by: Elizabeth Krolak
Dear members and friends of Peace Lutheran Church,
I’m writing this on behalf of myself and the Gathering Together Task Force. We’ve been working on a preparedness plan and the many logistics involved in gathering again in person for worship and other activities. We recognize that other churches in our community have already resumed in-person worship, and many of us are eager to meet in person again in the sanctuary. Our decision was to wait until November, with an anticipated date of November 1 for in-person worship. This decision was not made lightly but with deep consideration of many factors, with your wellbeing and the wellbeing of all leaders and worshipers at the forefront.
Every congregation has had a different set of variables to consider in this decision, including size of the sanctuary, entry and exits, staff support, cleaning workforce and supplies, risk factors for leaders, volunteer support, and their ability to quickly move to online-only worship and the quarantining of the pastor and other worship leaders if needed. Some of these factors have posed a greater challenge for us than others.
A particular challenge--and opportunity!--for us is that online worship will continue to be offered along with in-person worship. This demands much volunteer support in small congregations like ours with part time pastoral leadership, as it requires additional work livestreaming, recording, or uploading the service. Also, volunteers and staff who are at higher risk for severe illness (elderly or underlying health conditions) are strongly encouraged to stay home and worship or work online.
As we prepare for in-person worship to begin on Nov. 1, please take these three easy, quick steps to 1-2-3 GO! as we seek to provide a safe and meaningful gathering.
- How many people will be attending in person and online? We need to know! Please have one person from your household go to this site for a very brief survey. It will only take a few minutes and it’s anonymous. Thanks! This will help us decide how to schedule our worship services, as occupancy will be limited.
2. Can you help with worship? Our accustomed approach of having Service Teams won’t work with limited numbers and the need for social distancing. So, when we gather in person again, our worship will require a whole new set of volunteer worship assistants!
If you are able to attend and have gifts in the areas of:
- technology (video or computer—we have a new camcorder and computer),
- reading scripture or
- keeping things clean
we have a place for you to use those gifts in our worship! You can sign up to help with worship here .
Again, persons who are at higher risk for severe illness (elderly or underlying health conditions) are strongly encouraged to stay home and worship online while others fill these volunteer roles.
3. Are you prepared to come to worship? It will look a little different and it will likely feel different. Please take 5 minutes and view this video that will walk you through the adaptations we need to make for worship during a pandemic.
Through these many changes and adjustments, may we remember that God’s faithfulness never changes. “Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.” Psalm 119:90. We have an opportunity every day (not just in worship!) to share this trust and unshakable confidence in God with the world. Invite your friends and neighbors to worship with you (online or in person), and tell your friends this good news. Let’s go!
We are truly grateful you are part of Peace Lutheran Church! And we look forward to worshiping with you, in person or online, together in Christ.
Pastor Beth Krolak
Daily prayer during the pandemic:
Lord, we humbly come to you once again from the midst of this pandemic. Be with all of those who are suffering. Heal those who are sick, comfort the souls of those with anxiety or depression, protect the essential workers, provide for all who suffer economically, and give wisdom to all those in policy-making positions. Amen.*
Prayer from Duke Divinity School