I’d like to clarify Our Savior’s plans for returning to the sanctuary for worship and some of the challenges we are dealing with as we make those plans. The challenges were outlined well by our Bishop Paul Erickson in a recent letter. He said, “Many congregations have significant percentages of their population who, because of their age or medical history, would be considered vulnerable, and many pastors who are actively serving in congregations are also in this category. What may be acceptable levels of risk for some may not be acceptable for all.”
This is, indeed, the dilemma we face. Personally, while recognizing that it may be the right time for some to resume face-to-face worship services in the sanctuary, for myself and my family’s sake, I am not willing to risk participation in those services in the sanctuary at this time. The executive board of our church council has been working graciously with me to find resolutions to this dilemma that will be acceptable and as satisfying as possible for everyone. Although the details haven’t been worked out, here is what we have agreed upon for the near future:
- Sunday, July 5 we will have two identical outdoor services at 8:30 and 10:00am in the parking lot.
- Sunday, July 12 services will be in the sanctuary, at 8:30 and 10:00 am.
- Sunday, July 19 services will be in the sanctuary, at 8:30 and 10:00 am.
- Sunday, July 26 services will again be in the parking lot, at 8:30 and 10:00 am. (I will return from my two week vacation)
- Parking lot services still happening on the dates of the 12th and 19th.
For the services in August and beyond, we are working at developing formats that will be workable for the realities at that time (I may be able to preach from the altar or via a video on the screen, etc.).
I am grateful for the compassionate and accommodating considerations of our board members, and ask that you offer them and me your understanding and the support of your prayers during these difficult and uncertain times.
Feel free to contact Arline Rasmussen, our president, or call me, at 414-861-7285. (But, I’ll be on vacation from July 6th to July 19th .)
With hope for the good that our God always has coming, I remain, with you, in Christ,
Pastor Paul Ihlenfeld