Re Opening Plans and Protocols
June 1, 2020
Dear Good Members of Redeemer Lutheran Church,
Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May God’s blessings of grace and good health continue to be with you. During these days of separation from our church and from each other, let us remember these words of Holy Scripture:
For where two or three are gathered in my name,
I am there among them.
But Jesus would withdraw to deserted places and pray.
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always
and not to lose heart.
Pray in the Spirit at all times I
n every prayer and supplication.
To that end keep alert and always persevere
in supplication for all the saints.
In true faith, wherever we are, we are called to a life of prayer and worship. How good it is that prayer and worship has been happening more in our homes than ever before. Couples and families have been united more in prayer and worship than ever before. Individuals, alone in prayer and worship, have sensed the presence of others who are not there; yet they are. In all of this, the Spirit of God has been at work. And in this Spirit we “keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.
Also, it is good that we grow in our desire to be together once again in our beloved Redeemer Lutheran Church. We long to be with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. So, we wonder with hope and anticipation, when that day will be. And we pray with earnest expectation for that day to come.
So, this is update number four, regarding our “stay at home” during the time of this Covid-19 virus. The first letter announced our temporary closing of our church due to the threat of the highly contagious, and life threatening, virus (especially for so many of our fellow church members who have a previous health condition, or are elderly). Two follow up letters were posted on Redeemer’s web site (www.redeemerowosso.com). This fourth letter is sent out to make sure that all of our members may be well informed.
The update is this: Our Church Council is hoping to reopen our church on Sunday, June 14th. The service will be held at 9:30. Once again, our on-going concern in these decisions is the safety of our fellow church members. Thus, we will continue to watch the on-going developments of this threat to health and life. Our final decision on reopening for the 14th will be forthcoming. Our next meeting will be June 9th.
As the 14th approaches, our Church Council recognizes that while we are called as Christians to obey our governmental leaders (see Romans 13:14-4a), our political leaders are in disagreement with each other. In any case, we know our right to act independently as a church. Throughout our deliberations, we have been united to act in a manner that keeps our people safe. Therefore, we wait a bit longer to reopen.
Attached with this letter are the safety protocols that are being put in place for reopening our church. These protocols are being put into operation with your safety in mind. One of our guiding thoughts is to open up in a gradual manner. This will help a number of our members ease back in to coming to church, sooner rather than later. So, step-by-step we will develop our worship experience together. Bit by bit renewing our life together at Redeemer.
As the 14th approaches, Church Council members will be surveying reliable information to make its final decision regarding reopening then. Please keep your church, and its leaders, in your prayers. We need your prayers. As it is not easy for any of us to be doing church without our church, our Church Council struggles with a desire to reopen and a desire to keep our membership safe. These decisions to remain closed are not made hastily or with ease. We know that some other churches are reopening. Some of those are reporting people becoming sick with the virus. As the 14th approaches, we will examine how these and other reopenings effect those who do so.
For now, with the governor’s recent decisions to drop the stay at home order, with the numbers regarding virus cases, and with our protocols to reopen, things are looking favorable. However, we are waiting to see how the Memorial Day weekend gatherings, and the recent protest gatherings (and riots), will be effecting those numbers. We are choosing to play it safe on your behalf. And please, lift up our country in prayer during this time of such racial, economic and pandemic turmoil.
Your prayers are greatly appreciated. Praying our June 14th—9:30 reopening comes to be.
Yours in Our Lord’s Grace & Joy,
Pastor George and the Members of Our Church Council