Dear members and friends of First Lutheran Church and Preschool,
Greetings in the name of Jesus! On Tuesday, October 6, the elders and I met to make a variety of
decisions regarding indoor worship as we head into the winter months. Below are the decisions we
came to a consensus on.
We will begin indoor worship on Sunday, November 1. We will continue with our outdoor services for
through the end of October. We will continue to have an online option into the foreseeable future for
those who are unable to join us for in-person worship.
Many of the precautions we have put in place for the outdoor services will remain in place for indoor
services. Masks, temperature checks, and social distancing will be required.
Current state and county guidelines limit us to 25% of our capacity indoors. Our capacity in the
sanctuary is 280, which means we will be limited to 70 people in the sanctuary for the time being. In our
outdoor services we’ve typically had 40-50 people, so we do not anticipate that limit being an issue.
We will clearly mark off the pews to indicate where people are to sit to remain socially distanced. We
will have 36 different spots where each family unit can be seated, scattered through the sanctuary.
One concern we have heard is regarding singing. The county and state’s recommendations for singing
include singing less often and more quietly. We will be singing, but we will begin by only singing the
closing hymn. We will look for other ways to involve music in our worship and praise.
Some additional precautions we are taking include a robust cleaning schedule, opening all doors and
windows in the sanctuary during our service to improve ventilation (you may need a coat in the winter
months), and having a clear system for entering and exiting the sanctuary. Over the next few weeks we
will be ironing out the logistics for these plans.
We understand that some people will not be comfortable worshiping in-person due to their risk factors
for Covid-19. This is entirely understandable. Each week 30-40 people have gathered to worship with us
online, and I hope you all will continue to do this. I hope to continue to provide pastoral care to you all,
especially in the form of bringing you the Lord’s Supper as frequently as possible.
We will continue to follow state and county guidelines both as a way to respect authority and to take
precautions for the safety of our community. The state may tighten restrictions again, and we will abide
by those decisions.
Through all of this, I pray that we will keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. I pray that you will continue to
receive God’s gifts of His Word and Sacraments whether in-person or online. I pray that you would
continue in prayer for myself, our congregation, our preschool, and our community. And I pray that we
would all continue to run the race of faith that has been set before us together. Clearly there have been
several hurdles and some rocky terrain in our race of faith this year, but as we keep our eyes fixed on
Jesus, we pray that He will lead us in His grace and mercy.
May the God of peace be with you all!
Pastor Andy Jones, along with elders: Bob Dottery, Kent Campbell, Kevin Meyer