Saturday, May 30, 2020
Dear Friends at Holy Cross,
The day is nearly upon us! God willing, the last “internet only” service will be on May 31, on Pentecost. Starting on June 6 and 7, we are offering our regular services once again.
But as we all know, even what is normal isn’t quite normal yet.
There are several things I want you to know about what services will be like next weekend, and there are also several things that I will need you to do in preparation for coming to God’s house once again to receive His gifts.
First of all is the question, am I ready to come back to church? Notice I did not ask, do I want to come back to church? I’m sure we all want to come back to church. If you don’t want to come back, then we certainly need to talk! But whether you are ready is a health and wellness question, not really a question of desire. Coming back to church means increasing your own risk of exposure to COVID-19, because it means being in proximity with more people in an enclosed space. We are doing everything possible to reduce the risk, as you will see below. But there is no way to eliminate the risk entirely. There is no shame in waiting. Each person in our congregation is in a different health situation, and has a different perspective on how best to handle things right now. That is your right, and I fully support it.
Next is the registration for attending services. We are having services on Saturday, June 6, at 5:00 p.m., as well as our normal Sunday morning times of 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. We will also continue to offer one live-streamed service each weekend, and are moving the live stream to the 8:00 a.m. service time every week.
Because of the size of our building, we are limited to no more than 50 people per service. In order to reasonably accomplish that, we have set up a registration site. Please go to this site:
Reopen.church for Holy Cross Lutheran Church
Please go as soon as you are able and sign up for whatever service you wish to attend. Everyone needs to go to this page to register for a service, even if you told your mercy group leader when or if you were attending. Also notice that one of the options is “At Home Visit w/Communion from a Pastor.” They force us to put a time, but ignore it. I won’t be visiting you at midnight, I promise! If you sign up there, we will know that you would like one of the pastors to come and bring you the Lord’s Supper. We will contact you the week of June 7 to schedule a time for that visit.
Next are the health and safety measures being put in place. I’m not going to list every single one, yet here are some of the highlights:
- There will be a health self-screening area for you as you enter the building
- So, so many hand sanitizers
- One way movement in and out of the building
- Social distancing (6′ between family groups) throughout the building
- Everyone attending the services will be required to wear masks. You may pull your mask down for receiving the Lord’s Supper
- Continuous communion distribution (standing up), rather than kneeling at the communion rail
- Greetings and gathering will be minimized
I know that there are many, many more questions about all of this. I would encourage you to go to our church’s COVID-19 page to find more answers. We are working on a FAQ, which I hope will try and answer questions along the way. The web site is:
Holy Cross and COVID-19
Finally, we have Bible Class. For right now, we are continuing to do Bible Class on ZOOM but will move the time to our normal time of 9:30 a.m. I realize this will make it a bit tight for people attending the 10:45 service, so we may finish a little earlier than usual. Once we have the services figured out, then we will start thinking through how to move Bible classes back into the buildings.
I’m sure you have more questions. Keep in touch, and don’t hesitate to ask your questions. I will also do an open Q&A from 11-11:30 on Sunday, May 31. We will do this immediately following bible class.
There are a lot of people working very hard to make all of this work as best as we are able. Please remember to continue to show grace and hospitality to all as we figure this out.
I can’t wait to see all of you!