Summer Covid-19 Plan

In conversation with recommendations from the synod, the state, our insurance company, an excellent video by Dr. Osterholm, and members of First Lutheran we offer the following plan for our ministry this summer. We hold in tension the priorities of health, spiritual nourishment, and the mission to equip our members to be fully committed followers of Jesus. While this is our plan, we recognize that facts on the ground may change and so we reserve the right to adapt to meet new challenges. Our primary motivation continues to be the greatest commandment given to us by our Lord Jesus, that we would love one another as Christ has loved us.

This virus is deadly. It is now the number one cause of death in the United States. It is spread primarily through aerosols (think the dust particles you see when sunlight streams through a window). The most dangerous place to be is indoors with a crowd of people. Masks, handwashing, and physical distancing are the best ways to prevent infection. With all that in mind your council, pastors and staff have developed the following plan for the summer. We recognize that summer may be a lull in the virus’s spread and that the fall may lead to increases that will require us to adjust our plan accordingly.

  1. We will hold a monthly outdoor communion service.
    a. Wednesday – June 17, July 15 & August 12 , 9 am, 12 pm & 6 pm
    b. It is possible to hold 100 people socially distanced on the south two sections of the front lawn. The service will be very short: a reading a word, prayers, some music, and holy communion. (30 minute service +distribution).
    c. This is an experiment.
    d. Masks will be required; chairs will be set up following physical distancing requirements.
    e. Those who are sick or particularly vulnerable should not attend.
    f. If the weather is unsuitable, we will reschedule.
    g. Please let us know that you plan to attend either via the connection card or a phone call to the church office, so we know how many to set up for.
  2. We will open our building to 12-step groups. We will require that they wear masks and maintain physical distancing as well as sanitize the room upon their departure. Most 12-step groups will meet in Luther Hall.
  3. Small church groups of ten or fewer are welcome to resume meeting in the church building.
    a. One group per level of the building may meet at a time – Gathering Place and Fireside Room for instance.
    b. No card groups may meet; they are not able to socially distance and the shared cards create a possibility for contamination and spread.
    c. All groups shall wear masks and socially distance.
    d. The leader of the group will write down names and phone numbers to assist with contact tracing in case that becomes necessary.
    e. The church will not provide coffee service; no shared food or drinks in groups are permitted.
    f. Groups will be asked to sanitize upon leaving, and supplies will be made available.
    g. Members of the group will be asked to wear masks, remain six feet apart, and sanitize the room before leaving.
    h. Groups larger than 10 may meet outdoors with permission of pastors.
  4. We will continue to provide online Sunday worship services in lieu of physically gathering for worship on Sundays. We are following the Synod recommendation to refrain until at least August 31st. Council will continue to monitor conditions and evaluate our response.
  5. Summer Online Sunday School
    a. Begins on June 7th and will continue through August 16th
    b. All classes (K-12) will follow the summer sermon series.
    c. Pastors will create a “Questions/Prompts for the Home” to go with the message and reading for that day. Youth staff could also create a craft or project to do at home.
    d. Elementary Sunday School classes will meet via Zoom on Sundays at 10 am, 11 am, and 6 pm. Middle School Youth Group meets at 4 pm and High School at 5 pm.
  6. Youth Groups
    a. Groups of less than ten, with permission from parents will meet outside, socially distanced with masks a few times a month, perhaps even weekly. Hula Hoops to be used for protecting personal space. “Hula Hoop Huddles” will be especially aimed at middle school age youth.
    b. Hiking in small groups of less than ten is permitted for high school youth, with their parents’ permission. Masks are to be worn, social distancing practiced. Families must provide their own transportation to and from trailhead.
    c. There will be no mission trip. We will re-evaluate any type of service project in mid-July.

Attention Graduates

We would like to recognize all of our graduates!
 
If your family has a graduate from any school – high school, college, trade or nursing school,  email chris@flccs.net by May 29. Be sure to include any special honors, degrees or recognition. Names will be listed in the Ekklesia on June 3.

