Our Savior’s Lutheran Church COVID PLAN • November 2020
A Hoped-For Reunion of God’s People, and All People, Is On The Way!
Operation Warp Speed has produced some truly remarkable results. Thanks be to God for the scientists, lab workers, researchers, executives, and staff of our government and private industries who are working furiously to develop, approve, and distribute a viable vaccine for Covid-19.
Recent reports from the President’s Covid-19 Task Force, pharmaceutical companies, and epidemiologists across the spectrum predict that 40 million doses of a highly effective vaccine (able to inoculate 20-25 million people) will be available by mid to late December (yes, that’s next month!). The most vulnerable and ‘essential worker’ populations will continue to receive doses of the vaccine throughout the winter. The general U.S. population may begin to receive vaccinations by April of 2021. (Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-vaccine-distribution/explainer-when-and-how-will-covid-19-vaccines-become-available-idUSL1N2IA2SB) In addition, the development of successful therapeutics (such as Regeneron) to treat people with Covid-19 are in widespread production, are being quickly reviewed and approved, and are showing promising results.
Of course, we will not know how truly successful the vaccines and therapeutics are until they are put to widespread use. There are many unanswered questions regarding how many doses one may need, how long the inoculation strength will last, etc. However, initial test results and approval processes are looking extremely encouraging.
Due to this qualified good news, we at Our Savior’s are praying for, planning for and, preparing for a Reunion of God’s People. This pandemic has truly tested our individual, familial, communal, and nationwide patience. We are closer than ever to a time when we will resume in-person worship, and all fellowship activities.
So, please think of the coming winter months as our community’s final, faithful push to:
1) Save as many lives as we can
2) Honor the ongoing sacrifices of our emergency and hospital workers
3) Honor the essential workers of our society, and
4) Love God and love our neighbor as Jesus taught us, for “there is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12: 30-31)
The below items are a list of protocols generated by the OSLC Church Council so you might be informed of how we plan to deal with an outbreak, or specific incidence of infection, among the congregation or staff. We will most likely need flexibility around these protocols, so we ask for your patience and constructive feedback as we move forward in faith, hope, and love (I Cor 13:13).
- General Precautions:
- Everyone entering and using the building is asked to wear a mask.
- Please do your best to keep a safe distance and, if possible, have longer conversations or smaller meetings in larger spaces such as the sanctuary or fellowship hall. This will provide more air flow and space for possible aerosol particles to be dispersed.
- Hand sanitizer is available for all to use.
- Pews are wiped down between services.
- A log of anyone entering the building to be used for contact tracing if necessary.
- In Case of reports of Covid-19 Infection in the Congregation:
- a) Once someone has tested positive that has been inside the building:
- Notify the congregation.
- Notify anyone that was in the building who may have come in contact with the individual.
- Staff should be tested and quarantined (14 days) if they were in contact with individual.
- Close building for 7 days.
- Notify Playful Hearts that our Narthex/Fellowship Hall cannot be used for one week.
- Continue online communications, sermon messages, classes, and prayer groups throughout.
- b) If Pastor or Deacon test positive:
- If healthy enough to deliver the Sermon/Message via online recording or live streaming one or the other will deliver the Sermon/Message.
- If neither are able, we will obtain a Supply Pastor from Synod. If a Supply Pastor can’t be secured, we will have a congregation member tell their faith journey for the sermon portion, and we will continue to provide worship services and personal communion as is possible and safe for all involved.
We thank you for your love of one another, for your care and concern for your neighbors both inside and outside the church, and for your ongoing, faithful patience.
We are doing all we can in the face of this crisis to build up, not tear down, the body of Christ, and to rely on the promise of Jesus’ great love, compassion, and grace!
For more information or questions, please feel free to contact Arline Rasmussen, your OSLC Council Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 414-690-6808. You may also reach out to Deacon Sherie Kruse, Bridge Pastor Daniel Ruen, or any of our dedicated church council leaders.