The Directors and Elders are pleased to announce that we are going to restart services at the church on May 31 at 9am. Things will be a little different, though, because we will be asking everyone to help one another with following precautions, so that we can best serve our own needs and those of the community. This list of precautions will be made available to visitors:
- We will endeavor to our utmost to unite ourselves behind these considered precautions and doing them, recognizing that we each have different comfort levels, concerns, etc. When necessary, we will remind each other gently of what we have decided together to do. The Directors and Elders will monitor changing conditions and revisit and revise the precautions as necessary and with your feedback.
Those with any symptoms, e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, sneezing, etc., are strongly urged to watch the broadcast at home, rather than put anyone at risk or distracting others from the worship service.
- We will observe social distancing. Handshaking, hugging, and other close contact between people who are not of the same household is strongly discouraged. Masks are optional, but urged for anyone with a cough due to a known, non-COVID condition, e.g., allergies. When opening push doors, please back into them, rather than pushing with hands. Where practical, doors will be open during services.
- The entryway will be roped off to prevent clustering in that high traffic area. Ushers will direct attendees to their seats. If the usher is seeing a group to their seats, please wait at the marked locations for him to attend to you. Ushers will dismiss people gradually to provide for social distancing. After the service, the ropes will be down in the entryway, so that people can check their mailboxes, etc. Ushers will moderate the traffic in the entryway.
- Bulletins will be placed in the pews in the places where congregants can sit and still maintain distance. Hymns will be printed in the bulletin, but the hymnals will still be available.
- Communion will be offered to communicants during the service, but will take longer, since not as many may be at the table at once. Communicants will not kneel at the rail, but stand, in order to minimize surface contact and required cleaning. Communion will also be offered at other times by appointment, especially for those who need to be particularly careful about exposure. Please contact Pr. Lepak by email to schedule an appointment time.
- Instead of passing offering plates, an offering collection box will be available at the end of the service to receive offerings. It will not be available at the beginning of the service due to security concerns.
- The Sunday Morning Bible Study will be held shortly after the service in the Fellowship Hall. No refreshments will be served for the time being.
God willing, the spread of the virus will be controlled soon, and some of these precautions will then become unnecessary. As conditions change, we will keep everyone updated. Let’s all pull together. When we see someone forgetting, let’s kindly remind. When we forget and are reminded, let’s express nothing but thankfulness for the reminder and thankfulness that we can again come together at the church for Word and Sacrament with our brothers and sisters. Another aspect of these precautions is that we will be showing the community that we are concerned about working together in step with our community on this issue.