Our Response To COVID-19

June 16, 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers of SOTH,

Grace and peace be to you from God, our Father, and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It has been more than three months since we have worshipped together in-person.  While I am proud of the online worship services we have done over the past 13 weeks, I'm sure that we are all excited (and a little nervous) to be able to see each other again.  However, we are aware that, for a variety of reasons, there are some of us who feel that they can not (nor should not) meet at this time.  We understand and we will continue to offer the online worship services.  Our plans for this weekend are a small step towards being able to gather as we once did; singing, communing, hugging, and sharing space with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  

While we will be continuing our on-line worship services, we will be having an outdoor worship service this Saturday evening, June 20th at 8:00 p.m.  The service will be held in our parking lot in front of the main doors of the church building.  Please read the following instructions as we want to ensure the safety of all of our church members, especially our most vulnerable.  

1. Properly worn masks will be required from the time you exit your car until you enter your car to leave. If you come without a mask, we will provide you with one as you enter the parking lot.

2. We will observe proper social distancing.  We ask that you bring your own chairs and each household will be ushered to a marked place on the pavement that will be at least six feet from another household.  If you have more than two in your household, please choose a spot towards the outside of the seating area to give you enough room to safely expand away from the other attendees.  

3. As per instructuctions from Church Mutual, SOTH's insurance provider, we are requiring that everyone fill out and sign a waiver form (See Sidebar for form).  If you forget your waiver form, another will be provided.  It is necessary to do this only once.

4. There will be a cap of 50 people allowed at each service.  Therefore you will need to reserve your space.  You can sign up by simply responding to this email before Friday, June 19th, at 3:00. Please tell us how many of your family will be attending.  You can also call the church office and leave a message.  

5.  If there are more than 50 that want to attend, we will open up a second service on Sunday evening, June 21, at 8:00 p.m. 

6.  The church building will be closed.  There will be no access to restrooms. 

7.  If you are feeling ill (fever, cough, shortness of breath) or have had contact with someone presently infected with the Corona virus in the last two weeks, please stay home and take care of yourself.  Our online worship services will continue as they have for the past 13 weeks.  

8.  We will be worshipping and celebrating Holy Communion together in a way that attempts to ensure the safety of all who are attending.  Please follow the directions of our ushers.  

9.  If bad weather appears to be a problem, we will make the decision to cancel by 1:00 on Saturday afternoon.  You will be contacted via email (or phone call).  Remember that the online worship will still be available.  

Thank you for your cooperation.  In following the instructions given above, we are practicing a Christ-like love for our most vulnerable neighbor.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me, Pastor Jon, at pastor.jon.pedersen@gmail.com or call the church office at 815-838-0708 and leave a message.  

God's peace, strength, and health to all of you.

Pastor Jon Pedersen