August 5, 2020: Returning To Church Update
We want to share with you the recent communication from the Wisconsin Council of Churches entitled “RETURNING TO CHURCH: July 2020 Update”. This important information is what your council relies on to address and make decisions regarding when and how we conduct church activities now and in the uncertain future.
We hope that you will take the time to read this entire communication (see below). Stay safe, healthy and trust in GOD’s love
RETURNING TO CHURCH: JULY 2020 RECOMMENDATIONS:
Given the accelerated spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, lack of a coordinated statewide response, and requests from churches around the state for updated information, Wisconsin Council of Churches staff has prepared a critical midyear Returning to Church update. We've been gathering a great deal of information to inform these latest recommendations. Please keep reading below or download the PDF version as you have capacity to read the background and details. Here's a brief summary:
· Current conditions of COVID spread warrant a return to online-only worship and online options for most ministries. If you cannot move these fully online, we urge you to roll back to an earlier stage in your re-opening plans that involve less physical interaction.
· Use a longer decision-making time frame. For many reasons, including the mental and emotional health of leaders, it would be wise to hold off reconsidering gathering until mid-September - meaning at the earliest, an October re-entry into our physical spaces of ministry. Considering an even later date is not an overreaction.
· Begin adjusting your thinking about Advent and Christmas. The collision of COVID and flu season will mean that many treasured rituals and expectations will be affected. It will likely be very difficult, if not impossible, to gather safely.
Keep reading for full details.
Download Full Document as PDF
Lakeside Community Lutheran Church
Special Council Meeting - Discussion Parking Lot Worship
July 3, 2020
The meeting was called to order at 10:10 am CST via Zoom by Vice-President Vicki Wier.
Attendance via Zoom: Vice-President Vicki Wier - host, President Mark Whiteside, Recording Secretary Marsha Bruner, Pastor Bill Schroeder, Ken Dobson, Roger Jackson, John LeMay, Pat Sulander, Vicki Struve, Dorothy VanPykeren (no audio but agreed with council’s decisions), Joan Volkmann. Also present: Mick Peterson, Marshall Hoff and Tom Schneiberg as part of the Task Force for “Parking Lot Services”.
Pastor Bill recruited Vicki Wier (worship committee chair) Tom Schneiberg (audio technician), Marshall Hoff (video technician) and Mick Peterson (jack of all trades) and himself to form a Task Force for Worship Reopening. The Task Force presented a draft of a
potential mass email to the congregation indicating July 15, 2020 as a start date for Parking Lot Worship with information that the congregation would need to know to attend. After thorough discussion, Vicki Wier made a motion to accept the council’s decision to do a trial run of a Parking Lot Service on Tuesday, July 14th, and the actual Trial Run with a maximum of 45 vehicles attending on Wednesday, July 15th. The motion was seconded by Joan Volkman. The motion was unanimously passed with the complete council present.
A motion was made by John LeMay, seconded by Mark Whiteside, that everyoneentering the church must wear a mask, with the exception of small children and those with health conditions that will not allow them to wear a mask. Exceptions to wearing the mask are Pastor Bill and Marsha who have an office in the church. The motion was unanimously agreed by the complete council. The
council applauded Marshall Hoff, Tom Schneiberg, and Mick Peterson for their efforts for the online services and being part of the Task Force to get indoor/outdoor worshipping started again.
Mark Whiteside pointed out the Fantastic Members of this Council Group who can voice their opinions and come to responsible decisions. Pastor Bill agreed and also expressed gratification with Mark Whiteside’s leadership.
The Zoom meeting ended at 11:50 am.
June 24, 2020
The Council approved Outdoor Office Hours with Pastor Bill. These outdoor office hours will consist of approximately 20 minute meetings with parishioners beginning Monday, July 6, two days a week. Appointments will be made by calling Pastor Bill on his cell phone 715-566-1682 or emailing him email@example.com. Pastor Bill’s plan is to catch up, pray, and offer individual communion cups (back ordered). He will start by offering these meetings two days a week by appointment between 9 am and noon, and adjust hours accordingly. Pastor Bill will be wearing a mask and social distancing will be observed. He prefers that you wear a mask and
please bring your own chair.
Ron & Patsy Lillegard has come up with this idea for a new birthday tradition: They are recommending that everyone gives one dollar per year of age on their birthday to Lakeside. That is what Patsy & Ron are doing and they are encouraging others to do it
Last week’s food distribution at Connections in Webster provided an abundance of food for 2200 people. This amounts to 70,000 lbs of groceries and frozen food items, which included produce, meat products and dairy products. Thank you to all the regular monthly volunteers and also “extra” volunteers. It was greatly appreciated.
