This page is dedicated to updates regarding our response to the covid-19 virus and its impact on our ministries.
June 4, 2020
Dear Church Family,
We will be resuming our in-person corporate Sunday worship services at our church building starting this Sunday, June 7 at 10am. Navigating through these times has been challenging and I am looking forward to resuming our services again at North Star! I am writing to communicate the procedures and practices that we have prayerfully put in place in order to keep everyone safe as we gather to worship. Your help and cooperation are essential to our plan.
I am fully aware that there are some in our congregation that may be at higher risk for COVID-19 or are serving those who are at high risk. We are still offering LIVE Stream via Facebook, should you feel led to not gather in person at this time. Please email the church at , or call us at 218-741-2400 to let us know if this is your choice, as it will help greatly with our planning.
For those who choose to gather on Sunday for worship, please know that some things will be different as we adjust to the new safety practices. As I mentioned earlier, navigating through these times has been challenging. We as a leadership team have adjusted our procedures and practices from what was emailed out on May 27.
Steps we are taking, and that we are asking you to take, to ensure the safety of our congregation are:
If you or your family members have a fever or COVID-19 symptoms (persistent cough, shortness of breath, etc.) we ask that you stay home.
As much as possible, please limit visiting in the fellowship area due to social distancing. We ask the church family to be creative in ways to greet each other without the use of hugs and handshakes.
We will be setting bulletins out on a table as you enter for you to pick up as you come in.
The church sanctuary will be set up to easily accommodate social distancing. We ask that every one of the same household sit together and maintain six feet of “social distancing” from other households by sitting in family units.
Though masks will not be required we want you to feel comfortable wearing a mask to the worship service, and we will have a limited number available in case you do not have one.
Again, we ask that you limit the visiting in the fellowship hall. However, you’re free to visit outside, but please maintain social distancing.
The worship service (announcements, singing, testimonies, preaching) will be slightly abbreviated and there will be no Sunday school or nursery. This is also designed to lessen the risk of exposure as we gather during this time. (There will be a video for the children, this would normally be seen in Sunday School, that will be played during the worship service. Also, there will be some activity sheets for the children.)
The church building has undergoing deep cleaning, such as sanitizing handrails, doorknobs and restrooms. Hand sanitizers and Kleenex will be readily available. We ask that all take the proper care in washing your hands as needed, especially when using a restroom.
We will not be serving any food or beverages at this time.
This has been a long and trying time, but our Lord has definitely been active and holding us in His hands. I would like to express my appreciation to each of you for your genuine efforts to care for one another as the body of Christ. It has been encouraging to hear how the church was BEING the church despite the challenges! In the upcoming weeks, we will continue to support one another in love, prayer and care. May the Lord continue to build His church and continue to use us as His ambassadors!
Romans 12:12, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Please let me know if you have any questions and concerns, I can be reached at 218-410-7022.
For His Glory,
May 22, 2020
Earlier today in a press conference, President Trump made statements regarding the essential nature of churches, asking the governors to allow churches to begin to meet.
We as a church are evaluating the soonest, and safest way to be open, and that we will be providing information shortly. But, that for this weekend we will be doing a live broadcast and asking people not to show up in person at church, because we have not made arrangements to safely do so, including implementing the safety guidelines coming from the CDC that Trump refers to in his press conference.
I know many of us are looking forward to rejoining with one another, me included, but let’s reopen in a manner that considers the safety of each who attends.
Looking forward to seeing you all!
April 19, 2020
We are continuing most of our ministries in a remote format. As a reminder, Sunday services are available live on Facebook or on our website under "sermons". You are encouraged to join us at 10am Sunday mornings.
We also have multiple LIFE groups that meet throughout the week and we encourage you to join one. If you need help finding a group, please contact us at email@example.com
Our children's ministries are active in sending out lessons via US Mail and online videos. If you'd like more info, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our youth ministries also continue to meet weekly via live video sessions. For more info, please write us at email@example.com
April 8, 2020
Join us for our live stream Good Friday Service, Friday 4/10 @ 6:30pm on Facebook. Click Here to join!
April 5, 2020
Most of our adult ministries have transitioned to online virtual meetings. If you are interested in joining a small group, please visit our "Adult Ministries" Page and contact one of the leaders directly for more info.
Our youth groups have also transitioned to virtual meetings, please visit our "Youth Ministries" page and contact one of the leaders directly for more info.
Our children's ministries are offering both online videos and paper lessons sent via US Mail. To begin receiving these, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and request that your child be added.
