Out of an abundance of care and concern for the health and well-being of the Resurrection Lutheran Church community, this document has been created to guide us in the implementation of best practices during the current outbreak of the Coronavirus strain known as COVID-19. It is important to note that these changes are only temporary and are being utilized in order to reduce the risk of transmission and protect the most vulnerable members of our community.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) will be considered our primary resources for information and recommendations.
- Secondary sources of information may include the health department, local hospitals and school districts, nearby colleges and universities the ELCA Churchwide, and the NTNL Synod.
B. Contact and Communication
- A full church directory in digital format including phone numbers and email information will be distributed to the members of the Council and the Pastor.
- The ability to email the entire congregation from outside the church office will be made available to the Executive Committee and the Pastor.
- Important and time sensitive information will be released primarily via email, social media, and the church website.
- Phone calls and text messaging will be used as a secondary form of communication.
- Reminders will be shared via bulletin insert, worship slides, and verbal announcements whenever possible.
C. Hand Washing
- Everyone is encouraged to use proper hand washing techniques as often as possible. The best defense against the spread of illness is to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (the time it takes to pray the Lord’s Prayer).
- Hand sanitizer is only for those times when you don’t have access to soap and water.
- Keep your hands away from your face (eyes, nose, and mouth) and be sure to cough/sneeze into your elbow.
D. Illness Protocol
1. Signs and Symptoms
- COVID-19: fever, cough, shortness of breath, symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure
- Influenza: fever, cough,
chills, sweats, congestion, sore throat, fatigue, weakness, muscle aches
- Allergies: sneezing, itchy
nose or eyes, runny nose, watery eyes
2. COVID-19 Higher Risk
- Older Adults: The CDC considers this anyone over the age of 60 years old
- Chronic Illness: diabetes,
heart conditions, respiratory problems (including lung diseases such as
asthma), those under treatment for cancer, any condition that weakens the
- Immunocompromised: anyone
with an immune system that is impaired or weakened either through medication or
illness; those with compromised immune systems have a reduced ability to fight
infections and diseases (like Coronavirus).
3. If you are sick, please stay home.
- We can’t emphasize this enough. At this time, we want to be cautious and help prevent the potential spread of illness. This applies to church staff as well as volunteers and members
4. If you are in the CDC’s “higher risk” category...
- We understand if you feel the need to stay home during this time. Please let us know how we can best support you.
5. If you or someone you know is sick...
- Please let the Pastor or church office staff know. Please don’t visit the sick yourself.
- Please continue to give offering. When this is over, we still want to have a church. We support mission and ministry in the United States and the world through our giving in addition to providing salaries for staff and the upkeep of our facility.
- Offering can be dropped off, mailed to the office, an electronic check can be sent from your bank, or consider signing up for online giving.
II. Phase One Reopening Protocols
Opening under Phase One Protocols will only be considered after the Metroplex Area has experienced a fourteen day decline in hospitalizations.
A. Worship Services
1. Online worship will continue to be available at 10:00 each Sunday with the option to attend in-person.
2. In-person Phase One worship will look and feel very different from what we are used to. The following practices will be in place:
- The main doors to the building will be propped open to limit the number of people touching door handles.
- Worshippers will be required to wear face masks covering both nose and mouth. They are asked to bring one with them. If worshippers do not have a mask, disposable masks will be available for all worshippers over the age of 2. Masks are to remain on throughout the service, expect when taking Communion (see Communion section below)
- Pastor will wear a mask during Communion only.
- Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance to the building.
- Greeters will be not be shaking hands/hugging, but will be directing the use of face masks and hand sanitizer. Temperature checks will be done on an as needed basis if someone says they are not feeling well.
- There will be no nursery care.
- Restrooms will be available with the doors propped open, but access to any other areas of the facility will be blocked off, including the Tree House area.
- Nametags will be removed from the racks.
- Worshippers are to space themselves out in the sanctuary. Families can certainly sit together, however, others will be seated 6 ft. apart. Pews will be blocked off to ensure safe spacing.
- Sharing of the peace will be done as Peace in Place – greet another verbally, with a nod or a “knowing look”!.
- Offering plates will not be passed. They will be placed on tables at the entrances. Ushers will not be carrying them forward. Anyone handling the plates or their contents (i.e. counters and whomever sets the plates out) will need to follow hand washing protocols.
- Attendance folders will be removed from the sanctuary and the practice of collecting names of attendees will be temporarily suspended.
- Hymnals and bibles will be removed from the pew racks. Screens will be used for prayers, hymns, etc. A QR code will be provided for those with vision problems so that they can access worship materials on their phones or tablets, if needed. Bulletins and Greensheets will only be digital.
- At the end of the service, congregants will remain seated until dismissed by the ushers. All are asked to refrain from congregating in the aisles, Narthex or other areas.
- The Pastor will not be shaking hands after worship. Members are encouraged to refrain from handshaking and other physical contact at this time.
None of our music groups, including the choir, bell choir and praise band, will gather during Phase One.
- Those involved in the set-up and/or clean-up of communion (filling cups, putting out bread, setting the altar) should follow proper handwashing protocols and use the nitrile gloves provided in the sacristy.
- Everyone assisting with communion will wash their hands with soap and water in the sacristy during the offering hymn and don a mask. Pastor or asst. minister will give a reminder announcement about communion practices.
- Communicants will approach the altar at the direction of ushers by the center aisle observing the floor markings of 6 ft. spacing. We will not gather around the altar but will receive communion at the center of the altar. Bread/wafers will be dropped into hands to eliminate physical contact. You may lift your mask to take communion. You will then move to one of the side aisles where individual wine cups will be placed in the wine trays that are filled to 50% capacity. Each communicant will take their own cup as the Asst. Minister says “The Blood of Christ shed for you.” A bowl with a plastic trash liner will be sitting on a table for discarding used communion cups. After worship, the bag will be removed by someone wearing gloves and thrown away.
D. Food and Drink
No in-person coffee time. The Zoom Virtual Living Room coffee time will continue.
E . Events and Activities:
- In an abundance of caution, we are suspending in person Children’s Sunday School, Kids Club, RALLY, RYOT. Zoom meetings/ You Tube, etc. are encourage.
- Adult Sunday School and various other adult groups and meetings that happen on a regular basis are also suspended for any in-person gatherings. Zoom meetings are encouraged.