UPDATE | As of December, we are permitted to worship in person with 25% capacity, which for our sanctuary is 92 people. Services will be livestreamed for those not comfortable attending in person.
We are thrilled to announce that we will be able to have Sundays, LIVE! (in person and online) beginning August 30! Though some elements might look a little different than what you’re used to, we promise the worship experience will be fulfilling! We’ve put procedures in place to respect our community mandates in order to continue to decrease the spread on COVID-19. We’ll have a contactless, safe, sanitized, and spacious experience for the entire family! Read on for details. We can’t wait to be in church together again!
Please click here to review COVID screening questions prior to Sunday morning.
For a full list of our procedures, please click here.
Here at St. Lukes, we’re gearing up for Fall! And while things certainly look different this year, we remain committed to serving our congregation and community to the best of our ability within the guidelines set forth by our government officials in this time of a pandemic. We’re excited to announce we’ve designed a plan that will allow us to present Sundays, LIVE! Beginning Sunday, August 30, we’ll hold Sunday morning services both in person and online! We’re excited to transition to a new normal, and with your help and cooperation, we feel confident that we can provide everything within our power to maintain the health of our attendees while still delivering a fulfilling worship experience. We are beyond grateful for the love and support you all have provided in the past months and are eager to adapt to this new normal.
We’re approaching in person worship with Matthew 22:37-39 as our guide:
37...“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
First, we want to encourage you to prayerfully consider what is best for you. Evaluate your specific situation. We fully respect your decision whether you return to live worship or continue to shelter in place. Online service will continue indefinitely and we’ll regularly evaluate new ways to engage everyone, whether at home or in our sanctuary, in each and every service. With this in mind, if you do plan to return to in person worship, please recognize that video equipment will be visible on and around the chancel so we can continue to deliver exceptional service to our viewers at home. Currently, our city mandates limit us to 50 people in attendance. Once we reach that number, we’ll have to ask that you return for the second service, or join us online.
In order to love thy neighbor as the Bible states, we’re implementing some new precautions for Sundays, LIVE in order to make Sundays accessible to those who may be more wary of coming together. We’re respectfully asking you to adhere to the following:
You’ll notice some changes to our in-person services. Our Sunday times, both in person and online, have readjusted to get us closer to our Sunday morningstructure (pre-COVID) and to allow for proper cleaning between services. For now, we’ll worship at 8 am in our traditional format and 10 am for modern worship <please note times have adjusted since posting>. As city mandates allow, and as attendance grows, we’ll reevaluate these times and consider when to return to a three-service structure.
Upon arriving at church, you’ll be asked to check in at a table outside the Narthex. We’ll have the state-mandated list of COVID screening questions posted and will ask you to confirm that you fall within acceptable guidelines to enter. Per state requirements, we will be maintaining a record of attendees for each service in order to provide for contact tracing should it come to our attention that an attendee has come down with COVID within 14 days of attending.
You’ll then be greeted by a Welcome Team member who will help you find a seat. We’ve roped off every other pew to maintain proper distancing. Family groups of 4 or more will be instructed to take up one entire pew. If you’re a single, couple, or family of 3, please sit on the end of a pew, so we can utilize both ends of the pew while still maintaining social distance between units.
Masks will be required at all times while inside the building, and should a line form while waiting to enter, we will ask that you wear a mask while in line. We will have masks available as needed.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE, it is our current city mandate to wear a mask while inside. Should you decide to not comply, we will be required to cancel service immediately and ask all in the sanctuary to leave. Our staff and leadership are not in a position for conflict and we do not have the capacity to tolerate any disturbance on a Sunday morning.
If you have questions, comments, or concerns about the mask mandate, please reach out to your Elder prior to resuming in-person worship.
At the conclusion of service, please remain in your seat until a Welcome Team member signals your row to exit. Please use the dots on the floor as a guide to maintain distance as you exit out the side Sanctuary doors. Offering baskets will be positioned at the exit doors. You may also make an offering via text, online, or through our app. Pastor Josh will be in the parking lot to bless you as you begin your week ahead. There will be no fellowship hour for the time being.
The front hall restrooms will be available for use throughout the morning. We ask that if more than two people are already inside, please wait outside until they exit. The remainder of the church will be blocked off to maintain cleaning standards for use during the week.
As already stated, it is mandatory to wear masks in the building. Following our community guidelines, children under 2 will not be required to wear masks. During services, only those on the chancel with singing or speaking roles will be permitted to remove their masks.
In addition to what’s already been outlined, we’ve put the following precautions in place to maintain cleanliness and safety for all:
The reality of our congregation is that we have many members who are in the high-risk group for COVID. In order to make accommodations for all members, we are dedicating our Wednesday morning Matins service with Pastor Mike at 10:30 am for ONLY those members who are not ready to resume Sunday in-person worship, who have been exclusively self-isolating, and fall within the community guidelines of attending services in terms of health and recent activity (as stated above for Sunday services). It is imperative for the comfort and safety of our high-risk members, you only attend this service if you have been self-isolating. A record of attendance will be kept for contact tracing purposes. Pastor Mike will be running this service exclusively. We will have Welcome Team volunteers who have also been isolating. If you feel passionately that singing, even through masks, will expose you to a higher risk, you may request to the Welcome Team volunteer that the service be limited to humming along with the hymns only. Pastor Mike will give this direction before service begins and we expect those in attendance to comply in order to honor your personal request for safety. Should no one raise concern, this service will allow singing. <These services have concluded at the end of 2020>
We’ve been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support you’ve all offered to assist the community in this time. On Sunday, Sept. 13, we’ll be holding a Ministry Fair to get you connected to service and social groups. Please be on the lookout for more details, and mark your calendars. We’re kicking off a new ministry year and are eager to invite new members and volunteers to serve alongside us through our 35+ ministry groups. We also have a handful of opportunities to lead a ministry, so if you’ve been looking to take on a greater role, now’s the perfect time. We will offer an online component to our Ministry Fair, so if you’re not ready for in-person events, don’t worry, you won’t miss out! Full details to follow!
This is a new normal for all of us and we expect adjustments to be made to our plan as we dive in and see how Sunday mornings flow. Thank you for your flexibility and understanding. And again, if you have thoughts to share, your Elder is ready to receive them! If you don’t know who your Elder is, please reach out to the office and we can put you in contact. We can’t wait to offer this hybrid in-person and online worship experience!
St. Lukes Leadership