In-person Worship Resumes

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our church council met on Tuesday May 19 and we decided to start having services in church again this Sunday May 24, 2020. We will celebrate Jesus’ Ascension Festival this Sunday.

After reviewing the WELS guidelines for having services during Covid-19 time and also considering our church’s setup, the council decided it is best to follow these guidelines:

  1. If you feel safer at home, please stay home and continue to watch our weekly services online.
  2. In keeping with six-foot social distancing recommendations, we have moved the church pews so that people will only sit in every other pew. We encourage people who live at different addresses to sit six feet apart in a pew, or else sit in a different pew.
  3. We encourage people who are able to sit in the balcony if there is room available there. This will leave more room on the main floor for people who have trouble with stairs.
  4. We will keep the hymnals and Bibles in the pews. Since there will be more than 72 hours between services, the hymnal and Bibles will only be used by one person each 72 hours.
  5. There will be one service on Sunday at 9 am each week. This way we won’t have to wipe down the pews after services as there will be more than 72 hours between services.
  6. We will only unlock the front doors and will block them open. Please enter through the front doors.
  7. Please use hand sanitizer as you enter. There will be gloves available for people who want to use them. If you would like to wear a mask, please bring your own.
  8. The offering plate will be by the front doors. You can put your offering in the plate as you enter or leave or you can mail your offering or use one of our online giving options on our Online Giving page.
  9. In keeping with social distancing recommendations, we won’t visit inside the church or entryway before or after service. Please feel free to visit outside before or after the service.
  10. For Communion, we will have it during the usual place in the liturgy. At that time, at the direction of the usher, please come forward. There will be tables set up in the front. Two elders wearing gloves and masks will set individual cups with wafers on top of them. Pastor will say, “Take and eat, this is the body of Christ.” At that time, take a wafer from on top of a cup. Then Pastor will say, “Take and drink, this is the blood of Christ.” At that time, take the cup. Pastor will say, “Go in peace; your sins are forgiven.” Then put the cup in the available basket and return to your seat by the side aisle. (Update: After reviewing the results of the congregational survey taken April 18 & 25, 2021 the council has resolved to return to the communion rail as proposed in the survey. 2 small groups or 5-6 individuals will be admitted at one time. The serving elder and pastor will follow recommended guidelines for distancing and sanitary procedure. The rail itself will be wiped after each table attends; the cleaning solution will not affect the wood of the rail.)
  11. If you feel safer at home watching online and would like to receive Communion, let Pastor know and we can make a different plan for you to receive Communion.

This will take some adjusting for all of us and will likely take a couple of weeks to get it all flowing smoothly. Let us all pray and bear with each other as we find our way through these days with the Lord’s help.