Dear Chapel Family,
We want you to know we have re-opened for Worship on the weekend beginning June 6. We have not made that decision lightly, knowing that more than 100,000 people in our country have died from this pandemic. We made this decision based on conversations with public health officials and government officials, with an eye to Synod and District guidelines, and through much dialogue with our neighboring Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod churches. Having said that, we will reopen with great caution and with a number of changes to how we gather and worship. For now, the only acceptable approach is to minimize risk, which means employing all suggested CDC guidelines for public gatherings.
Chapel of the Cross In-Person Worship Guidelines:
- Those who are symptomatic, meaning have a fever, sore throat, vomiting, etc., and those who have known exposure to another with the coronavirus within the previous 14 days are not permitted to enter the church building. They should self-quarantine for 14 days from the time they had symptoms or have come in contact with someone who had the virus.
- Those who have underlying health issues are strongly encouraged to remain home and worship online. We will continue to offer our online Livestream services as well as other opportunities. Our 8:00 a.m. service is went to our website via Livestream and is available at other times On Demand.
- Narthex church doors (exterior and interior) will be kept open, and hand sanitizers will be available at all the doors of the church. Please wash your hands well before you come to Worship.
- In accordance with current CDC guidelines, a face covering will be required while in the church and during the service. We will have a mask for you to wear if you do not have one to bring. CDC guidelines state that children under 2 years of age and anyone unable to remove their own mask should not wear them. For more information, please go to the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
- Be aware and careful in the parking lot, maintaining social distance at all times.
- When you enter the church, please take a bulletin off the table and move directly to a pew to sit. Refrain from socializing and moving about the building. As only the Narthex and Sanctuary will be open, you are encouraged to go to the restroom prior to arriving for Worship. Restrooms will be accessible but use should be avoided.
- We will have designated areas where people can sit. Please sit only in the areas marked for seating. A specially trained usher will be there to answer questions. All current usher, greeter, counter, and elder teams are suspended until further notice.
- Families may sit together in a pew. Individuals, couples, and families are requested to keep a distance of 6 feet from other people or family groups next to them in the pew.
- Pastors will be up in the Chancel before the service starts. They will be able to verbally welcome you and assist with directing the seating. They will not be able to hug or shake hands for now. We ask all worshipers to likewise refrain from handshakes and hugging for now.
- The services will be planned to be about 40 minutes long. Please plan accordingly.
- Hymnals will be not be used nor will the collection plates be passed. All music will be printed in the bulletin. There will be a location in the Narthex to leave your contributions, or we encourage you to take advantage of our online giving opportunities or to continue to mail in your offerings.
- A worship attendant will dismiss you by family group for the Lord's Supper. We will not sing during distribution.
- At the end of each service, an usher will direct you as to when to leave to go to your car. Departure will be by row to avoid congestion.
Finally, in order to be able to worship in person while allowing for social distancing, we need your help. We will add two Saturday services (at 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.) during this transitional time. We will still have the Sunday 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. services and the Monday 7:00 p.m. service, as well as the Wednesday 11:00 a.m. service (set aside for higher risk members). The pews and Narthex will be cleaned between services. We highly encourage you to abide by the following guidelines:
1. If you usually worship at the Monday 7:00 p.m. service or the Wednesday 11:00 a.m. service, then please continue to do so.
2. If you usually would not worship Monday at 7:00 p.m. but would like to for the time being, then please do. We anticipate being able to accommodate the current Monday night crowd with more added to that service.
3. If you are 75 years or older, please consider attending the Wednesday 11:00 a.m. service. If you are not in this higher risk category and would normally not have attended this service, please allow this service to remain exclusively for our most at-risk members. We feel we can accommodate those who regularly attended and our 75 and older members at this service.
4. If you regularly attended Sunday 8:00 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. services, we ask that you would alternate throughout the summer between the newly offered Saturday and your normal Sunday services if possible. Here is what we suggest and encourage you to do:
If your last name begins with A–K, worship on Saturday, June 6, at 4:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. If your last name begins with L–Z, worship on Sunday, June 7, at 8:00 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. The following week, June 13–14, L–Z worship on Saturday and A–K on Sunday. Obviously, this may not be possible every week, but if we all try our best to accommodate this schedule, it will help us keep Worship safer, more evenly distributed, and orderly. Our goal is to have 80–100 people per service on Saturday and Sunday to accommodate our average weekend attendance. As always, our Livestream will be available every Sunday at 8:00 a.m. and then On Demand at chapelofthecrosslutheran.org/online.
|June 6 & 7||A–K||L–Z|
|June 13 & 14||L–Z||A–K|
|June 20 & 21||A–K||L–Z|
|June 27 & 28||L–Z||A–K|
|July 4 & 5||A–K||L–Z|
|July 11 &12||L–Z||A–K|
|July 18 & 19||A–K||L–Z|
|July 25 & 26||L–Z||A–K|
Finally, just to set expectations during this phase of reopening, the church services will not exactly be the same as before the pandemic. In the beginning, we will neither serve Communion nor hold our normal weekend in-person Bible Studies and Sunday School. As we acclimate to the new approach and feel it is safe, Phase Two will reintroduce Communion (June 20–22) and we will continue to offer online Bible Study opportunities.
Chapel of the Cross Staff and Leadership