Dear Holy Trinity friends,
Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!
Living as we do, in the context of that good news, inspires our obedience to what might be the most frequent command voiced in the Bible … whether issued by angels or prophets or Jesus and his followers: Do not be afraid.
Trusting that good news, Jesus’ followers address the uncertainties of their times with particular attention to the well-being of the most vulnerable among us. The latest uncertainty that we face is the coronavirus outbreak around the world.
While the personal health risk to most of us at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church right now is likely very low, the risk is higher for anyone whose immunities are diminished for any reason. And the threat of transmitting the contagious virus is real for everyone, endangering the capacity of our health care system if too many people get sick too quickly. In that sense, while the virus risk for me might be low, the risk for us is high.
Therefore, keeping in mind the health of each individual and the most vulnerable in particular, along with concern for the wider community as well, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church is adopting the following safeguards in consultation with the best medical, governmental and church-wide guidance available:
Group Events at Church
- Sunday worship and Child Development Program (CDP) classes will continue unless conditions worsen and indicate otherwise.
- We fully support as valid each person’s decision whether to attend church or not.
- The liturgy will be Service of the Word without communion, as the ELCA is encouraging.
- We will advise at church on social distancing such as passing the peacewith verbal greetings and visual gestures rather than handshakes, hugs or other physical contact.
- If worship is ever suspended, we will prepare and offer a service online.
- Given concern expressed across the congregation and for the sake of contributing to local and global containment efforts aimed at slowing spread of the virus, we will suspend mid-week Lenten services, choirs and all other church and community group meetings at Holy Trinity beginning Thursday, March 12 through Monday, March 23 while the CDP is closed for spring break.
- The church will otherwise be open for individuals during normal hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30-12:30.
Other General Practices
- Anyone with even mild symptoms of illness is encouraged to stay home.
- Anyone who becomes sick while at church will be cared for in the Library (with its bathroom) until arrangements are available to take the person home or to the hospital.
- Church cleaning services are being redoubled to assure daily disinfection of all bathroom fixtures and surfaces throughout the church.
- Soap for frequent hand-washing will be available at all sinks, along with hand sanitizer throughout the building as available.
- Pastoral care remains available via telephone, text, email and in person as appropriate.
Thank you, in advance, for your understanding and cooperation with these matters which, going forward, will be revisited and communicated to you weekly. Being community together, especially in uncertain times like these, gives strong witness to the trust we have in the God who leads us out of fear into life through Christ our Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mike Christman, President; Steve Wachtman, Pastor; Sara Wunsch, Vicar