Dear Saints and Friends of St. Peter’s,
“I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” – Psalm 122:1
After much prayerful consideration and discussion with our leadership, we have developed a plan of action to take precautions as we return to worship at St. Peter’s. This plan will be flexible in that we may find items that need to be revisited for the health, safety, and well-being of our congregation as we gather to receive our Lord’s gifts. We ask for your patience and flexibility as we move forward. Some things will be different in our life together in the weeks ahead. If the past 9 weeks have been any indication, patience and forgiveness abound here at St. Peter’s, and flexibility has been the name of the game.
As we roll out a Divine Service option, we will continue also offering small group, “Tables of 10” Confession, Absolution, and Holy Communion, by appointment from 9:45am-10:30am every Sunday, please call the office to reserve your spot.
We will livestream the 8am Divine Service on Facebook live each week.
We will offer 8am and 11 am Divine Service for those who would like that option.
To that end, the following considerations and precautions will be placed into action:
1. Seating will only be available in every other row of pews, limiting attendance to 75 people in our Sanctuary.
2. You will need to call the church office to reserve your spot for either the 8am or 11am Divine Service.
3. If you are sitting by someone who isn’t in your family, we ask that you distance yourself (this limits each pew to 3 non-related people).
4. Please do your best with sanitation measures. We will have sanitizer available for use.
5. The Lord’s Supper will be served in a continuous line. This takes into consideration the CDC guidelines that “close contact is considered 10 minutes within 6 feet of another person. Pastor will take time to explain the flow each Sunday. Both Common Cup and Individual Cups will be offered. Common Cup will still be cleaned with grain alcohol.
6. Between services we will be spraying the pews down with a 76.5% alcohol solution to disinfect the seating surfaces.
7. Prior to and following Sunday services the sanctuary and public spaces will be sprayed with DSV, a professional chemical solution that specifically lists “coronavirus” as one of the items it kills.
8. Those who are considered high risk and those who feel ill, have a temperature, or any symptoms of the virus are encouraged to make wise decisions regarding your health and safety, avoiding public gatherings as best as possible. You can join us online or make an appointment with Pastor.
9. The church currently has 50 masks available for use if you would like to utilize one. You are also welcome to bring your own.
10. We will be printing out the order of service in full so that you do not need to utilize the hymnals. They will not be handed out, but rather placed strategically for you to take. You are welcome to print your own or utilize your electronic device to follow the order of service (emailed out on Fridays). Please dispose of your bulletin after the service.
11. Offering plates will be left at the entrances of the church so that no plates are passed. Thankfully by the grace of God, our giving has continued faithfully throughout this awful pandemic, and the church financials appear fairly solid right now.
12. The congregation will be dismissed row by row starting from the back of the church to limit person to person contact. Pastor will dismiss each row, maintaining social distance, but still providing an opportunity for you to share anything of vital importance with him before you depart.
13. As much as you would like to hug your neighbors, we ask that at this time you do not hug anyone whom you are not related to.
We know this is all strange and out of the ordinary. It’s ok not to be happy about it. We’re not so keen on all these rules, regulations, and stipulations either, and all of us are looking forward to the day when we can resume our life together. But this is a step in the right direction and we thank God for this small step and look forward to the day when everything is restored.
Be encouraged to keep in contact with each other, especially those who are still unable to join us. God has given us each other so that we can build each other up in Christ. And if there is ever a time that we need the encouragement of the body of Christ, this is it.
These precautions will certainly be inconvenient, but it is as an opportunity to serve our neighbors by doing our best to prevent the spread of the virus in our community and especially among the body of Christ at St. Peter’s. The apostle Paul writes, “Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, since I know that you will do even more than what I say.”
If you have any questions, please contact Pastor in the church office, or your elder.
Your servants in Christ,
The Elders of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church