Dear First Lutheran,
Many of you have been following the news around the Corona Virus and the responses of various communities around our country. More updates are coming in all the time and we are considering all of it as we make decisions for our faith community. Our staff has met to discuss our current response, knowing that we will need to remain flexible as new information becomes available.
With that said, First Lutheran will hold services this week, including Gallery of Living Art. However, we are advising people who have underlying health conditions not to attend. Those who are elderly should also consider staying home until this virus is subdued. Those who do attend are asked to follow good public health hygiene. The above advice applies to all church activities.
For worship we have made a few additional changes. We will not be shaking hands during the peace or at the conclusion of worship. We will not be passing the offering plates but will invite people to give their offering as they come forward for communion. Communion will be by intinction; only the pastors will handle the bread, and they will have washed and sanitized their hands prior.
We anticipate that further precautions may be required next week. We plan to video record services this week and post to our website so for those whom it is unwise to attend public gatherings may still participate in worship. We will also continue to audio record sermons, and those are available on our website. If it becomes necessary to cancel worship for a time, we will provide sermons and other worship opportunities online. Keep up to date by checking our website http://www.flccs.net, and make sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Check your email and mark emails from firstname.lastname@example.org safe.
The Pastors and Christian Caregivers have suspended visitation at this time. Most hospitals and nursing homes are not allowing visits. We will connect with people through phone calls and emails instead.
We believe these are prudent steps to take. We are not fearful or anxious but are simply being smart and trying our best to care for the congregation. Sometimes loving each other well means interrupting regular practices to keep one another safe.
In addition, we will be asking for volunteers to help us check in on elderly members and those who are unable to safely leave their homes. These volunteers will make phone calls and communicate with pastors the needs of our people. Volunteers may be needed to run errands for those who need to stay home. We will also be collecting money to purchase groceries for those who rely on school lunch in case of schools being closed (the cards will help students in the summer if schools remain open). We continue to pray for all those affected by this virus and seek God’s direction for how we can be part of His healing and protection for our community.
In all of this we trust that God is with us and will guide and protect us.
In Christian hope,