March 29, 2020
March 22, 2020
March 20, 2020
How are you responding to all that is going on? It would be easy find ourselves sliding spiritually because we have lost our “togetherness”, that gathering together throughout the week and weekend that we know as “church”. I want to encourage you to take time to instill new routines with your relationship with the Lord and with your family and friends.
Pray together (with your spouse, as a family and/or with a friend. Pray for strength, pray for discernment that you would be wise in the decisions that you make, pray for peace. I was reminded this past week of what Paul said in Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Now one might think, ‘come on Paul, easy for you to say that…you are not in the situation I’m in.’ When Paul wrote the letter of Philippians he was in prison. Here he was encouraging the body of believers while he was in a dark, cold, damp, dungeon. His gratefulness to and his peace with God did not depend on favorable circumstances. He saw his life through the framework that God is good, He is in control and He will not leave me even in the difficult times. Our Father in heaven loves you, He has not forgotten you.
It would be easy for each of us to turn inward during this time. Watch movies, play video games, spend more time on social media, etc. But I want to challenge you to respond as Paul did. He spent his time finding ways to encourage his fellow believers. Let us do the same! ‘God, how can I spur another on during this time? How can I help further your Kingdom?’ Please don’t wait for others to call, you make that call, you send that text to encourage one another on. People need the Lord. Many are scared and hopeless. People need to meet Jesus and know that He loves them. That peace, no matter the outcome, can be found in Him alone. (How to share your faith: https://billygraham.org/story/sharing-your-faith-101/)
Perhaps consider calling your neighbors, friends, co-works and listen. See if there are ways that we can help them; pray with them. They will know we are HIS disciples by our LOVE! Love them well.
What are we doing as local church to reach one another and how can we serve our within our community? Attached is a document that I want to strongly encourage you to read. This past week several meetings took place to discuss these matters.
This Sunday I will upload a sermon video on our website. The 1st 20 viewers will receive a roll of toilet paper and a bottle of hand sanitizer as a gift! Kidding…
I love you Church Family. Keep your eyes focused on the eternal. Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”
Please call, text or email if you need to chat or if you know people in need.
Blessings in Christ our Lord,
North Star Church of Virginia Minnesota
COVID-19 Response – Week 2
March 20, 2020
It is stunning how quickly “our world” is changing in response to the COVID-19 virus. Looking back at the amount of change in just the past three days is somewhat staggering and historic. The NSV elder team has had many discussions over the past week about how to move forward in this new normal and in this rather long letter we’d like to cover the main points of our response to this crisis. We humbly ask that you take the time to read this letter entirely even though it is quite long.
Given the guidance that has been provided from our state and federal governments, we expect that for the foreseeable future (8+ weeks) we will not be meeting in person for large gatherings. We will continue to update you weekly, but we are planning that this new normal will not only be for a week or two, but for an extended period.
With that said, we are looking to continue to provide a faithful Gospel witness to our church community and beyond to our broader communities. We have much learning to do in this new, temporary normal, so please bear with us as we lean on God’s power to lead.
We are dedicated to continuing as many of our existing ministries as possible and the below are a specific response to that desire.
We will continue to record a Sunday morning service and publish it on our website each Sunday morning. We encourage you to watch the message and review any corresponding notes and/or study guides. As we approach Easter we will look to also host a Good Friday service via video as well.
We will continue to have a small group of leaders at the church each Sunday to receive and visit with those who may not know that in-person services have been cancelled.
We are encouraging our LIFE group leaders to transition their meetings to an online and phone format. If you are currently a part of a LIFE group, you should be receiving a communication from your leader that will inform you about how and when your group will be meeting. We are encouraging our LIFE groups to meet in a remote format rather than in-person. In our early use of video conferencing technology we have found it to be a surprisingly positive experience. Even if you are skeptical, we encourage you to give it a try.
If you are not currently a part of a life group but would like to be, please reach out to Terry at email@example.com or text/call 218-741-2400.
