|A Letter from our Chairman, Ron Lobner|
May 20, 2020
Dear Trinity Lutheran Church Member,
I’m happy to report that we, the Church Council and Board of Elders, have met recently to decide on when to resume our church services. The date that we agreed upon is Sunday, June 7, at the regularly scheduled time (9:00 a.m.). Keep in mind that this date is subject to change as we will continue to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases around the country, the state and in particular, the county. Any drastic spike in the number of cases in these geographical areas could result in the postponement of the reopening of our church.
As you might expect, several changes will need to be made, and precautions taken, to help assure the safety of our members and to keep from spreading the Coronavirus outside of our church family. These changes/precautions, for the time being, will be included in, but not limited to, the list below.
- Church services will only be held on Sundays until further notice. Doors will open no earlier than 8:30 a.m.
- We will not be limiting the number of people who will be allowed in the building at one time. We will, however, be limiting the amount of people that we would like in the Sanctuary. Should we have any overflow, we will utilize the Narthex where you will be able see and hear the service. As a last resort we also have the church basement available whereby the service will be heard over the speaker system that we currently have in place.
- You will not be required to wear a mask, but it is highly encouraged that you do so. If you do not have a mask available, one will be provided at the door for anybody who needs one. One of our members, Terry Lindholm, has graciously donated several for this use.
- Signs will be posted at the entrances asking the congregation to refrain from coming to church if they are experiencing any symptoms or if they’ve had any possible exposure to COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
- We ask that you don’t use the coat racks and consequently, the hangers will be removed ahead of time. Therefore, we would prefer that any coats, hats, etc. be taken into the church service with you.
- Hand sanitizers will be located at all entrances for anyone to use.
- The bulletins will not be distributed by the Ushers, but will be located on a table in the Narthex for you to help yourself. It is advised that you use the hand sanitizer prior to taking a bulletin.
- All furniture will be removed from the Narthex and replaced with folding chairs to accommodate any overflow that might occur.
- We request that people not congregate in groups outside the Sanctuary, but merely take their seats immediately whether it be in the Sanctuary, the Narthex or the basement. We don’t want congestion in the Narthex as people are arriving for the church service.
- Ushers and Elders will be on hand to escort you to your seats in an effort to keep with social distancing guidelines. You will notice markings on the floor of the aisles indicating six foot distances. These will come into play during the distribution of Communion and when exiting the Sanctuary.
- We will utilize every other pew and the alternating pews will be blocked off to help maintain a distance of six feet from non-family members where possible.
- Church services will be reduced to approximately 45 minutes in length and the number of hymns to 2 per service, both of which will be printed in the bulletin each week.
- Pens, hymnals, bibles, and other paper resources will be removed from the pews because they are too difficult to sanitize.
- The passing of the offering plates will be discontinued in favor of having one plate located in the Narthex for you to deposit your offering as you leave the church. The “We Care” cards are temporarily being discontinued.
- We will have Communion every Sunday for the time being. This will be conducted differently than in the past as we will be resorting to a self-service means of receiving the Sacrament. I will address the congregation prior to the service to discuss the details of how this will be done.
- When exiting the church, we plan to do this in an orderly fashion as the pews will be dismissed one at a time by an Elder or Usher. Again, we ask that you continue to practice social distancing as you leave.
- Once you reach the Narthex please exit the church as soon as possible knowing that others will be following behind you. Once again, we need to avoid congestion in this area.
- The church will be sanitized as much as possible during the week prior to each service.
Please keep in mind that these guidelines are meant to help members of Trinity stay healthy and prevent the spreading of COVID-19 to others. Remember that there is still a risk involved in contracting the Coronavirus for anyone who attends a public worship service. All those as defined by the Department of Health Services as being vulnerable may want to consider staying at home for now.
Lastly, in closing, know that we will get through this together, as you’ve heard said numerous times. Trust that our Lord will guide us and allow us to make our decisions regarding the reopening of our church according to His Will. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Ron Lobner, Chairman