Our congregation has been blessed in so many ways, even during this pandemic. I am thankful for everyone’s support, prayers, and desire to move toward in-person services. And we have been blessed to be able to gather around God’s Word and receive His Body and Blood in small, spoken services. It has been work for all of us, but we are making it work, knowing that our Lord will sustain us with His gifts no matter the size or time they are given.
Though Governor Pritzker has lifted the orders limiting group sizes for churches, he has given us some pretty strict guidelines. The Board of Elders met last night to discuss those guidelines in light of God’s Word, and in prayer to make plans for re-opening our services for greater numbers and more ceremony and singing.
After looking to the Word of God, the federal and state guidelines, the church’s insurance, and LCMS synod and district resources, we are moving slowly, probably more slowly than you desire. The Elders understand that. We all want to be back to completely normal. The reality is that we’re not back to normal, but we’re moving in the right direction. I ask for your patience and recognition of the blessings we still do have in Christ, in His Word, and in the Sacraments.
So here’s the plan going forward (beginning June 6–7):
Three services will be offered for thirty (30) people: One on Saturday night (5:30 pm) and two on Sunday morning (9:00 am, 11:00 am). The services will include the organ and the singing of one hymn and the canticles (Kyrie, Gloria, Offertory, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Nunc Dimittis). The rest of the service will be spoken.
Pursuant to the guidelines, since there is more singing, masks are strongly encouraged. I will wear a mask during the consecration and distribution of the Sacrament. The protocols for social distancing and cleaning will continue.
To attend one of these services, please call, text, or e-mail me and pick a time. That time will be your slot every week until further restrictions are changed. Additionally, in an effort to maintain social distance requirements throughout the service including communing at the rail, seating assignments will be provided when you arrive for service. If when you call, a service is already filled, I will ask you to pick a different time slot that has not yet been filled.
Please contact me on my mobile phone (217-460-2077) to schedule your time. If you have any questions, please contact me.
Yours in Christ,