COVID-19 UPDATE – June 1, 2021
The COVID Task Force intent (barring any set-backs) is to return St. Paul’s to a normal fully-functioning schedule in September. Therefore, over the Summer months we will continue to monitor CDC, State, and Bishop Dunlop’s recommendations, while considering our congregation’s worship needs and individual safety concerns. Following are the Summer protocols:
The Summer 8AM worship service will begin on June 13th, along with continuation of the 9:30AM inside service.
1. Masks are optional. If you are fully vaccinated and feel that your personal safety and the safety of others is protected – you have the option to refrain from wearing a mask. However, if you are not vaccinated, including children under the age of 12 ineligible at this time, for your safety and the safety of others – you may decide to wear a mask. The decision is yours.
2. Maintaining a 6 foot distance from others, refraining from touching, hugging, and hand shaking is an individual decision; please be cautious and respect the preference of others. Blocking off every-other pew in the sanctuary will continue until September.
3. Bulletins will no longer be placed in the pews. They will be, as in the past, distributed by Ushers or can be picked up at each entrance to the Sanctuary or from a basket on the lawn.
4. We will continue to sing as we have been doing during COVID.
5. Communion for Inside Service – The hand-sanitizing station prior to picking up a cup and receiving the elements will continue. Please continue to partake of the elements at the cup disposal station.
6. Communion for Outside Service – The Intinction method will be used, as we have in the past. Hand sanitizing will be required for everyone receiving communion. For anyone uncomfortable with dipping the wafer into the common wine cup, communion can be received as a single element (the wafer) by skipping the dipping of the wafer into the wine. If there are questions regarding Lutheran doctrine on Intinction, please talk with Pastor Burkhart.
BUILDING USE INCLUDING FELOWSHIP HALL AND KITCHEN
Outside groups, receptions, church programs, and committees can now use the building as we did pre-COVID.
1. Outside groups, receptions/parties, scouting, Music-In-Motion, etc. can set their own requirements for mask wearing, social distancing, and hand sanitizing.
2. Church programs, such as Grocery Ministry, Family Fest, Committee and Council meetings, should follow the optional mask guidance listed above under Worship.
3. Tables and high-touch areas no longer require a sanitizing wipe-down.
4. All areas, including Fellowship Hall, should be adequately cleaned up and left in an organized manner.
5. Kitchen sanitation policies and Health Department directives are to be followed.
6. Reservations for Fellowship Hall and the Kitchen must be made through the Office in order to prevent double booking or set-up issues.
BECOMING ILL WITH COVID SYMPTOMS OR TESTING POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
The following protocols remain in place:
1. If you become ill with COVID symptoms and you were in the church building or in contact with staff or a member of St. Paul’s, you are responsible to promptly notify Pastor Burkhart or a Task Force member.
2. Any member of the Staff or Council who becomes aware of an individual ill with COVID symptoms as defined in #1, is responsible to notify Pastor Burkhart or a Task Force member.
The Task Force has been prayerfully diligent throughout this pandemic in setting policies that respect individual lifestyles while at the same time providing protection for those most vulnerable to the virus. We continue this practice as we transition over the summer from strict protocols to a normal church life in September. Consequently, over the summer, these new policies move us towards normalcy but at the same time protect those who have not been vaccinated or those who continue to feel vulnerable because of personal or family health situations.
We welcome your input, suggestions, concerns. Please feel free to contact any Task Force member: Pastor Burkhart, Suzanne Butler, Carla Hausman, Russ Johnson, Peg Sennett (Chair).