During its last meeting the council adopted updated guidelines from the synod office with regards to returning to regular worship services. These guidelines provide a route back to regular in-person worship and programming that relies on meeting particular health and safety conditions rather than setting specific dates on the calendar with a “we’ll see” approach. Receiving these guidelines also means receiving an understanding that this viral exile is going to last quite a bit longer than any of us were expecting. Our Three Phase path back to regular worship is delineated below:
1. Phase I: Online services with building usage limited to 10 persons. This is currently where we are. Special Outdoor worship services will be employed along with our online services, the first of which is scheduled for this Sunday at 10:00 am in the North Parking Lot.
2. Phase II: In-person services with building usage limited to 50 persons. Worshipers must wear masks. We will not be able to: practice communion, pass the peace physically or sing as all of these are high risk activities. Online services will continue. Phase II will begin once Nebraska has seen at least a 14 day decline in the rate of new cases of COVID-19.
3. Phase III: In-person worship will mostly return to normal. Phase III will begin once a vaccine has been developed and is available to the community. Online service, in some form, will continue.
It will take us a while to get back to normal but we will get back. In the meantime, please be on the lookout for new fellowship and service opportunities.