by: Christian Ilten
Grace and Peace 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!
Given the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week regarding indoor church worship, it brings us great joy to move worship services back indoors, with specific guidelines in place. We hope and pray that when you sign up to attend worship and/or set foot into the sanctuary or the Family Life Center for worship, you are agreeing 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.
Also know that we are keeping tabs on what public health officials, elected officials, our district, our synod, and what the courts all have to say about face coverings, social distancing, and percentage-of-capacity directives. With all of that being said, worship services for this Sunday February 14, 2021 will be as follows:
• 8 am, in the sanctuary with traditional hymns, and
• 10 am, in the Family Life Center with contemporary praise music
As we have done since we were able to come back together, we want to make two things clear:
1. This worship format is only temporary. We look forward to the time we can return to our regular worship with more songs and a fuller liturgy. That time is coming.
2. We will continue to deliver the live stream broadcasts of both Sunday morning services each week, so if any of the following circumstances exists, please stay home and join us from the comfort of your living room:
• 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, and the chairs inside the Family Life Center will be set in such a way as we are able to maintain 6 ft. distancing between individuals and/or family units;
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:
• 8 am Sanctuary Worship – 80 attendees allowed
• 10:00 am FLC Worship – 100 attendees allowed
The sign-ups will be the same format as the last several weeks, 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 Sunday!
In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Eric and Pastor Pat