning among the dead, but are empowered to make known the vibrant, new reality of Easter.

(c) 2020 Sundays and Seasons

Contact Information  
Messiah Lutheran Church
2691 NE Pine Island Rd
Cape Coral, Florida 33909
Phone 239.995.0133
Fax 239.995.2720
Mobile 941.548.6163

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