MOVING FORWARD WITH GOD’S GRACE AND HELP
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” (Psalm 122:1)
Fellow Redeemed of Immanuel,
Beginning May 8, gathering size restrictions are being removed for churches and places of worship by the state of Indiana. Our gatherings no longer need to be limited to 10 people or less, provided that we continue to adhere to social distancing measures and increased hygiene practices to reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19.
After consulting with Council of Deacons, regular services in the Sanctuary will resume beginning this weekend, May 10, following the same careful practices that we have been using in our smaller services. The following plan will remain in effect until further notice:
- Beginning next week, we will resume regular weekly worship on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. with no limits on gathering size, other than that we maintain proper social distancing. The pastor and deacons, depending on attendance, may in the future add an additional service.
- Sunday School will remain suspended. Online video bible class will continue to be offered. The church office has been sending children’s Sunday School materials to parents via email.
- Services will continue to be live-streamed via the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ielcth/) and then posted on our website (ielcth.org).
The following practices will be observed to maintain reasonable social distancing measures and increased hygiene:
- Please take the time to wash and/or sanitize hands before and after coming here for Divine Service.
- In order to respect the social distancing of others, please do not congregate in the Narthex, nor in the hallways at the back entrance, nor by the parish office. Please move to the parish center for fellowship/conversation, or into the Sanctuary for prayer in preparation for Divine Service. You may certainly park in the Library parking lot on Poplar Street and enter through the Narthex doors.
- Each pew in the sanctuary will be marked with alternating red and green dots indicating whether it should be used in order to keep adequate 6 foot distance between groups/individuals in pews.
- Offering plates will not be passed and blue cards will not be picked up during service. You may leave your offering and your blue card in the offering plates before entering the sanctuary.
- Handshaking and close contact should be avoided as much as possible before and after the Divine Service.
- Holy Communion will be served one pew at a time, with a maximum of 4 communicants at the rail (unless the communicants all live in the same household). The communion rail will be sanitized after each pew communes.
- The Vicar and Pastor, along with any acolytes, will continue to sanitize their hands immediately before distributing Holy Communion. We will continue to soak the purificator in Everclear/Vodka to cleanse the rim of the Chalice.
- Please leave your hymnal in the pew after the end of service, so that our cleaning team can sanitize them along with the pew after Divine Service.
- Though not required, people are encouraged to feel free to wear masks to/during the Divine Service.
- Out of an abundance of caution, we encourage people to comply with the State of Indiana’s recommendation that those who are in high-risk groups (including those over 65), or who are not feeling well, or who feel uncomfortable in any way, to remain at home and to watch the video of the Divine Service.
We hope that with these measures in place, people will feel confident and safe in coming back to the Church for corporate worship. However, we understand that there may still be those who are not comfortable returning at this time, or feel that we are moving too quickly. For this reason, Pastor Sutton will also be available for small group/family services by appointment for those who wish to avoid larger gatherings.
Let us also keep in our remembrance the many citizens who have lost jobs and livelihoods, and the doctors and nurses and medical staff who are fighting this ongoing battle. We pray that the threat of this virus may be resolved very soon.
Yours in Christ, the Word made flesh,
Pastor Jacob Sutton