We are a hearty bunch here in Minne-snowta!! Even as our outdoor worship gets chillier, we are up for braving it. But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Worshiping outside has been a really fun and holy
experiment that we have truly enjoyed (and might even do next summer with or without COVID concerns). However, as the weather turns toward what we have come to expect in Minnesota we all know that our comfortable “outside time” will be faced with the challenges that late fall and winter bring, namely…snow and cold.
After much conversation with many people in differing (professional) places about how and when to transition back into the sanctuary for in-person worship we are planning on worshipping back in the sanctuary on Nov 1 for All Saints Sunday. We are planning this move with great caution for both our and your safety…really!
We are proceeding with utmost caution and will re-open in the safest way possible. If anyone is uncomfortable with any of the following guidelines, or chooses not to follow them, we ask you to please consider protecting the congregation by worshiping at home as we will continue live streaming our worship services. Also, if you are in an at-risk category (and for your own safety) please join us via our live streaming of the service. Our goal as a congregation is to protect each other from contacting COVID-19. We need to be willing to take precautions to protect ourselves, each other and the community. If anyone, or someone you live with, has had within the past two (2) weeks any signs of cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, signs or symptoms of the flu, change in or loss of taste or smell, a pending or positive COVID-19 test, please stay at home and join us online for worship.
Outlined below are the in-sanctuary precautions we will be taking in our efforts for worship safety:
· To allow for the spacing we feel will give us the greatest level of safety in our sanctuary, we will be limiting the number of in-person worshipers with a reservation system that will offer both online and call in
options. More details on this will be available as we approach the opening date. Please know that we will be holding to this limited number rigorously, so please plan ahead!
· Please practice social distancing upon arrival. The sidewalks as well as the floors in the building will be marked to provide guidance.
· Ushers will meet you at the front door. Entering & exiting the building will be limited to door A. Coats stay with you. There will be signs and guidance for clarity.
· Face masks need to be worn properly at all times while in the church building. We encourage you to bring your own mask, but masks will be provided at the front entrance for those who do not have one.
· Ushers will direct seating. Please sit only with members of your immediate household. Spacing of 6 ft. will be maintained with signs and markings on the pews. And remember that you may not get to sit in your
favorite spot…we can do this people!
· Hand sanitizer will be available at the front entrance. Please use it before entering further.
· The offering plate will be located at back of the sanctuary as you leave
· To limit items being touched, all Bibles, hymnals, forms, and pencils have been removed from the pews.
· The bulletin will be available as usual online. We will have a limited number of preprinted ones available.
· There will be no communal singing or responsive/out loud readings
· There will be no nursery or in-sanctuary “kid’s PRATground” area available. Families are encouraged to bring quiet toys (no busy-bags will be available) with them and remain together as a family during the service.
· We will be distributing our prepackaged single-serve Communion cups outside before you enter the
· The restrooms will be available. Please maintain a safe distance and wash your hands after use.
· Ushers will dismiss you by pews to exit.
Worshiping on-site is a decision you and your family will need to prayerfully make. Some of you will decide to return to the sanctuary for worship, and some of you will choose to remain at home for worship (live streaming will continue). Either way you choose, God is still speaking among us. Be well and know that you are greatly loved!
In God’s Peace, Your Shepherd Staff
Pr. Renee, Jilene, Pr. Brice, Joe, Sr. Tashina, Miranda, and Michelle