A Message on Regathering
Dear friends in Christ,
The diocese has issued updated guidance regarding in-person gathering, specifically regarding when masks are and are not required. In a nutshell, they are largely following updated CDC guidance which says masks are not required IF you are FULLY vaccinated. HOWEVER, because we are not requiring proof of vaccination, masks are still required for any congregational singing, regardless of vaccination status. This is because of the greatly increased risk of transmission singing presents.
It does however allow us to sing a bit more which is a good thing! In order to navigate this newly updated masking guidance as easily as possible we're modifying a few things.
First, masks will still be required upon entrance to the sanctuary and please leave them on until after the Opening Hymn and Gloria. After which, those who are fully vaccinated, may remove their masks if you are comfortable doing so. You may leave your mask off until coming forward to receive communion.
Please replace your mask before leaving your pew for communion, then leave it on until you have dismissed from the building. That way you're ready to sing our newly added closing hymn!
Basically, if you're vaccinated and you wish to remove your mask during the middle part of the service, we ask that you still wear it whenever we are moving about and singing. It's also important to remember that all of these changes are a temporary part of this time of transition. I'm simply grateful we are able to gather at all!
Also- while we encourage you to use the restroom prior to coming, the bathrooms are available if you have need. For the time being, please wear your mask if you need to leave your pew. The bathroom nearest the kitchen is out of order, so please use the bathrooms located down the hall.
As always, due to online streaming setup, worship BEGINS @ 10am. Please be seated and ready a few minutes early.
Enter the Sanctuary through main rear doors, or the sanctuary ramp door if you need an accessible entrance. All other doors to the building will be locked and we ask you to remain in the sanctuary. Bring any activities for youth with you.
While we don't have "assigned or designated" seating, we ask you to respect your fellow worshippers and give each other space. Try not to sit directly behind or right next to folks not in your household, etc. This is easier if you sit to one side of the pew or the other, rather than directly in the middle. Spread out and relax.
Additionally, we are not sharing physical Peace, so stay in your pew. Ushers will guide procession to receive Communion, keeping distance from folks in front of you. Keep your mask on until receiving bread, turn and consume. End of service Dismissal will be guided by ushers.
Stay around and visit outside after the service, as you are able! It's great to have the chance to see and chat in person!
Online offerings can be made via tithe.ly at: https://tithe.ly/give?c=1405202
Resources regarding COVID-19 can be found below.
Say home if you are sick, even if you think it is just a cold. To prevent the spread of infection, wear a cloth mask when you go out in public, wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and warm water (don't forget your thumbs!), use 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you can't wash your hands, and keep your hands away from your face.
Wash your hands:
Clean surfaces in your home frequently with an approved disinfectant. The steps you take to prevent the spread of infection impacts the lives of others.
If you feel you may have Conornavirus (COVID-19), or have come in contact with an individual with a confirmed case, call ahead to your doctor's office before going in for an appointment. Your doctor will advise you on proper next steps, including the need to quarantine or isolate.
Visit Cerro Gordo Public Health for the latest recommendations about COVID.
Public Health Helplines
Information: (641) 494-3546
Direction: (641) 494-3547
Gracious God, lift up all those who are ill across the country and world, and look upon us as we navigate this difficult time in our country and communities. Give us grace to be mindful, thoughtful, and gracious to those around us, ill and healthy, and strengthen us as we are challenged with changes for the good of all humankind.
We ask all this in your son's name. Amen.
We ask all this in your son's name. Amen.