Dearly Beloved Children of the Heavenly Father,
June 21, 2020, is the day when Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and Preschool re-opens. We have anticipated this for a while now, but there is still sadness that everyone will not be present with us as we hope.
Again, please know that your patience, your prayers, and your participation are essential to our congregation as we begin in church worship services again. Pray that all will go smoothly and that God will protect us as we gather to receive His gifts and to worship Him.
First, I must reiterate that you have to make the best decision for you and your family about how to participate as we reopen our church. Whether you attend church or watch the live broadcast online, know that the Lord is at work to give you His gifts and that you have brothers and sisters in Christ that care for you and are willing to help you if you need assistance.
If you plan to attend church, here are several things which we are doing tomorrow so that you will know what to expect when you arrive.
- Before you enter the church, you will see a sign posted near the door stating that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days, is permitted in the establishment. Posting these signs is a Mandatory Requirement of the Forward Virginia: Phase Two guidelines.
- When you enter the church you will find hand sanitizer and masks for your use on the table in the narthex. If you do need a mask, please feel free to take one for yourself to keep. Wearing masks is a Mandatory Requirement of the Forward Virginia: Phase Two guidelines.
- In the narthex you will see signage to provide public health reminders regarding social distancing, gatherings, options for high risk individuals, and staying home if sick. Posting these signs is a Mandatory Requirement of the Forward Virginia: Phase Two guidelines.
- As you make your way into the church, pick up a bulletin from the table near the door.
- Once inside the nave, you will notice that we have marked every other pew to remain empty so that we can maintain proper Social Distancing according to the CDC. When being seated, please maintain proper social distancing with those not of your family group with whom you may be sharing a pew. Designating these seating areas is a Mandatory Requirement of the Forward Virginia: Phase Two guidelines.
- During the service, we will speak all the parts of the liturgy. The words to the hymns are printed in the bulletin, so please leave the hymnal in the racks. As hymns are played, we ask the congregation to refrain from singing and to follow along with the bulletin.
- No offering will be received during the service since it would require the passing of the offering bags. The offering will be received in a plate at the entrance to nave before and after the service.
- There will be no physical contact during the “Passing of the Peace” during the service. Please do not leave your seating area at this time. Acknowledge those near you by saying, “The peace of the Lord be with you.”
- Specific directions for the distribution of Holy Communion will be given by Pastor before the service.
- At the end of the service, please be seated and wait for the usher to dismiss you. Once dismissed please make your way to through the narthex to the parking lot without stopping to gather inside.
The list is intended to give you some idea of what you will see tomorrow at church, but it does not include everything. As mentioned previously, your patience, your prayers, and your participation are essential. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Second, for those who will not be with us at physically at church, you can be with us virtually. We will have a live stream of the service available on Facebook Live beginning shortly before 10:15 AM. You do not have to have a Facebook account or the Facebook app to view the broadcast. You can click on this link for the stream:
Here are the bulletin for the service and The Shepherd’s Voice insert with all of our announcements.
Third, we will not have Sunday School or Bible study at church tomorrow morning. There will be no online Bible study due to time constraints. Maybe we can look to do something at a different time as we operate in this way.
I look forward to seeing you and/or being seen by you tomorrow as we worship the Lord together.
Blessed evening to you all.
In Jesus, our Good
Pastor Keith Beasley