3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
June 22, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
At long last, we will again be able to worship together at Our Saviour. The mayor gave the go-ahead for indoor worship services at 50% capacity as of 5:00 PM on June 19. The Church Council discussed the impending reopening at its last meeting on June 9. Given the mayor’s action, Our Saviour will resume regular worship services on June 28. It is our intention to observe as much of the CDC guidance as is necessary while remaining true to Lutheran worship practices that are a witness to the gifts that God gives us in the Divine Service.
In accordance with that framework, we are adopting the following practices during the ongoing COVID-19 situation:
- Given our current numbers, proper spacing (6 feet or more) of worshipers is not a problem; our sanctuary seats nearly 400, so 25–50 people should easily be able to spread out and maintain adequate distance between those not in a family unit. When you arrive in the nave, please select a seat that is well separated from your fellow worshipers.
- Pastor will clean his hands with alcohol (using a cloth soaked in alcohol) immediately prior to the celebration of the sacrament.
- There will be no more than four communicants per table. For the time being, we will discontinue the use of the gate and center pad on the communion rail. Communicants are encouraged to maintain 6 foot spacing as they approach the table.
- The tray holding the individual cups will be only partially filled with the cups arranged so that one can be taken without touching any of the others; this tray will be replenished following each Divine Service.
- Offerings will not be collected by “passing the plate.” We will put a plate on the piano and in the rear of the sanctuary for congregants to place their offerings
- Hand sanitizer will be made available just outside the door near the piano and on the table in the back of the nave.
- High-touch surfaces (doorknobs, railings, light switches, bathroom fixtures) will be disinfected using a 1–2% bleach solution once per week (more often if there is a mid-week activity).
- Encouraging healthy practices among the congregation members:
- Signage encouraging healthy hygiene practices will be posted at the entrances and in various locations throughout the church.
- Those who are not feeling well are encouraged to remain at home
- We ask that anyone who, after attending church, subsequently finds themselves diagnosed with COVID or COVID-like symptoms, please notify Pastor (410.554.9994, email@example.com) so that appropriate notifications can be made to the other members who were present.
For those who come to Divine Service but are not yet ready to come to the Lord’s Table, we make no judgment and encourage you to remain in your pew to pray and meditate during the distribution.
It is understood that some members, because of age or underlying health conditions, may still not be able to come to the Divine Service. The Church has always recognized that illness or a need to care for those who are ill is a valid reason for remaining at home. Thus we will continue to livestream the service for a time to accommodate those who find themselves in this situation.
As an additional note, the regular May Voters Meeting, which had been rescheduled for June 21 due to the COVID-19 emergency and was subsequently postponed again due to inadequate notice of churches re-opening, has been rescheduled for July 12. At this meeting we will adopt the budget for FY2021 and elect officers for the 2020–2021 term. We hope to see you all there.
If you have any questions about any of this, please contact Pastor (410.554.9994, firstname.lastname@example.org), and either he or a member of the Church Council will try to address your concern.
The Church Council