Frequently asked Questions updated April 10, 2021
Why are we asking only vaccinated persons to sign up for indoor worship? This is temporary. While we believe it is reasonably safe for fully vaccinated persons to return to worship, we are far from the end of the pandemic. The Safe Operating Committee is continuing to monitor the situation and we are being very cautious while we wait for:
- more information about the variants of the virus,
- falling case counts, and
- sufficient vaccination rates to reach herd immunity.
For those who are not vaccinated, please know that we do plan to adjust our policy when the public health situation is more favorable.
When can I consider myself fully vaccinated?
If you have received a two-dose vaccine, two weeks after final dose.
If you receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, two weeks after your shot.
What will worship look like when I come?
We will continue with the worship pattern you have seen weekly on the livestream – a service of the Word that lasts about an hour. Everyone will be seated by household with space between them. Everyone will be masked. Ushers will assist you to your seats and excuse you at the end of service. We ask that you save any socializing before or after the service for outside the building. Holy Communion will not be served…yet.
What is our seating capacity at church?
The sanctuary can seat 200 if people sit closer than Minnesotans traditionally prefer to. With physical distancing requirements of 6 feet between households, the capacity varies depending on size of families gathered. We believe that can be between 72 and 92 people (not including worship leaders) depending on the arrangement.
Why don’t/ Can we have multiple services to accommodate everyone?
While we plan to return to two services a week, we are taking these first few weeks to gauge what the demand for seating will be before we decide what the right timing of multiple services might be. Ushers have a new role and preparation is different than what it was before.
We also want to be sure our HVAC system can handle the better air filters we have installed before we cycle many people in and out of the building on the same day.
Why does the sign up for worship not include every Sunday?
We have made previous commitments to our high school seniors to honor them in worship, but this group by definition includes many unvaccinated persons. For safety we are restricting this service to just those families and their guests.
The virus situation continues to evolve, so we are only planning this particular window of services for now.
When will we have Holy Communion in the sanctuary again?
We are not sure when we will offer Holy Communion inside, but we are waiting a bit longer, for two reasons 1) because any distribution of communion requires taking off one’s mask, and 2) because Communion is a sign of our unity together as one body; with more than half of our community still unvaccinated, practicing Holy Communion regularly now would exclude a large portion of our community.
We will be having Holy Communion at our outdoor worship on Sunday June 13 at Goodtree Farm.
What about children and youth? Can they come if they are not vaccinated?
See the above. Evidence shows that the new variants are being spread by all ages of people, and are causing more severe illness in all age groups. We will be holding outdoor events and other gatherings that may be safer for children while they wait for vaccination.
How long will masks be required?
As long as the CDC recommends that people use them indoors.
Why are the worship leaders not wearing masks when speaking?
Because worship leaders are vaccinated, and we are allowing safe distances, we believe the risk is worthwhile for the increased comprehension and communication.
Will we be allowed to sing beneath our masks?
When will choirs be rehearsing again?
We don’t know. It will depend on the three factors above (variants, vaccines and case rates).
When will we be able to have coffee hour again?
We don’t know.
Will the livestreaming continue?
YES. There will be both radio and and livestream every Sunday.
Can my small group meet in the church?
YES. Call the church office to schedule a small group (15 or fewer) meeting in the church building. Masks and social distancing are still required. Keep in mind that because of masking, your group may prefer to meet outdoors or virtually.