Jr. High Youth Group
Jr High youth group will resume meeting weekly on Wednesday, March 25th from 6pm-7pm. The group will meet via Zoom video conferencing. Invitations will be sent to those families who were currently engaged in the youth group on a regular basis. If you weren’t currently attending or we don’t contact you with the login information, please reach out to Tim at 218-290-5505 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sr. High Youth Group
Sr High youth group will resume meeting weekly on Wednesday, March 25th from 6pm-7pm. The group will meet via Zoom video conferencing. Invitations will be sent to those families who were currently engaged in the youth group on a regular basis. If you weren’t currently attending or we don’t contact you with the login information, please reach out to Bekkah at 218-969-2208 or email@example.com
Kid’s Sunday School and Awana
We have determined that online meeting would not be effective for the youngest among us. With that said, we desire to continue to see our children grow in Christ. We desire to mail out (via US Mail) weekly lessons to all the children involved in our Awana and Sunday morning kid’s ministries. Each lesson packet will contain a variety of items including a bible lesson, an activity, and scripture verse memorization challenges.
If your child currently attends Awana and/or Sunday morning kid’s services we will automatically begin sending them these weekly packets during the week of March 23.
If you know a child that would like to receive these packets and they don’t currently attend our programming, please email the Name, Address, and age of each child to firstname.lastname@example.org
We do need volunteers to help create and assemble these packets. If you’d like to volunteer to help with this, please call or text Barb at 218-410-7021
Sunday Night Prayer
Our every-other Sunday night prayer meeting will now be held every week on Sunday nights at 6:30pm.
We celebrate that in the midst of the uncertainty that the world has to offer, we have an enduring hope. We view the current crisis as an opportunity to reach out to our community in new ways that are intentional about serving our neighbors and practically demonstrate the love of Christ. The items listed below are opportunities that we have identified that we would like to encourage the church to lead and support. As an elder team, we do not have the extra bandwidth to lead these additional ministries, but we do desire to support and encourage these ministries to impact our community. Are you called to engage in God’s work in one or more of these?
This outreach opportunity has been presented to us to teach Bill’s House residents basic meal-prep skills. This has been brought about by new restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus regarding outside food not being allowed to be brought into the facility.
We will require two teams consisting of 1 leader and 2 helpers each (6 people total) to accomplish this task. There will be a $30 per meal budget provided by the church benevolence fund. Each team will be responsible for coordination of all aspects of this ministry.
We desire for the teams to not only teach cooking skills, but more importantly to build relationships and invite participants to discuss Gospel truth.
To volunteer to be involved in this ministry, please contact Terry at 218-741-2400 or email@example.com
Tutoring/Kid’s Resource Center
There is a need for the kids in our community to have constructive connections with adults and resources while schools are out of session. These gatherings would allow kids to use the church wifi for homework assignments, receive tutoring help from adults and other kids. We desire to provide short presentations of the Gospel during these times as well. We do not see this program providing food services beyond light snacks. We envision small group gatherings (less than 10) for 1-2 hours at a time multiple times throughout the week.
There is much work to be done in figuring out the details of this ministry opportunity and we need a passionate and flexible leader to step up to lead this opportunity. The leader would develop the specifics of the program and work with the elder team to refine the program and recruit and coordinate volunteers. This ministry would be specifically aimed at vulnerable children in midst. Much needs to be developed around this opportunity and there are many unknowns, especially with how quickly our environment is changing.
This opportunity needs a leader and volunteers. To discuss volunteering for a role, please contact Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text at 218-290-5505.
Elderly/Vulnerable Adults Outreach
In our church and beyond we desire to meet the needs of the most vulnerable among us through shopping for them and coordinating meeting other needs.
We would see this initially being for our congregation and then extending to other local church congregations (that might be 100% elderly) and then to the broader community.
This opportunity needs a leader and volunteers. To volunteer for a role, please contact Terry at email@example.com or call/text at 218-410-7022.
Serving in the above ministry opportunities will not be for everyone. Some of you might come to the conclusion that staying home and self-isolating is the best way for you to “love your neighbor” during this time. For others, you might have a passion to serve in one of these ways above and God has led you to take action. We don’t view either of these approaches as more or less “holy” or “God-led”. Rather, we view them as different convictions that lead to different conclusions and neither are inherently contradictory to Scripture. Each of us, during times of normal and times of abnormal, are called to live out the Great Commandment in different ways and in different contexts. The important thing, now as always, is that we live in such a way that is consistent and obedient to our calling; that we are faithful to live out the Great Commandment in the unique way that God calls each of us individually.
We know these days of change can be unsettling. If you would like to talk with someone about how you are feeling, please reach out to Terry at 218-741-2400 and we will work to get you connected with someone who can share hope with you.
