Dear people gathered as Risen Lord Lutheran Church,
It has been a long time since we have been able to gather together in person for worship. This was not a decision that was taken lightly. We know the Church was never closed; the Church is the body of Christ that includes saints throughout all time and space. We value loving our neighbors and saw this as a tangible way that we are called to make that love known.
As we continue to monitor the reach of the pandemic and we begin to plan to incrementally resume in-person activities, we remain committed to loving God and loving our neighbors. We seek to express that love in ways that are appropriate and life-giving during this time.
As we consider returning to worship in person, we are looking for continued decreases in cases and a low infection rate. Detailed information about the metrics we are following and where to find them can be found in the complete plan here: https://www.risenlordlc.org/covid-19-info
As we plan to worship together while seeking to ensure safety, our congregational gatherings will need to be very different than what we are accustomed to. We continue to monitor health advice and recommendations from the ELCA and Indiana-Kentucky Synod.
Some questions you may be asking:
Where will we gather? To begin with, we will gather outside for worship, with no access to the building. When we gather outside, we ask members to bring their own chairs if they are able. We will have some available for those who cannot. If case numbers continue to decline, worship will move into the sanctuary.
Will masks be required? Yes. Masks are required for all worshipers and leaders, whether gathered inside or outside. If you cannot wear a mask, please continue to worship from home.
Will physical distancing be required? Yes. All participants will maintain at least 6 feet of distance between households.
What changes will be made to worship? Worshipers must wear masks and maintain 6 feet of physical distance. Singing and speaking are among high risk activities. During this time, we will refrain from singing and congregational responses in worship. Worshipers will pass the peace silently from their seats. Holy Communion will be celebrated using bread. More details on changes can be found in the complete plan.
Should I come to worship? Consider your own risk factors as well as those of people in your household. Please do not come if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 or have been exposed to someone with Covid-19.
How will contact tracing be done? A list of those who have come for worship will be maintained for the purposes of contact tracing. If you test positive for Covid-19 and have been to a church gathering within the past 14 days, notify Pastor Lecia. Should you request it, your identity will be kept confidential in the process of contact tracing and notifying any contacts of possible exposure.
How will changes be communicated? Updates will be made by email to our newsletter list and on www.facebook.com/RisenLordBargersville.
What if I am not comfortable joining in person? Videos for worshiping at home will still be available at www.risenlordlc.org/blog.
Based on current trends, we will gather for worship outside on Sunday, September 13, 2020, with a final decision made to gather by Wednesday, September 10. Remember that this is a moving situation and we may have to take steps back in our plan. We look forward to being able to worship together in one space. If you have any questions about our plans to return, you can contact Pastor Lecia (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any members of the Leadership Team.
In the abiding hope of the Risen Lord,