by: Christian Ilten
Greetings in the Name of Our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Please be sure to take the time to read through this entire message; don’t bypass the text and go straight to the sign-up link!
For the good of all of those who sign up to attend worship services, we hope and pray that all who sign up to attend worship and/or set foot into the sanctuary or the Family Life Center for worship agree to comply with the limitations in place (for example, the necessity of face coverings during services, appropriate social distancing in seating, etc.). We want all members to clearly know what to expect when attending, and deviating from the agreed-upon protocols presents a stumbling block to those who choose to comply with the guidelines we have set in place.
This Wednesday, February 17, 2021 is Ash Wednesday. We will be having two traditional services in the sanctuary as follows:
• 5 pm, and
• 7 pm
Both services will include the imposition of ashes and Holy Communion, and ALL worship services will continue to be live streamed. Additionally, for those who may wish to have ashes visible throughout the day, we will have a “drive through” imposition of ashes in the northwest corner of the church parking lot Wednesday morning between 7:30-8:45 am. Look for the white Christ Lutheran “easy up” in that section of the parking lot.
In regards to attending any worship service here, including Ash Wednesday and midweek services, the following guidelines remain in place regarding your decision to attend in person. Please stay home and view the live stream of the services if:
• If you or anyone in your family has been exposed to someone with COVID-19;
• If you are not feeling well (cough, chest congestion, fever, etc.);
• If you have a pre-existing condition that might put you at risk for contracting COVID-19 (compromised immune system, cardio-pulmonary condition, etc.);
• If you are simply fearful or apprehensive of the risk involved.
We will also continue to abide with the guidelines established by the CDC and local officials, which seem to be shifting constantly. In order to do so, we have to continue to place certain limits on worship, including but not limited to the following considerations:
1. Face coverings are required for ALL worship services, whether indoors or outdoors. Please be sure to wear your face covering:1.) throughout the worship service; 2.) when entering and exiting the worship space. Obviously face coverings may be removed when receiving Holy Communion. If you happen to arrive without a face covering, please ask one of the Elders, Pastors, or ushers and they will gladly provide you with one. Also, if you would be more comfortable in your own portable chair than the ones provided, please feel free to bring one;
2. Social distancing protocol must continue be followed; to accomplish this, every other sanctuary pew must remain unoccupied;
3. For the time being, the nursery will remain closed – there will be no child care available during worship and there will be no “in-person” Sunday School;
4. Without specific permission to have larger numbers in attendance, we will continue to limit the numbers of those in attendance due to CDC and local guidelines. Those attendance limitations are as follows:
• Sanctuary Worship – 80 attendees allowed at each service
Please note that both Ash Wednesday services will be identical.
The sign-ups for Ash Wednesday and the rest of the midweek services will be the same format as we use on Sundays, and you can find the sign-up link here:
Please be sure to sign up only one person/family per space, indicate the specific number that will be in attendance, as well as listing the names of all that will be in attendance. Please do not bring additional worshipers with you that have not signed up to attend; once we reach the limit of attendees at each service we cannot allow any additional people into the worship space.
Through this difficult time, we will continue forward with an abundance of caution, patience and love. Remember that knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Please be gracious and understanding toward one another, since many of us may hold differing views regarding some of the guidelines we must follow. This is temporary, and God will lead us through it. So if we are to err, let’s err on the side of grace. Continue to pray that God’s Word be heard by a world that needs it so badly.
His perfect peace be with you today and always. Hope to see you in worship this coming Wednesday!
In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Eric and Pastor Pat