Christ Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Phase 1 of Reopening

Dearly beloved family of faith at CLC,

As we wrote last week, we find ourselves with the opportunity to gradually open our doors. Here is the plan for the first phase of reopening at Christ Lutheran. This will take place on Pentecost Sunday, May 31, at 9 a.m., with many safeguards and contingency plans in place. Though we hope to be able to go back to a full Sunday schedule in the future, we’re keeping with one service now so that we can do that one service as well as it can be done. We also realize that many people may still need or desire to stay at home as much as possible. We urge you not to do something that makes you feel unsafe, and if you are especially vulnerable, please do stay at home and use one of our other worship formats. We will continue to broadcast on FM 96.3, and we’ll also livestream and/or show a video of the service on Facebook and YouTube. As we look at reopening, you will see that we all have a responsibility to demonstrate concern for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Please carefully read and take the guidelines in our plan to heart. We have sought to use the many resources available from LCMS districts, Catholic dioceses, insurance companies, and governmental agencies.

We will seek to provide a clean and safe worship experience and be mindful of health needs and issues. Every member needs to act in accord with their own conscience and should not feel pressured to do something they are not comfortable with, especially those who are at a higher risk. We will be mindful that conditions may change at a moment’s notice. Therefore, we are asking our members to keep looking for communications via email, online, mail, and phone.

Phase one—the plan:

1. We will continue to broadcast the service on FM 96.3 at 9:00 a.m. We are asking that the parking lot near the bell tower be reserved for those who plan to listen to the radio broadcast from their cars.

2. We will be making a recording of the service to be streamed via Facebook and YouTube.

3. We will post videos of the service on Sunday at 9 a.m., on YouTube, Facebook, and our church app.

4. We will phase in worship attendance with the restrictions and guidelines listed below, beginning Pentecost Sunday, May 31, at 9:00 a.m.

5. There will be only one service, for the time being.

6. There will be no children’s message, Sunday School, refreshments, or choirs.

7. There will be no handshakes, hugs, gathering in groups, or “sharing of the peace.”

8. There will be no printed materials distributed or in the pews.

9. We prefer you to continue to give your offerings as you have been, via mail or online giving. At church there will be a limited number of receptacles for offerings, but we will not pass the plate.

10. We will ask family groups to sit together in the pews, but otherwise, people need to maintain a distance of six (6) feet from those they are sitting adjacent to. We will sit in every other pew.

11. As the sanctuary fills, we may begin to seat people in the chairs that are spaced out in the fellowship hall and listen via the sound system. As the fellowship hall fills, we may begin to ask people to listen to the radio broadcast in the parking lot or other areas, such as the gym.

For all our members, we are asking:

1. Stay home if you are sick.

2. Minimize travel if possible.

3. Wear face coverings or face masks at worship or out in public.

4. Minimize close physical contact with those outside your household.

5. Wash hands frequently with soap and water and avoid touching your face.

6. For those who have compromised immune systems, are advanced in years, or have underlying health conditions, carefully consider staying at home and watching online or listening to the FM broadcast.

7. Remember that many people have different perceptions of the nature of the outbreak, the risks involved, and the best ways to manage the risks. Please respect those whose views may differ from yours

To help maintain an acceptable level of safety and consideration for people’s health:

1. We’ll deep clean the church building.

2. Worship leaders will wear facemasks when interacting with attendees.

3. The communion rail will be removed.

4. Frequently touched surfaces and restrooms in the church will be cleaned and sanitized after every service.

5. Doors will be propped open if feasible.

6. The number of elders directly assisting with people will be kept to a minimum, and all those working with the public will frequently wash hands and take proper precautionary measures.

7. Hand sanitizer will be made available to everyone.

We will make communion available on May 31st, at the 9 a.m. service. Please observe the following:

1. There is no “emergency communion.” Members should not feel obligated to publicly receive communion if they have reservations or misgivings of any sort. No one should feel forced to have communion.

2. The number of officiants and communion servers will be kept to a minimum.

3. One of the pastors will be solely responsible for distributing communion to those who are listening in their cars. The parking lot distribution will be done as cars drive under the canopy by the bell tower.

4. Those preparing and/or distributing communion will carefully wash their hands. Facemasks/shields and gloves will be used.

5. We will begin by using double-sealed grape juice/bread wafer packs for communion. (You can google “fellowship cup” for examples.) The empty packaging can be dropped in containers that will be made available in the side aisles.

6. We will have markers, and/or signage to assist people with keeping the 6-foot distancing as they come forward to communion and stand to receive communion.

7. You will receive communion, eat, and drink as you stand before the altar, in front of the steps.

8. You will receive communion in your hand and open the packaging yourself. An elder and/or pastor will be available to guide you through the process. We will demonstrate how to open them via online videos and during the Sunday gathering.

9. An elder will usher people from their pews to come forward to communion and help usher people out of church after the service is over.

10. The pastors would be glad to give members communion at home or privately at church at other times if they would prefer. Members are asked to call the pastors to make an appointment.

Thank you for your patience, cooperation and understanding in this undertaking. We pray that God would bless us as we make every effort to come together in the best way possible.

Thank you to those who have already made cloth facemasks for us to make available for those attending worship. If any members would like to make more masks for us, that would be greatly appreciated. Please keep this letter and refer to it often, and please contact us by phone, text, or email, if there is anything at all that we can help you with. As always, we keep you in our hearts and prayers.

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Daryn

Pastor Andrew

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