287 Shells Church Road

Grantville, PA  17028


Liturgy of Holy Eucharist 

Sunday and Wednesday at 9am

Lutheran World Relief.jpg

March 25, 2020 ***UPDATED ON APRIL 1, 2020***

The Feast of the Annunciation 


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


It seems that the COVID-19 pandemic facing the world has consumed all of our time, energy, and thoughts. However, I would like to offer you the Lord’s first of the Ten Commandments to ponder. “Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:1-3). Before all of this, during all of this, and after all of this, the Lord God is still the Lord God. He is unmoved and remains our only hope. God brought his children out of slavery in Egypt and he will save his people from this pandemic - be it through healing or in the gift of eternal life in Christ. The Triune God will have the last word. 


After prayerful deliberation and conversation, it is the decision of parish leadership to suspend all activities of Shells Evangelical Lutheran Church until further notice. This will mean that all regular and Holy Week liturgies will be offered online (Facebook and then Sunday Eucharist posted to the church website). The times for all worship opportunities will be listed below in this correspondence. Bulletins will continue to be emailed out to you as they are formatted. If you would like a hard copy mailed to you, please let me know. 


Since you are not able to receive Holy Communion during these weeks, I would suggest adopting the practice of the Middle Ages called Spiritual Communion. As we livestream worship in these coming weeks, when you gaze upon the consecrated host, which now contains the full and physical presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, I encourage you to offer the following prayer (during the time of elevation of the bread and wine or when Communion would normally be distributed): 


“My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally (physically), come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there, and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.”


 As Lutherans, we believe that Jesus Christ is everywhere and in all things through the gift of the Holy Spirit. However, we also confess that Jesus is only physically present where he says he is physically present - in the waters of Baptism, in the Word, and in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. So yes, Jesus is present in you today just he was on the day of your Baptism and when you receive him physically in the Eucharist. This prayer simply offers us a way to renew that promise and give thanks for his abiding spiritual presence when we are unable to receive him physically into our bodies through Holy Communion. 


I remain available for any pastoral emergencies during this time. I will not be visiting any homebound members as I usually do or make house/hospital calls unless death is imminent. However, if you need to speak to me on the phone or want to pray, please call, text or email and I will be available for your various needs. I am making my way through the Church Directory and making phone calls or texts to you all just to check in. 


During this time that we are apart, I ask to you remember the Church and her mission. The Church will still be active and alive although we are apart and will need your support prayerfully and financially. Please contact Jeff Buse, Financial Secretary, for ways to give electronically or simply mail your envelopes to the Church Office. There is also the option through your bank to have a weekly or monthly withdrawal sent directly to Shells Church. It has been noted that the Love of Family mission will most likely be needed in the weeks and months to come for a number of families due to loss of work. Please consider a special offering to this ministry. We thank you for your constant generous support of the ministry of Shells Church. If you should find yourself in any need, please be in contact with me and I will work to aid you as best as I am able. 


Livestream Liturgy Schedule:

March 25, 2020 - The Feast of the Annunciation

            Holy Eucharist at 9am

            Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and Liturgy of the Word at 7pm


March 29, 2020 - The Fifth Sunday of Lent

            Holy Eucharist at 9am


April 1, 2020 - Wednesday in the Fifth Week of Lent

            Holy Eucharist at 9am

            Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and Liturgy of the Word at 7pm


April 5, 2020 - Palm/Passion Sunday

            Holy Eucharist at 9am


April 6, 2020 - Monday of Holy Week

            Holy Eucharist at 9am


April 7, 2020 - Tuesday of Holy Week

            Holy Eucharist at 9am


April 8, 2020 - Wednesday of Holy Week

            Holy Eucharist at 9am

            Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and Liturgy of the Word at 7pm


April 9, 2020 - Maundy Thursday

            Holy Eucharist at 7pm


April 10, 2020 - Good Friday

            Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion at 7pm

April 11, 2020 - The Great Vigil of Easter at 7:00pm


April 12, 2020 - The Resurrection of our Lord

           Liturgy of Holy Eucharist at 9:00am


 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26). 



Your servant in Christ,

The Rev. W. L. Barnes, III, STS


Call/Text: 717-870-4505