Following a consensus with other WELS pastors in our immediate area (circuit), and with the approval of our Church Council, we will resume regular worship services on Sunday, May 31 at 8:00 a.m. & 10:00 a.m. and on Monday, June 1 at 7:00 p.m. God-willing, this will be the regular schedule throughout the summer. Those for whom age or compromised health poses a greater risk need not feel constrained to attend until conditions indicate greater safety. Livestreaming of our worship services will continue through the summer for such individuals.
In resuming our worship services, we will seek to balance God’s own guidelines for us in the 3rd commandment, gladly hearing and learning God’s Word. The psalmist said: “I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’ ” (Psalm 122:1). Even as we do so, we will seek to be mindful of health guidelines provided by our leaders (4th commandment), and with loving consideration for the bodily welfare of others (5th commandment). To minimize risk and anxiety, we will take the following common sense steps:
- Ushers will ask you to fill in from the front and will usher you out from the back of church, thereby avoid unneeded passing by folks.
- Responsible distancing (Every other pew in somewhat staggered fashion will be the general pattern. Families may sit together)
- If there is over-flow, services will be broadcast to the basement.
- Following each service, the pews which are blocked off will be switched to avoid immediate surface contact with hymnals, etc.
- No passing of the offering plate (offering plates are at the back of church. The offering will still be brought forward to the altar).
- Please pick up your own bulletin and take it home with you.
- Hand sanitizer will be available.
- Railings, door handles, etc. will be disinfected before each service.
- Feel free to wear a face mask if you wish
- Length of service may be somewhat abbreviated. Some guidelines advise no singing in order to guard against spreading germs. We wish to be upfront – we will sing hymns – but perhaps 3 instead of 4.
- On communion Sundays we will follow a similar way of distributing communion as we did during the rotating communion services we offered during Holy Week and in May. Instructions will be provided at that time. Ushers will assist you.
- Pastor plans to stand in the narthex and greet you as you leave. He will not plan on shaking hands to avoid cross-contamination. This is more for your safety than his. ☺
This may seem like quite a list, but most of it will just happen naturally. Please follow the guidance of our ushers as we seek to show love for each other and for the wider community as we rejoice to return to the house of the Lord! See you May 31 & June 1.