Recorded via Facebook Live at 10:30 a.m. and uploaded to this website within a couple hours of the end of worship
Ollie's tells us which path spooks him the most.
Good news! Today, June 14th, our council has decided to cautiously return to worship on Father’s Day, June 21st, following guidelines in line with State regulations. For those who cannot return at this time, all the on-line messages will continue to be posted. Our worship service will also be streamed on Facebook live as well.
Over 100,000 Americans have died from COVID19. It is very infectious. It is dangerous. Church gatherings have become “superspreader” events as transmission is most frequently person-to-person through expelled “droplets” of breath in enclosed spaces. As such, return to in-person worship must be done carefully, deliberately and with universal compliance. This plan seeks to outline the safest way for us to share together in community while honoring the health of our neighbors.
1) Gatherings for church service shall not exceed 50 (fifty) individuals plus staff.
2) Do not attend services if you have any of the following symptoms: a fever over 100.4 by oral thermometer or 99.6 by forehead, frequent cough, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pains, sore throat, recent loss of taste or smell, or if you or someone you live with has been diagnosed or exposed to COVID19. Consider participating in our continued online worship if you have underlying medical conditions.
3) Upon arrival everyone will be registered by the usher at the front door of the church. That a log exists for contact tracing in the event of exposure. At registration, your temperature will be taken and your full name and phone number recorded on the registration log. These will serve as our contact lists should anyone in our congregation later test positive for Covid.
4) Everyone will wear a mask fully covering the nose and mouth at all times. Masks are one of the most effective ways to prevent expelled breath droplets from reaching our neighbor. If you are unwilling to wear a mask, please continue to make use of our online worship service. The pastor may remove his mask if 20 feet away from any other individual; other exceptions include children under the age of 10 if parents are unable to apply mask. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided at registration..
5) Social distancing will be 6 feet at all times. You may sit in family groups if you live together, but leave six feet between you and any other groups. Handshakes, hugs and other contact are not permissible. Please find other appropriate ways to share with your community.
6) Exterior doors and sanctuary doors are to remain open at all times to both create ventilation and to prevent common touching of door handles.
7) All common singing, recitative prayers or liturgy will be held with masks on. Common singing is one of the most prolific spreaders of the virus.
8) No offering plate, clipboards, nametags, pens, children’s bags or any other shared “touched” items will be passed. A single offering plate will be stationed on the harpsichord at the rear of the sanctuary.
9) Communion will be suspended. We will revisit discussion of communing when the county is Phase 4. Pastor is willing to bring communion to you and your family at your request. Call him at 360/631-4707 to schedule a visit.
10) Restrooms will be limited to no more than 1 person at a time. Individuals waiting to use the restroom must maintain at least 6 feet of distance between each person. Caregivers providing assistance to those needing assistance are an exception to this practice.
11) A hand sanitizer is stationed throughout the church. Please frequently wash your hands with soap and hot water and make use of hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
12) Church staff will clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces after each service.
13) Sharing common spaces will continue to be postponed. This includes coffee hour, potlucks, and nursery. Please do not congregate in entryways as we come and go. When you arrive, find your seat and remain there. When you leave, do so directly.
While the above guidelines are foreign to those of us who value the intimacy of shared worship, out of love for one another we bind ourselves to them. As we learn to keep these guidelines, violations will first be met with kind and gentle correction. Persistent or flagrant violations will unfortunately result in suspension of all in-person worship.
We have always said “Church is not a building, but the people.” Never did we imagine how much we would come to appreciate that as true. The word “community” has always been thrown around like a buzz-word, but now we have come to hunger and thirst for it. It may be some time before we “worship-like-we-used-to.” We grieve that. But we remember the strength of our common bond as the Body of Christ. Let us bravely move forward, taking precautions, but looking for ways to innovate and adapt to the mission to which God has called us.
God's Peace, Pastor Jeff and your council.
Faith is a journey, but one which scripture tells us is not undertaken alone. We seek Jesus through Word and sacrament as a community because we believe the Holy Spirit has gathered us together to worship, learn, and love one another to the glory of God.
Pastor Jeff is willing to meet with you for spiritual counselling, Call 360/631-4707 to schedule a visit.