The following is a transcript of Pastor Ted’s video update posted to Facebook on Sunday, May 24.
Guidelines mentioned can be found at
- Minnesota Industry Guidance for Safely Reopening: Faith-based communities, places of worship, weddings, and funerals: https://mn.gov/…/as…/worship-guidance-ACC_tcm1045-433301.pdf
- CDC Interim Guidance for Communities of Faith: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/…/faith-based.html
By now, I think almost everybody knows that on Friday President Trump ordered, or suggested I should say, that church is open and that people go back to in-person worship and then on Saturday afternoon, Governor Walz made a statement and recommended something similar and Governor Walz and the Commissioner for health in their announcement said 25 percent of capacity so this reentry of churches into their sanctuaries for worship is going to begin taking place.
I just wanna give you an update on where we’re at from the very beginning. Our Church Council and staff have said we’re going to follow the recommendations of the Department of Health, from the Center for Disease Control to the United States Department and all the way down to our Wight County Department of Health and they have on Saturday, the Minnesota Department of Health as well as the Governor, suggested this 25 percent and they’ve posted a series of guidelines for churches to follow and so I invite you to go look at those and it’s pretty lengthy.
You can go to the Center for Disease Control CDC, or you can go to the Minnesota Department. of Health website and see the the list of guidelines.
As we begin looking at reentering, the building we are going to be following those kinds of guidelines and they’re fairly involved and what that means is we will not be able to get everything ready to do a really quality worship service and ensure safeness of all about the of the people on May 31. Next week, it’s just too quick for us and so I wanna give you an update of where we’re at with council and staff. So the Church Council is going to be meeting today on Sunday, May 24 via Zoom and we’re gonna be talking about how to approach this. We’ve had conversations in the past and we have indicated we’re gonna follow those guidelines and we also want to be able to reenter the building for worship as soon as we can.
I don’t know when that will be but I am sure it’s not gonna be on May 31 We simply can’t be ready by then.
One of the things that this is going to need to involve is some sort of contact tracing. Now, I want you to those of you who are going to come to worship to be aware that’s one of the guidelines put out by the state Department (of Health) and the United States and the CDC because it’s probably not if somebody’s gonna get COVID that worships with us. It’s probably when, and we want to be able to help everybody involved know that they’ve been exposed and that’s one of the guidelines that’s been given to us. So I just want you to be aware we’re going to need to incorporate that some way into our reentry process of the building.
I also want to just offer a word of caution for those of you who know you’re vulnerable, please take care. Everybody understands that that you’re in a particular situation and we don’t want you to expose yourself and then there are a lot of people that simply aren’t ready to reenter into in person worship because of the overall safety issue even if they’re not at risk and so I want to speak to all of you and let you know that everybody understands this is going to be a personal decision and we as a church want to be able to offer that option to people. But if you’re not comfortable, please feel free to stay at home. We’re going to continue to offer our online workshop at 10 AM on Sundays and we’re gonna continue to offer our drive in worship, and then as soon as we’re able, we’ll incorporate the option of worshiping in person in the sanctuary. Again, there’s lots of guidelines that are involved in that so it may not work exactly like it has in the past, but we’ll continue to move forward with it.
And then with Marysville, our tradition is to worship at Marysville during the summers on Monday nights and we’re going to continue with that worship service suspended. We will not be having worship at Marysville in the immediate future. The size of the sanctuary is just too limited to approach it with a 25 percent capacity and provide a worship experience for people. So we’re gonna continue to monitor that, and when we’re able we will be able to go back and and so stay tuned.
We will continue to communicate with you as well as we can and we will be moving towards worshiping in-person in the sanctuary as soon as we are able, and that means that it’s safe and we can present a quality worship experience for you.
Thanks for your time, Stay informed and stay safe. Bye.