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May 23, 2020
As the Elders have been praying and seeking wisdom about what re-gathering looks like (including clearance from Concordia, consulting w/ medical professionals, and listening to state officials*), we would like to present our plan for the next few weeks.
WHEN WE WILL GATHER
As many in our area are finding a multitude of topics on which to disagree, we are confident the Spirit of Christ can bring supernatural unity in the body of Christ — not around pandemic response preferences — but around the gospel of Jesus. “So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another” (Romans 14:19).
On June 14th, we plan to begin public services again at Concordia. Though we are excited to re-gather, we understand a gathering like ours contains many of the greatest risk factors for virus transmission -- large crowd, extended gathering, and enclosed space. Even singing has been cited by some as a concern. For this reason, the Elders believe it’s important, in order to protect those most susceptible among us, to abide by the current recommendations for preventing transmission.
HOW WE WILL GATHER
We will follow these protocols for our gatherings:
- SERVICE SIZE: We will limit the gathering to 100 people per service. We will still have two services — and will ask each person/family to register online letting us know which service you will attend and how many in your family will be there. If more services are needed in future weeks, we will consider adding more.
- HYGIENE/CLEANING: Hand sanitizer will be provided as you enter and at stations inside. Also, services will be shorter and spaced out (9am and 11am) so that we can sanitize chairs and common spaces between services.
- COMMUNION: The Lord’s Supper will be offered via sealed, prepackaged elements. These will be available to be picked up from a table as you enter the worship center.
- SOCIAL DISTANCING: Seats will be arranged in order that each family may maintain 6-feet of space between themselves and other families. While inside, we ask that everyone maintain 6 feet of space from one another. This will mean avoiding personal contact with those outside of your immediate family.
- FACE-COVERINGS: We are asking everyone to wear a face-covering or mask while in the building. We understand this may be inconvenient, but it is another way we are seeking to serve one another, especially those who are at higher risk, by following the current CDC guidelines**. If you don’t have a mask, we will provide one for you. Parents, please use judgment with young children. We encourage masks for children who are able, especially during singing.
- AT-RISK / SYMPTOMS: If you are high-risk or concerned about your risk, we want you to feel free to stay home. No pressure. No judgment. If you’ve experienced any Covid-19 symptoms (cough, fever, loss of taste, etc.), or have knowingly been exposed to anyone with Covid-19 in the past 2 weeks, please stay home.
- LIVESTREAM: The livestream will continue to be available for anyone who isn’t able or ready to attend the service.
- REDEEMERKids & RSM: We will not have Sunday morning classes for children or students at our gatherings for now. Online lessons will continue to be posted by our amazing kids’ teachers. Lawson will send more info to parents as to what future gatherings may look like for the student ministry.
- FAMILIES IN SERVICE: Though we know lack of kids classes and the difficulty of social distancing with children may prevent some of you from attending in-person services, children are definitely welcome. Parents, please discuss the unique situation with your children and make sure they stay by your side before, during, and after the service.
Thank you to all who responded to our online survey The Elders are particularly humbled & encouraged by both your eagerness to gather and also your Christ-like willingness to lay down preferences to honor and protect others. You embody Peter’s words, “Finally, all of you be like-minded and sympathetic, love one another, and be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8).
Also, we know that the issue of face-coverings carries the potential for frustration and division. However, we pray it will not be this way and ask that you hear our hearts on this issue. Our desire is to protect each member of the flock at Redeemer, just as we would with our own families.
Be mindful, this is the plan for our initial gatherings in June. As health recommendations change, we are very hopeful that these precautions will diminish quickly over time. We will continue monitoring and revisiting these measures in the coming weeks.
As June 14th draws closer, we will share details about how to RSVP. Between now and then, please don’t hesitate to contact any of us with questions or concerns.
We are so grateful for each of you,
The Redeemer Elders and Staff