Updated July 10, 2020
We are opening again for in-person worship at Trinity Lutheran beginning on Sunday, July 12th. Worship will be at our regular worship time of 10:30am. We will also continue to provide an online livestream of our service, for those who are ill, or do not feel comfortable attending in person yet for reasons related to COVID.
When considering whether to attend in-person worship, please take note of the “at risk” categories: “those who are 65 and older, especially those with chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma; chronic heart disease; severe obesity; diabetes; chronic kidney disease; liver disease; or weakened immune system.”
If you decide to attend, please note, although the following guidelines and procedures may not be your preference or may not fall in line with your perception of the COVID-19 virus, together we are all following these procedures out of love for one another.
Here are the guidelines we will be observing for in-person worship in the coming weeks
What we expect from each other:
- Everyone is encouraged to wash and/or sanitize their hands before coming to church. (Sanitizer will be offered and dispensed as you enter the facility).
- Everyone will be required to wear face coverings or masks. (We have disposable masks at church to offer those who do not have any, and we will strive to keep a surplus of masks on hand).
- We will refrain from shaking hands for at least the next couple weeks.
- We will practice social distancing, trying to stay about 6 feet apart from each other.
- Family members and households may sit next to each other. Otherwise, all seating is taped off so that attendees are 6 feet apart.
- Anyone who feels ill, is in questionable health, or has recently tested positive for COVID-19 should please stay home.
- Before worship, attendees are encouraged to find their seats for worship so as not to congest the entryway.
- After worship, attendees will be encouraged to return home or socialize briefly outside if they would like to do so.
- Those bringing guests are asked to make those guests aware of these guidelines.
What you can expect from pastor:
- Pastor will wash and/or sanitize his hands throughout the morning including just before distributing the Lord’s Supper on Communion Sundays.
- Pastor will wear gloves and a mask when distributing communion. (He will drop the wafer into your hand. You will take the individual cup from the tray – all cups will be spaced out).
- Pastor will wear a mask before and after worship, and while singing during worship.
- Pastor will stand outside to greet attendees after worship.
What Trinity is doing to prevent the spread:
- We have hired a cleaning service to clean and sanitize the facilities every week.
- Any regularly touched surfaces – such as doorknobs, tables, chairs, pews, and restrooms – will be cleaned and disinfected after worship.
- Seating has been marked off so that attendees maintain 6 feet of distancing from other worshipers.
- Hymnals and Bibles have been removed from the hymnal racks. The entire service will be projected onto a screen at the front of the church. (You are welcome to bring your own hymnal or Bible from home if you would like).
- The children’s message will be given with the children remaining in their seats. (We will not gather at the front of church).
- No offering plates will be passed around. Instead, an offering plate will be stationed near the entrance of the sanctuary, and offerings can be deposited there.
- Lord’s Supper will be distributed by family groups. Communicants will be spaced out at the front of church.
- We will not have our usual coffee/snacks before or after worship. In fact, the fellowship hall will be closed so that our cleaners can focus on cleaning the sanctuary, restrooms, and entryway.
- We will be tracking attendance so that we can notify attendees if they attended a service with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
- Finally, we are considering ways to ventilate the worship space with fresh, outside air and looking into upgrading the filters on our HVAC system.
Thank you very much for reading and following these guidelines for in-person worship. If you do not yet feel comfortable attending in-person, we will still maintain our online livestream at 10:30am on both Facebook and YouTube. Also, stay tuned for opportunities to schedule private communion with pastor – for those who are not yet ready to attend worship in-person.
As we move forward with this next phase, we strive to honor:
The Third Commandment, which tells us to be faithful in our use of the means of grace… to understand the importance of preaching and gathering around the sacraments with fellow believers.
The Fourth Commandment, which tells us to respect those God has placed in a position of authority over us, including in the government.
The Fifth Commandment, which tells us to do anything within our power to safeguard our neighbor’s physical well-being.
The Eighth Commandment, which tells us to be open and honest in how we deal with people.
In Christ’s service,
Pastor Ehlers and the Trinity Church Council