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COVID-19 & Service Updates

We are open for worship effective July 5th at 930, with restrictions for social distancing. 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

GREAT NEWS!!

The church council, determining to err on the side of caution, has decided to reopen our church officially for services on Sunday July 5th at 9:30. We will additionally have a SOFT opening service, for our members, on Sunday June 28th; to work out the details and all the moving parts of what worship will be like moving forward.

All of the guideline and recommendations outlined below and supported by our church council will be in effect. Capacity for our Sanctuary has been determined to be approximately 40 persons.

Important to note as we move forward, is that we will continue to send out the service outline each week for all those who wish to make use of that worship format.

As we prepare to reopen our house of worship many thoughts and concerns have been considered, but most importantly is the unknown of the continuing impact of COVID-19 in our community and families. Our greatest concern is of course your safety and that of our members. Each individual must assess personal risk factors such as age, any underlying health conditions, etc., when attending a public gathering such as a worship service.

When we start back, our traditional form of service and customs of worship will in some ways will be familiar, and yet in other ways be a bit different. Guidelines, recommendations, and rules of interaction between groups of people, will of course need to apply. It may be sometime before worship as we have known it, will return. BUT, we will meet again as one body in Christ.

With regard to the proposed recommendations for social distancing for houses of worship and groups of people greater than 25 in attendance; Pastor John and I have been in a continued dialogue and discussion regarding the best practices and recommendations from our Synod, the State, and the CDC. That being said, the following will be in place and has been approved by Holy Trinity church council.

  • Masks are required
  • Social distancing in place (families do not need to separate)
  • Usher directed seating
  • Spacing and pews blocked off to ensure distancing
  • Music-but NO communal singing, at least for now
  • No communal praying out loud, for example the Lord’s Prayer, at least for now.
  • Service of the Word setting (approximately 30 minutes in length)
  • There will be no communion for the time being.
  • No physical contact-such as hugs, hand shaking, etc.
  • Sharing of the Peace by giving the Peace sign-no physical contact
  • Bulletins will not be handed out, but placed on a small table as you enter the Sanctuary, to be picked up.
  • Offering plate will be situated on a table near the bulletins and worshippers will be able to place their offering there.
  • No coffee hour at least for now-but potentially outside on the front lawn and socially distanced in the near future.
  • Sanitizing and wiping—all contact points and surfaces will occur.
  • No lingering to talk to others in the Sanctuary, Narthex, etc. Conversations may happen outside with social distancing.

We do realize that this includes a number of changes and seems restrictive. We have to keep in mind that these are for the health and safety of all of us for the time being.

God’s Peace—

Pastor John, Randy Thumhart, and Church Council

 

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