Pastoral Update- Oct. 9, 2020

Beloved friends and members of Family of Christ,

Over the past five weeks or so, our staff and lay-leaders have been working toward a worship re-opening decision. Though there still are many signs that Coronavirus yet has a grip on our nation, and world, there are also many re-openings that are occurring, and it strikes us that it is time to allow for indoor in-person worship again. We do want to take things slowly and carefully, so we will begin modestly, and hopefully open ourselves up to more and more in-person opportunities as fall turns into winter. We do thank you for your patience as we cautiously work through many issues, but listed below is the basic plan, and also, you can follow this link to see our guidelines for re-opening, and get more details about what in-person worship will look like.

We plan to begin an 8 AM worship service starting on Reformation Sunday, Oct. 25. We’ll ask that people ensure they are feeling well, have been following all helpful precautions before attending an in-person worship, and haven’t recently been around anyone testing positive for Covid-19. We’ll also set up a reservation system so that we can keep our numbers at 50 or less – and yes, we well understand that by offering the service at an early hour, we’ll likely have a smaller group. But still, we will ask you to make a reservation. Currently, we are taking reservations for Sunday, Oct. 25-Sunday, Nov. 22. After you have read over our re-opening guidelines, you can click this link to make a reservation. We ask that one person per household makes a reservation and indicates the number of people in the party. Reservations are being made online using the Sign-Up Genius platform which does require an account. If you require assistance making a reservation, please contact our church office (952)9345659 by noon on the Friday prior to the Sunday you are wanting to attend.

The 8 AM service itself will be kept short at thirty minutes, and we’ll ask people to wear a mask while in the building. Singing will be kept to a minimum, but there will be a celebration of Holy Communion. There won’t be a time of coffee fellowship afterwards, though people will be able to greet each other and visit in the church patio area, as weather permits.  
The 10 AM Livestream worship service will continue just as we’ve been doing over the past half year. As we learn how to help our 8 o’clock worshippers through the first few weeks of November, we will possibly be able to begin welcoming worshippers at that 10 AM service too, but we haven’t set the date for that quite yet – maybe by Advent? Even as worshippers return to the building, however, we will continue to provide online worship for those who need to stay home, who have underlying conditions, or who simply take comfort in staying away from any sized crowds. 

Our guiding principle is to keep people safe, as best we can, even as we begin to provide more opportunities for worship, learning, and gathering together as a faith family. And if we need to make further adjustments or recalibrations, we will certainly be doing that. Again, our staff and lay leaders continue to keep all these Covid-related issues at the forefront of their discussions and decisions. 

As the Psalmist says, “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go to the house of the Lord!” (Psalm 122:1) I certainly look forward to the day of worshipping together, in person, again. Let’s do it a step at a time, and strive together to keep each other as safe and healthy as we can.

God’s abiding peace be with you all!  ~ Pastor Josh Nelson

Categories: Ponderings