RE-ENTRY PROTOCOL

May 2020 (Updated to the most current information: August, 2020)

Greetings Members of Emanuel Lutheran in the Christ!

As shared in a previous letter earlier this year an “Emanuel Safety Committee” was established by our Board of Elders and Church Council to address various needed guidelines for our church (i.e. in case of a storm, fire, or an act of violence in our midst).  Again, thanks be to God that this committee was in place to address the present situation of the Pandemic.

This Committee has prayerfully and painstakingly worked towards the re-opening of our Church.  Below is the established guidelines/protocol of this committee.

As shared before, when dealing with a large group of people it is hard to satisfy everyone.  We think it is important to keep in mind the following:

  1. Numerous times in this protocol document it is shared that procedures can be re-visited and reshaped as needed.
  1. Like you, we are in hopes that this is a very temporary situation.  Can we all join in support of this protocol in the interest of one another?
  1. We would ask you out of Christian humility and love to support the rules.  We realize that we have all faced “pandemic information overload” and politically charged discussions.  The committee has done its very best to seek the safety of people and ways that we can re-enter our Church building for worship.  Please keep St. Paul’s words from Philippians 2 in your heart and let it shape attitudes:  So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, . . . Philippians 2:1-5 (ESV)  And what does Paul say is the mind of Jesus?  Paul gives you the loaded answer in verses 6 following!  We would ask you to reflect Jesus’ servanthood and sacrificial attitude in all of this!

We hope to see you on the Feast of the Holy Trinity, Sunday, June 7, 2020!  Go in the peace and safety of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Amen!

Sincerely in the Christ,

Mr. Bill Behrens and Mr. Loyd Thrapp, Representing Emanuel Safety Committee

Mr. Steve Bader, Chairman of Emanuel

Mr. Evan Schaffner, Chairman of Emanuel Elders

Rev. Mark Raddatz, Pastor, Emanuel Lutheran

Signatures received at the mailing out of this letter.

PROPOSED RE-ENTRY PLAN FOR WORSHIP SERVICES AT EMANUEL

 Anticipating approval will be forth coming from the state government, which will allow worship services to once again be held in the Lord’s house, the following Re-Entry plan has been established for Emanuel.  This plan has been established to ensure the health and welfare of all who attend Emanuel.  Please keep in mind this is a living document and can and should be changed as future events occur.  We thank you for your understanding and adherence to this Protocol as we move ahead in these difficult times.

Target date for first service – Sunday June 7, 2020

10:15 A.M. – Initially, a single service, to allow for maximum cleaning of church.

As of July 26, Live video feed of services will continue until further notice, for those who are unable to attend church in person.

Adult Bible Study – Begun August 2, 2020, at 9 a.m..

To insure adequate social distancing during our service the following will be done.

Enter church using the stairs on East side of building.  Once in the church, follow directions on signs to enter nave.

Every other pew will be blocked off and not used to aid in social distancing. In addition, each open pew will be marked to ensure proper distancing from the center aisle.

Only two (2) couples or three (3) individuals per pew keeping proper social distancing.  Please move to the far end the pew so that those following will have a place to sit without disrupting proper social distancing.

Families already sheltering together can sit in pew together, without keeping social distancing.

Folding doors at back of sanctuary will be opened and additional seating will be set up in overflow if needed.

No fellowship should take place inside the church.

After services, exit through the front doors of the nave.

(If you depart through doors at the left front of the nave, use the front doors to exit the building)

(If you depart through doors at the right front of the nave, you will exit the building using the ramp) 

This creates a single flow of traffic, at the proper social distance, in and out of the building.  The elevator will be available as always for those who need it.

Personal Protective equipment/actions/cleaning stations

After much prayer, thought, and discussion, it was determined by the Re-entry team that for the health and welfare of the congregation, face covering, i.e. masks or face shields, will be required for those attending services in person until further notice (from the Safety Committee).  If you do not have a face covering, but want to attend services, we will attempt to have additional masks on hand for you as you enter the church.  This was a difficult decision, but it is felt that for the health and wellbeing of our brothers and sisters in Christ it was the proper decision to make.  As time goes on, we will review this requirement and make changes when appropriate.  Face covering or masks not required for children under 2 years of age.

Weather permitting, entry door on East side of building will be kept open, eliminating touching by individuals.  Deacons will close door when service commences and will open front doors when service concludes.

Hand sanitizer stations will be set up at all doors, including bathrooms.  We ask that members please donate sanitizer, Lysol, and other approved disinfectants if possible.  Your help is appreciated.

Elevator will be kept clean and sanitized.

Any cleaning needed during service will be done by appointed people.

Please take your temperature prior to attending church.  HIPPA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is still in effect.  However, if anyone who attends services at Emanuel develop the Coronavirus, we would ask for their consideration of sharing that information with the Pastor.

Eliminate all hand shaking.

Board of Education

Sunday School for children will tentatively begin this fall.

Vacation Bible School has been cancelled this year.  It is our hope that we will be able to have this important ministry in 2021.

Worship

We intend to widen the social distance perimeter between the Chancel (where Pastor leads the Service and Preaches) and the nave (pew area of the Church) so that Pastor can remove his mask for leading us in worship.  Should anyone enter the Chancel area, i.e. Elder, Acolyte, or Deacon, Pastor will mask out of respect for them.

We will not be passing the plate during Offering.  It would be greatly appreciated if you would leave your offering in a plate as you exit Emanuel.  Thank you!

All materials, Hymnals, envelopes, pencils, etc., will be removed from the sanctuary to insure no contamination of those materials.  The service and hymns will be provided in a printed form.  You may bring your own Lutheran Service Book Hymnal if you prefer.

Please donate copy paper so we can produce all printed materials. 8 ½” BY 11” required size.

Any personal items, coats, hats, umbrellas, etc., should be kept with you in the pews.

Communion

Pastor is offering the Lord’s Supper in private/smaller settings by reservation.  Related to corporate worship:  Communion has been re-instated in the in-person service, and takes place the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month.  Those who are not communicant members are asked to exit during the postlude, prior to the Service of the Sacrament.

Again, this plan has been established to ensure the health and welfare of all who attend Emanuel and should be reviewed and changed, as necessary.  We thank you for your understanding and adherence to this Protocol as we move ahead in these difficult times.