Because we cannot post Council Minutes because the church building is closed at this time, anyone wishing to receive a copy of the Council Minutes should contact Marsha and she will see that you get an email of the Council Minutes.
The Gather Bible Study meets outside at Lakeside on this Thursday, June 25, 2020, at 12:30. Please bring your chair and wear mask. Cancelled if rain.
May 27, 2020
“My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
The following is a recent message from Bishop Laurie that the Church Council wanted you to see.
May 23, 2020
Dear Pastors, Deacons and SAMs serving in the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin,
Yesterday, May 22, 2020 the President of the United States declared that churches should reopen immediately and that churches should be considered essential businesses. In response I’d like to highlight a few key thoughts that many of you already know but bear repeating:
1.St. Paul writes in the letter to Galatians, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male and female, we are all one in Christ Jesus.” In the same way we are neither Democrats or Republicans or Independents we are all beloved children of God. As spiritual leaders we are to care for the health and well-being of all people. A pandemic is a health crisis not a political situation. Because of the separation of church and state, the government cannot prevent us from worshipping, or order us to worship, at any time.
2.Yes, the church is essential. The Church has never shut down. The church is not a building. It is the people of faith. We know we are essential, but it is not essential to gather in person at this time. I encourage you to continue to offer online worship opportunities.
3.It is not recommended for our congregations to gather at this time. I recommend you put together a team or committee that will prepare your building and congregation for a time in the future when you can safely gather. The Badger Bounce Back plan limits gatherings to 10 until we enter phase 2. In phase 2 gatherings are to be under 50. We are currently in phase 1. Badger Bounce Back Plan Read Badger Bounceback Plan
4.Once we are able to safely gather, follow the ELCA guide for Returning to Worship. We are encouraging social distancing procedures sitting 6 feet apart and avoid practices which can contribute to spread of the virus such as communion, singing, shaking hands, or passing offering plates. Read ELCA Guide.
5.Undeniably, it would be a blessing to gather, but reports from across the country have shown congregations that have gathered have also become hotspots of the coronavirus, multiple deaths in a single congregation. We don’t want that to happen in our synod. St. Peters, an ELCA congregation in New York lost 44 members to the Coronavirus.
6.Take time to prepare for face to face worship. Do what is necessary to put in place policies and procedures so that members of your congregation can safely gather. Continue online worship. It is dangerous to rush back to in person worship without a plan.
7.Many have asked about outdoor worship. While it is safer to gather outdoors because there is more space, there are still risks. It is difficult to enforce social distancing, keep people in their cars or 6 feet apart. Singing and communion are particularly risky even outdoors.
Dear friends, as leaders of the church, when faced with making decisions, I encourage you to keep asking, “What would love do? How can we best love our neighbors? How can we keep our members safe?” I am praying for you all. I trust that you will do what is best to care for your congregation.
Bishop Laurie Skow-Anderson
May 26, 2020
“My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
The Church Council stated in our first email that we are following the recommendations of our Northwest Synod and the Wisconsin Council of Churches. The following link is to an article from the Northwest Synod. Please take the time to read it. In the article is a link to a virtual presentation by Reverend Kerri Parker from the Wisconsin Council of Churches. Pastor Bill virtually attended that presentation and shared it with the Council. The link is titled “Video recording - Conversation with Rev. Kerri Parker (WCC)”. Please open that link and also view it.
In the Council’s opinion, Rev. Parker does an excellent job of explaining Covid-19 and its impact on conducting church services. The video is 1 hour and 26 minutes long. Rev. Parker’s presentation does not actually start until 21 minutes into the video and is 43 minutes long followed by a 20 minute Q&A.
Patience, Grace, and Flexibility
God’s Blessings, The Church Council
May 19, 2020
“My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 191:1)
The Church Council wants to share with you information about the status of our church. The church Council has been teleconferencing periodically to discuss how and when do we reopen the church. The Council has been following the recommendations of our Northwest Synod as well as the Wisconsin Council of Churches. We will share this information with you in another communication.
For now the church remains closed and we will continue videoing the Sunday services.
The Council has set up a communication group to periodically share information with the congregation. We are currently planning on each Council member calling a portion of the congregation to obtain member input. Plus we will continue these written updates. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact Mark Whiteside at: Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-635-3152.
Patience, Grace, and FlexibilityRead Covid-19 impact Notice About Church Closing
The Church Council