I know a few of you have asked me WHEN, while others have informed me that they will return when they feel safe. No two children are the same.
By direction and authority of the church council, We are assembling a strong Covid-19 task force.
The sole purpose of the task force it to come up with a plan and date for our return to the sanctuary. Key members of our church council have been part of a Zoom meeting put on by our Southeastern Synod Staff. Included with that meeting was a 30 pages document giving direction to congregations about how to safely return.
A couple of our neighboring congregations have put together some models that we can use for additional guidance. Gayle Summerville, council rep for worship and music, has already composed a model that is very much like the other two congregations. I think we may be close to our own model with some tweaks here and there. However, we want to have the task force that will be composed of medical experts in the field to put their eyes on it and give us further guidance.
One factor we do know is that the service will be shorter and accommodate a smaller number of attendees. While there will be music, we will not have group singing. The experts say the act of singing in large groups is one of the worst things we could do and could result in spreading the virus. Given that information, I have been in contact with one of the most outstanding liturgist in the ELCA. With input and guidance I am developing a service unique for this time. Simply chopping up our present service into pieces comes across just as that sounds. My goal is to respect our limitations but still have an inspirational and comforting service for these times.
Finally, I want you to know two important things. One, we will continue to offer an online service and are working at making that experience better every week. Lord, am I learning new things EVERYDAY. Two, the task force’s number one concern is your health and welfare. We will not invite you back unless we believe it can be done safely. Your own level of comfort will determine what choice YOU make. Either choice is the RIGHT choice.
To all the people of this congregation, I am doing all I can to get us back home safely. While I know that we will get there, I am unable at this time to say when. But until then, the presence of God has never departed from us wherever we are. So keep your seat-belts on, read a book or take a nap on your pillow and we do get there, Daddy will let you know.