Psalm 122:1 says “I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.” It is a time for rejoicing! We can again gather for worship. The most important things will be the same. You will hear God’s Word, you will receive the Sacrament, and you will do it with other believers.
Many of the procedures will be different, some of them very different. This is for two reasons:
1. Some are required by law. For example, we cannot have the number of people exceed 25% capacity.
2. Some we are choosing to do in love for each other. For example, IF you sing you are required to wear a mask. God’s Word makes it very clear that we are to show Christian love by caring for each other’s health and well-being. I may not feel I am at risk for COVID-19, but I will also do what I can to prevent me unknowingly spreading the virus.
· Those who are at high risk of serious illness are encouraged to stay home.
· Those who are uncomfortable attending services at this time are encouraged to stay home.
· You are encouraged to wear a mask for the entire time you are in the building, but they are not required unless you choose to sing. Some masks are available for you if desire one but don’t have one.
· Everyone should practice distancing and good hygiene.
· Two rows are taped off between pews, ensuring six feet of distance between members.
· Two households will be allowed per pew, on opposite ends.
· Ushers will assist with Communion.
· High contact surfaces (like pews and door handles) will be disinfected after every service.
· We are asking for volunteers to sign up for weekly disinfectant cleaning. This should take about 15 minutes after each church service. Council members will clean the first 2 weeks.
· A deeper cleaning will be done after each weekend. Immanuel Hmong will do this.
· Hymnals and Bibles will be removed from the pews.
· The entire service will be printed and bulletins place in pews.
· Those who are accustomed to following along in Bibles and hymnals are encouraged to bring their own.
· Offering baskets will be set up in the rear of church.
· The elements for Holy Communion will be prepared by someone wearing a mask and gloves.
· Exterior doors will be propped open before, during, and after the service.
· Hand sanitizer will be available at the doors.
· There will be no hand shaking before the service.
· A pastor or other member will be present in the narthex to guide people in these new procedures.
· Those who do not wish to commune or are not comfortable communing at this time will be free not to do so.
· Those who are distributing the Sacrament will clean their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer immediately before distribution and wear a mask and gloves.
· Eight individuals will be allowed to come forward at a time.
· Communicant will come forward down the center aisle and return to their pew down the side aisle.
· Communicants will receive the wafer in a ziplock bag on the rail.
· The common cup will not be used for a time.
· Individual cups will be placed on the rail.
· We will be singing, but it will be limited.
· Those who sing are asked to wear a mask. This will not sound like what we are used to, but it will help protect others. ONLY those who sing are required to wear a mask.
· Pastor will not shake hands with people as he exits the sanctuary.
· Members are encouraged not to stay and socialize in the narthex or church. This is something that can be done more safely outside, if desired.