Daily Bread Devotional

June 1st will be time for a new Daily Bread devotional. You may pick one up starting Thursday, May 21, outside of each door off the alley (look for the boxes). These will only be available on week days not on the weekend.

You may also access Daily Bread online at https://odb.org/. Click on “Today’s Devotional”.

Adopt a High School Senior!

Lets shower our high school seniors with extra love! They continue to have so many disappointments this year, no senior breakfast, prom, yearbook signing day, last day of school out in the parking lot, graduation, parties, just to mention a few. We can do a lot to cheer them up!

Fill out the form here if you’d like to ‘adopt’ one or even two of them. You will be provided a name, short bio, and address and the rest is up to you. You can send cards, gifts, lunch, etc. Please make sure you include some words of wisdom to pass on to this amazing group of kids!

A Place to Talk

OWLs in conversation
TODAY at 10am
Zoom – https://zoom.us/j/209040388

Do you miss seeing your friends? Do you have a computer? Today we invite our Older Wiser Lutherans (OWLs) to join us online in a place to talk! This is guided conversation with Pastor Maertens, Pastor Ralph and Jan Anderson, and Dr. David Fennell. In this time where we are all at home it is so good to communicate and check in with one another. I invite you to please take advantage of this time to share how things are going, engage one another in conversation, and learn ways that we can support one another in these uncertain times!

If you’re worried about the technical details, do your best to use the link here: https://zoom.us/j/209040388 to sign into our zoom meeting. If you have questions you can email Pastor Carrie at carrie@flccs.net and she will try to help you get signed in!

Easter Art Work Needed!

This week we would love to have your child share their artwork with us! We are asking for them to draw and color a picture of what Easter looks like or means to them.  Our Easter is a joyful time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, often depicted with Easter lilies, butterfly’s, rainbows, sunshine, maybe the three crosses on the hill with a sunrise behind them, or even an empty tomb!  This would be a great time to read the resurrection story together and see what images come to mind for you kiddo  (Read Matthew 28)  When they are done, take a photo of your child and their picture and send it to Theresa@flccs.net.

We need the photos by 5pm on Wednesday April 8th.

And if the grown-ups wanted to make a picture too, that would be fun!

Mosaic Needs Your Help

Things are changing rapidly, and we are doing everything we can to keep the people we serve and their caregivers safe from COVID-19. Our host home families are in need of face masks. This is an immediate need and we are calling on the community in a way we have not done so in years due to the pandemic affecting our community and country. Mosaic stands alongside people with intellectual disabilities to bring awareness to issues that affect their lives.

Our hope is that some of the amazing people at First Lutheran might be willing to take this on and help. We are looking for several of the congregations we work with to commit to producing a certain number of face masks based on capacity.

Overall, we hope to secure 400 fabric face masks within the next 1-2 weeks. No one person can meet this need, so we ask First Lutheran to be a crucial part of making this happen by considering a commitment to produce 50 masks.

We are looking for adult size masks without a wire nose piece so that they will be easy to launder regularly.

Here is a link to mask patterns we are using across the country:

Sweet Red Poppy (http://ow.ly/zSQp30qrEeq).

I am the point of contact for this project and will coordinate pick-ups/drop-offs of completed masks. Please email me at emily.plotkin@mosaicinfo.org with questions. God bless, and thank you for any help you can provide.

-Emily Plotkin, Mosaic

April Church Update

Following the order of our Governor and recommendation of our Bishop, we will not hold worship services in the sanctuary for the month of April. Our Bishop continues to recommend remaining closed through the middle of May, and that may indeed be what we do, but we’re making decisions on a monthly basis.

Please continue to join us for worship online. Every Sunday we email out our services at 7:00am. If you haven’t been receiving them, please click here to add your email to our distribution list. We also watch worship together on Facebook through Facebook Premier at 9:00am on Sundays- which is a nice way for us to interact in the chatroom during worship. You can find all of our worship services on our YouTube page, by clicking here.

We are thankful for your faithfulness during this time and look forward to the day we worship together in person again!

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