1208 Rose Creek Dr, Woodstock, GA office@gslutheran.org +1 770-924-7286

Covid 19 Response Task Force-FAQ

1. When will Good Shepherd reopen for worship?

Reopening, Phase 1, is determined by the factors surrounding the COVID-19 virus at the time. As recommended by the ELCA Southeastern Synod, the primary conditions for reopening are “a sustained reduction or stability in new COVID-19 cases for 14 days.” A radius of 50 to 100 miles will be considered. The GSLC Council will be constantly monitoring the benchmarks, so that we might reopen safely as soon as possible.

2. When we reopen, will worship be like it used to be?

No. In order to meet the recommendations of the ELCA, the ELCA Southeastern Synod, the CDC, and Church Mutual, new processes will be instituted. These include entry screening, social distancing, revision of worship assistant duties, communion practices and liturgical practices.

3. Will I be made aware of the new processes before I return to worship?

Yes. The CTF is currently preparing a video demonstration of new Sunday worship processes for the congregation, staff and worship assistants so you will know what to expect when you return. It will be an actual demonstration of participation.

4. What special precautions will be taken for the safety of worshipers?

Worshipers will be screened before they enter the building. Temperatures will be taken, hands sanitized, and facemasks will be necessary for all worshipers (children under two years old will be exempt from wearing facemasks per CDC guidance). New signage will be posted reflecting CDC requirements. The sanctuary will be marked for social distancing, reducing the number of worshipers at any given time. There will be some deep cleaning in addition to our regular cleaning of the buildings. Additionally, our members should practice self-care and exclude themselves if they have tested positive for COVID-19, are running a fever, are showing any symptoms of the virus, or are in an at-risk group.

5. Is the church willing to commit and enforce all the CDC recommendations for safe assembly?

Both the Covid-19 Task Force and the GSLC Council strongly endorse the CDC and ELCA recommendations for safe operations of a church reopening in this COVID-19 Pandemic. Is the church willing to commit and enforce all the CDC recommendations for safe assembly?

6. If we are social distancing, how can everyone fit into the sanctuary?

With social distancing, the capacity of the sanctuary is greatly reduced and attendance will be limited. We will institute a simple process for preregistering for worship services. Additionally, we know from the survey that half of our members will initially be unlikely to return to in-person worship and will choose the worship video option.

7. Will GSLC be offering communion with its new service style once it reopens?

Holy Communion has always been a vital part of the GSLC worship experience and will continue to be when we reopen.

8. I am over 70 years old with several heart related illnesses, am I allowed to attend GSLC in-person services once the church is reopened?

Both members over age 65 and/or have fragile medical conditions are encouraged to continue with the on-line worship service.  However, any   person(s) who agrees to obey the CDC rules for social gathering (mask, hand sanitizing, social distancing, etc) and registers to attend are  welcome to attend in-person services at GSLC.

9. Will there be a nursery available when the church reopens?

In phase one reopening of the church there will be no nursery available.

10. If I am in an at risk group or  I am uncomfortable returning to worship right away, will video worship services still be an option?

Yes. Your safety is the primary concern. No one should feel guilty about excluding themselves for in-person worship. Video worship services will continue in some form.

11. Has there been any provisions made for in-home communion during this COVID-19 pandemic?

The Covid-19 Task Force made no recommendations concerning in-home communion.

12. What are the symptoms of COVID-19? (Noted by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control))

People with COVID-19 report a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. While this list is not exhaustive, people with the following symptoms may have COVID-19.  Go to www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html for more information.”

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

13. What is the GSLC COVID-19 Task Force?

  • The Covid-19 Response Task Force (CTF) was created by the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Council, to plan the safe reopening of the the church for in person worshiping and activities.
  • The entire team is working hard to ensure that GSLC is compliant with ELCA and CDC recommendations and guidelines
  • The CTF reports to and make recommendations to the Council for their consideration.
  • The Task Force is comprised of church staff and volunteers. These include people representing committees from Council, Worship and Music and Facilities Maintenance. We also have medical professionals, researchers and legal professionals on our committee.
  • The Task Force from time to time, will gather feedback from members of the congregation to get a barometer for the opinions of individuals, staff, committees, group leaders and church volunteers.
  • The main objective of the CTF is to create a living document for Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, that can be utilized and enforced under any situations of health emergency similar to Covid-19.
  • All recommendations of the CTF to the Good Shepherd Congregation, must be approved by the Church Council.

14. Who is allowed into the Good Shepherd building?

  • All worship and activities for Good Shepherd are online.
  • The office currently remains open, with limited staff, to effectively run and maintain the office and work of Good Shepherd
  • The office is open Monday-Friday, from the hours 9 – 3. Please call ahead if you need attention from any of our staff members.
  • No groups or individuals are allowed to meet inside Good Shepherd without the permission of the CTF. This is to maintain a healthy environment for our staff and to limit any contamination as we develop procedures for effectively reopening the church.
  • Volunteers, vendors and maintenance workers are permitted by staff only, to satisfy the needs of the functions of the church and property.

15. What are the primary resources the CTF is using to guide their decisions?

16. Who can I direct my questions to concerning COVID-19 and GSLC.

The Covid Task Force understands that you may have many questions as we navigate this new church environment. If you have questions for the Covid-19 Task Force, please direct them to CTF@gslutheran.org