Dear brothers and sisters of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church:
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ!
I give thanks to God for your continued love, support, encouragement, and participation during this time of separation. Please know that I miss you all greatly and long to be together again.
This time of separation and isolation has been a time of struggle, examination, as well as innovation and experimentation. We have done our part to bring the Word of God and sacrament of Thanksgiving, while also loving each other by keeping our distance. Looking at future forecasts, this will need to be the case for some time to come. Therefore, we will be enacting a two-option plan for how we move forward as a community.
Option one will be to continue doing online worship every Sunday at 11:00 AM. We will hold to the pattern we have been practicing since the middle of March to bring the Word of God and Holy Communion to the people of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and our online guests.
Option twowill be to offer a weekly outdoor worship service. This service will take place Saturday at 5:00 PM, beginning June 6. The service will contain all the elements of worship; word, prayer, song, and communion. The vision for this service is as follows:
· The worship leaders will be in the pavilion (keyboard, drums, speaker, altar, etc). The pavilion will be reserved only for the worship leaders who will maintain social distancing during the leadership of the service.
· Worshipers will have two choices. (1) They can remain in their cars for worship. There will be marked spaces so that each vehicle is separated, maintaining the proper distance one to the other. Or (2) they may gather on the lawn as households for worship again, keeping the proper social distancing.
· Word and music will be offered both through loudspeakers and through an FM transmitter. We will use both projection equipment as well as pre-written outlines made available online for the worship service. No papers will be distributed at the service. If you want a paper copy, you will need to print and bring them with you.
· Communion will be celebrated with each person or family unit, bringing elements from home or taking them off the cross as we have already been doing.
· Donation boxes will be available so that people can give their offerings at the service without asking anyone to go from car to car collecting envelopes.
· People will be encouraged to come just before worship and leave immediately after the service is finished.
· There will be no meals or fellowship available of any kind.
· The building will be closed.
· The door by the kitchen will be unlocked so that the bathroom can be accessed if necessary. Proper sanitizing and cleaning supplies will be available for bathroom use.
· All other doors will be locked so that there is no other access to the building.
· People will be required to use Masks and any other PPE if they leave their vehicles.
· The water fountain will be marked as out of order.
There will be no indoor gathers at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation about the spread of Covid-19 to make the best decisions possible for the future of the church.
May God continue to watch over us and all people in this time, as we strive to do the kingdom work.
Blessings to you all,
Pastor Timothy Muse