Worship Protocols during COVID-19

The church council members at Abiding Grace Lutheran Church have decided to expand our worship offerings at this time. Please read and adhere to the following protocols, as handed down by our Council President and church leadership.

As Pastor Nick has reminded us over the past several months, “it’s important to remember the God we put our faith in is bigger than our fears, and bigger than any virus. We are not alone. We still have each other, and we have a God who promises to remain with us no matter what.”

While returning to pre-COVID-19 worship and fellowship in our Sanctuary is not safe at this time, your Church Council has heard your opinions, needs, and fears.  It is time to expand our worship offerings and make virtual and in-person ~ both indoor and outdoor ~ options available to you.

Below is important information in regards to our in-person worship offerings that will begin in September.  On behalf of the Council, I ask that you comply with the requests below.  We understand that you may not agree with a specific protocol(s), but we ask that you respect and follow them for the safety of others and the responsibility of AGLC.  It will be devastating if we start offering these additional worship opportunities and then have to stop.  We want to avoid this at all costs.  We thank you in advance!

Indoor & Live-Stream Worship:

  • Start Date: Sunday, September 6th, 10:00am – indoor worship & live-stream.  Beginning Sunday, September 13th, indoor worship & live-stream will start at 11:00am.
  • Capacity: 50 people.  40 members in attendance and 10 worship leaders (Note: 24 of 110 survey respondents indicated they were ready for indoor worship so we believe this will work).
  • Reservations: Our reservation system will open each Tuesday at 12noon. Members will complete our reservation form and spots will be filled first come, first serve.  When capacity is reached, a waiting list will be started.
  • Attendees:
    • A signed waiver will be required the first time you attend.  Your signed waiver will be kept on file for future services you attend.
    • Masks will be required for everyone over the age of 2.
    • Sanctuary will open for entry at 9:50am on Sept. 6 and 10:50am starting Sept. 13.
    • Seating will be configured so that social distancing will be the only option.
    • Pre-packaged Communion kits will be placed on chairs before members arrive.
    • Once worship concludes, members must leave the sanctuary without lingering for conversation.
    • No food or drink will be provided.

Reserve your Seat

Outdoor Worship:

  • Start Date: Sunday, September 13th, 9:00am – outdoor, under the pavilion.
  • Attendees:
    • Bring a mask, a lawn chair, and your own bread and wine/grape juice for communion.
    • While we cannot require you to wear a mask, we ask that you do, especially if you plan on singing. Children who have yet to begin elementary school are not required to wear a mask, but must remain with their family.
    • Family groups will set up their chairs 10 feet apart from other families to maintain a safe distance. Physical distancing must be practiced by everyone, including children.
    • Dress comfortably.
  • Volunteer Opportunity: assist staff in moving musical equipment inside for the 11am service.
  • Weather Permitting: If we need to cancel worship, we will communicate this information as quickly as possible via email, social media, and the church website.

For All Indoor AND Outdoor Worship Services:

  • Attendees will always stay at least ten feet away from the staff and other members unless instructed otherwise.
  • In-person giving will be made by “Tithes & Offering Box” only.
  • The peace will be shared by waving or bowing.
  • Members, especially indoors, will be asked to keep the force of their singing to a minimum.
  • Our nursery will be closed.
  • Anyone who is not feeling well, is coughing, or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 is asked to stay home.

Finally, we ask you to continue to give as you are able. In July, our expenses were greater than our giving.  Historically, contributions decline in the summer but there is a growing concern that our giving may not return to our budgeted levels which will have a negative impact on our finances. Your offering can be mailed to our new  PO Box, an electronic check can be sent from your bank, or please consider signing up for online giving.

Thank you to all of you, our members, who are devoted to our church and remain open and flexible to new ways of worship and fellowship during a very difficult time.  As Jesus taught us, let’s continue to love one another and serve one another regardless of our physical location and how we choose to worship.