With Joy and Thanksgiving, We Announce that Divine Services will Resume in the Sanctuary of Immanuel Lutheran Beginning May 31, 2020
May 18, 2020
Dear Parishioners of Immanuel,
A virtual meeting with the Pastor, Board of Elders, and Planning Council was held on May 13. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a congregational return to the sanctuary for the Divine Service. We will resume services on May 31 for all who are comfortable in joining to worship in the Sanctuary.
There are 3 main reasons for choosing this date:
- It is time to Worship our Lord and receive His eternal gifts together once again in Word and Sacrament.
- May 31 is the Day of Pentecost and a major festival of the church year.
- Many churches in our area and within the Michigan District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod are also opening on this date.
Procedures for Returning to the Sanctuary
The best practices of social distancing will be observed. The following procedures will be implemented by Immanuel when opening:
- Face masks will be required and made available for all church participants until further notice.
- Anyone not comfortable in wearing masks will have the option of watching the recorded service on Immanuel’s website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page, which will be available within the first couple of days following the Worship Service.
- Pastor will continue to offer communion and pastoral care by appointment.
- Attendees are expected to use best practices while attending services and are expected to stay home when showing any symptoms of the Covid-19 virus.
- Maintain a 6’ spacing with others in all areas of the church.
- No hugging, handshakes, or other personal physical contact.
- Every other pew will be roped off and an X will be taped to the floor to help maintain social distancing. Ushers will help in maintaining appropriate seating. Family members (same household members) are asked to sit together when possible.
- The Narthex, and the Nursery, both having public announcing capacity of the service, will be available for any overflow from the Sanctuary.
- Adult Bible classes and Sunday School will be postponed until further notice.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be positioned at popular locations within the church and can be used as needed.
- Offering plates will not be passed, but offerings will be collected in a plate at the entrance of the sanctuary.
- Communion will be served as outlined:
- There will be a table at the steps to the chancel where registration cards for communion can be placed. Also hand sanitizer will be located there for those communing at the rail.
- A maximum of seven will be allowed at communion rail at a time.
- Communicants will have the option of standing or kneeling.
- Pastor will have one assistant helping with distribution.
- Individual cups will be used for the foreseeable future.
- Worshipers are asked to leave the church premises upon completion of the service.
Returning to the Sanctuary to worship together and receive God’s gifts in Word and Sacrament is something for which we thank God with great joy. Yet, we also know that many will have reservations and will be reluctant to return right away for many reasons. Please know that we will endeavor to respond to all with love and patience. In all circumstances, we look in faith to our risen Lord Jesus who has defeated sin, death, hell, and the devil for us. He holds us in His perfect love.
The Board of Elders
The Planning Council