This week at Mt. Carmel...
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The church is closed to visitors and the public but you can still reach us by phone and email. 

Phone: 805-544-2133
on Facebook at
Celebrating God’s grace through worship, learning and service.
Happenings around Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church
The building may be closed, but the Spirit lives on. We are opening the virtual doors to worship and connecting with each other. The stay at home orders are indefinite, but they are also temporary, and we will see each other again soon. In the meantime, please read on for important information from Pastor Richard and Marshall Pihl. Click on the links provided to view our video worship. Like our Facebook page and visit our website to stay up to date on the latest information from Mt. Carmel.
At many times throughout their lives, children will feel the world has turned topsy-turvy. It is not the ever-present smile that will make them feel secure. It’s knowing that love can hold many feelings, including sadness and that they can count on the people they love to be with them until the world turns right side up again.
                                                                                                            —Fred Rogers
Mr. Rogers had many wise things to say. He often addressed them directly to children, but the truth of his words applies regardless of our age. And it occurs to me that we might add to his words that in the midst of our sadness and anxiety in this present time of uncertainty, as “children of God” we can count on God to be with us “until the world turns right side up again.”
Even in the midst of “social distancing” and “shelter at home” orders given to protect the most vulnerable and lessen this crisis, we want to stay connected as a community of faith at Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church. Our Church Council met via the internet last night to discuss ways that we can help organize a telephone tree and neighborhood clusters to help us stay in touch and care for one another. We’ll have more information in upcoming VISTAs.
In addition to our plans to send out twice-weekly VISTA emails (on Tuesdays and Fridays) we will be posting simple versions of our Lenten midweek and Sunday worship on our YOUTUBE channel with a link in the VISTAs and on our website ( The first of these Lenten services is available by clicking HERE, or copy and paste this into your browser We’ll send out a separate email tomorrow with a YOUTUBE link to a video recording of our Sunday worship. Ingrid Frokjer is also posting Children’s sermons and material for parents and children on the YOUTUBE channel. (More about that in the next Vista.)
Within the next week, we also hope to begin “live-streaming” a Sunday morning Bible study through Zoom video conferencing. This same video platform is being used by our Synod Office to live-stream “The Haven” on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11:am and Tuesday and Thursday at 3:00pm. You’ll see a link for this resource in this VISTA.
These are extraordinary and difficult times. But even in the midst of much uncertainty, God is present with us with abundant grace. Although these circumstances are not of our choosing, they also present us with an opportunity to learn new ways to be a community of faith, compassion and service.
Pr. Richard
The Church Council and other leaders have been meeting to find ways we can maintain in social connectedness with each other during these times of physical distancing. There are many options out there being employed and we are working on ideas that include:
  • Posting videos of lessons, music, and sermons. We have a video posted to YouTube of our Evening Prayer service with Paul Woodring, Pastor Rollefson, Monica Holman and myself that we recorded this past Wednesday evening. We are planning to produce additional videos including those with persons of the passion story similar to the two prior Sundays where Pastor Rollefson and Joan Peterson shared the witness of Nicodemus and the woman at the well.
  • Interactive forums where we can accept an invitation and join in conversation together on a range of subjects.
  • Reestablishing neighborhood group connections to facilitate communication of upcoming events and to connect the needs of members with people who can help.
  • … and more…
There are plenty of oars in the boat and everyone is encouraged to grab a seat on the deck. Calling neighbors to check in, delivering groceries, hosting a discussion group; we all have gifts we can share. Please reach out to let us know how you can help and/or if you have specific needs.
There are numerous ways to support businesses and others in our communities deeply impacted by people staying home such as ordering food to go from your favorite restaurant. It is important that we continue to stay current with our giving to Mt Carmel. Our commitment to our ministries and staff of Mount Carmel continues whether we are in the building or not. There will be future communications providing alternative ways to give.  
While this may feel like an uncertain time, I am excited by the, passion, energy and ideas for how we can maintain and build upon our connectedness. God is clearly on the move.
Marshall Pihl
The church building is still closed for gathering on Sunday, but this is the order of worship we will observe from afar. For the full text, please visit our website at, or click HERE.The scripture verses listed here contain links to for your convenience.

We Gather
Words of Welcome
Confession and Forgiveness
Gathering Song     "Come and Gather Beneath the Tree of Life"     (vs. 1, 2 & 3)
Prayer of the Day:
Bend your ear to our prayers, Lord Christ, and come among us. By your gracious life and death for us, bring light into the darkness of our hearts, and anoint us with your Spirit, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Psalm 23: Refrain - "Shep-herd me, O God, be-yond my wants, be-yond my fears, from death in-to life."
Holy Gospel: John 9:1-41  Jesus heals a man born blind, provoking a hostile reaction that he regards as spiritual blindness to the things of God.
Monologue by Marshall Pihl
Song:     "I Saw the Light"     Hank Williams
Affirmation of Faith: The Apostles' Creed
            I believe in God, the Father almighty,
            creator of heaven and earth.
            I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
            who was conceived by the Holy Sprit,
            born of the virgin Mary,
            suffered under Pontius Pilate,
            was crucified, died and was buried;
            he descended to the dead.
            On the third day he rose again;
            he ascended into heaven,
            he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
            and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
            I believe in the Holy Spirit,
                        the holy catholic church,
                        the communion of saints,
                        the forgiveness of sins,
                        the resurrection of the body,
                        and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Peace
Thanksgiving for the Word
            O God of justice and love, we give thanks to you
            that you illumine our way through life with words of your Son.
            Give us the light we need, awaken us to the needs of others,
            and at the end, bring all the world to your feast;
            through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
            to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
            be honor and glory forever.  Amen.
The Lord's Prayer
           Our father who art in heaven,
                        hallowed be thy name,
                        thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
                        on earth as it is in heaven.
            Give us this day our daily bread;
            and forgive us our trespasses
            as we forgive those who trespass against us;                                 
            and lead us not into temptation,
                        but deliver us from evil,
            For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory.
            Forever and ever. Amen.

            The Lord bless you and keep you.
            The Lord’s face shine upon you with grace and mercy.
            The Lord look upon you with favor + and grant you peace.

Sending Song     "Tree of Life"
            Go in peace. Remember the poor.
            Thanks be to God.
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Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church · 1701 Fredericks St. · San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 · USA

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