One last note… In this time of physical separation and change this could easily become a time of disunity used for evil. Let’s battle against that temptation and come to and remain in unity as the body of Christ. I encourage each of us to read the following resource on maintaining unity: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/avoiding-disunity/
We encourage you to reach out to us with your feedback and ideas. The ministries discussed above are the outcome of conversations with many of you and this wouldn’t be possible without God’s people coming together to share their hearts and convictions. As your brothers in Christ, know that we love you dearly and pray for you often.
NSV Elder Team
Pastor Terry, Joel, Sean, Paul, Tim
March 16, 2020
Good Afternoon Church Family –
Please be aware that the Range Region Missions Conference at Chisholm Baptist Church originally scheduled for Sunday, March 29th has been cancelled.
Please pray for our elder team as they meet this evening to discuss next steps in reaction to the evolving COVID-19 situation.
March 15, 2020
Good Morning Church Family –
As we noted in our previous communication, we will be posting virtual sermon videos on our website in place of our Sunday morning service.
You can find our first sermon at www.northstarvirginia.org/sermons
We encourage you to watch the sermon and download and review the provided sermon study guide this Sunday morning. We pray that you will find this temporary substitute for our corporate worship edifying.
Tonight we will be hosting our Sunday Evening Prayer Service via teleconference. We’d love to have you join us at 6:30pm at the following log-in:
Phone call #425-436-6304, Use Access Code 181943 to enter the meeting. Please announce your name when joining.
As we continue to adjust to this temporary new normal brought on by the COVID-19 virus we ask for your continued feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org We are committed to keeping you informed as we make additional decisions about our in-person ministry events. Please note that all in-person ministry events are cancelled at least through March 21, 2020; this includes all Life Groups, Wednesday night kids ministries, and the Women’s conference.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our elders.
Pastor Terry, Joel, Sean, Paul, Tim
March 13, 2020
Dear North Star Church Family,
We continue to monitor developments related to the Coronavirus and want to give you an update. Things are developing rapidly and your inbox is probably full of messages similar to this one so thank you for taking the time to read and be encouraged. As a church, we are choosing not to respond in fear to this present problem, but rather to trust God because He is in control. Amen!? We want to love our neighbors and community by having a response that shows prudence and the love of Christ.
Today, Governor Walz and MN State health officials announced a peacetime state of emergency because of COVID-19 and are recommending the cancellation of public events like our Sunday morning church gatherings, and other weekly events.
So, effective immediately:
North Star Church will not be having any weekend or midweek programming.
This includes Sunday morning and evening services; grief share; all Wednesday night ministries; life groups; and group bible studies.
Additionally, the upcoming women’s retreat is being re-scheduled. Details on when it will take place are TBD.
We will re-assess and provide additional information going forward by Friday, March 20 for possible impact on future programming. In the event that health officials recommendations change, we will inform everyone through our website, emails, texts, and social media.
Because of all this, we want to encourage you to do the following:
Firstly, pray! Take time as a family and pray for:
Pray for leaders in our government who are making big decisions about this right now, and healthcare workers.
Pray for healing for those who are sick and that they would turn to Jesus!
Pray for ways to show the love and care of Christ to any neighbors that you can, and opportunities to bless them by doing simple things like getting them groceries.
Pray and ask God to help us all to trust Him during this time.
Secondly, read scripture with your family and friends that talks about God being good and in control. We do not need to fear because our God has already written our days and He is good! (Isaiah 45:5-7; Romans 8:31-32; Hebrews 1:3; Psalm 27:13-1; Proverbs 3:5-8).
So, if we are not meeting Sunday, what are we doing?
Online Messages. During this time, we are planning to provide recorded mini-services and study guides that you will be able to view online and work through from your home to bless, challenge, and encourage the body. Visit our website and watch your email for more information on these videos that will be available.
The ministry of North Star Church and the missionaries we support around the globe happens because of the faithfulness of God and the generosity of those who are a part of our Church family. Even though the rhythms of life may change during this season, we encourage all of us to continue to be faithful in our giving. If you would like to utilize online giving options, go to www.northstarvirginia.org and click on “Give”.
Questions or concerns?
If you’d like to share your thoughts, concerns, questions, and ideas with us as we navigate our response to this situation, we’d love to hear from you. Your input and feedback are truly important to us. Please email us email@example.com with any questions or comments or reach out to one of our elders listed below.
While we cannot control the virus, the spread, or the impact it has in our church, God is in control and we’re doing everything we can to follow our government’s requests and help control the spread of the virus. We appreciate your cooperation and commitment to help us do just that.
Pastor Terry Sonnentag