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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Holy Communion has always been a vital part of the GSLC worship experience and will continue to be when we reopen.
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.
In phase one reopening of the church there will be no nursery available.
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.
The Covid-19 Task Force made no recommendations concerning in-home communion.
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.”
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