Church Council President
June 26, 2020
Dear Gethsemane Family,
The church council held a special meeting on June 24 to discuss moving the worship services from the outdoors to inside the church sanctuary. There was much discussion examining the pros and cons of each choice. The council voted to resume indoor worship beginning July 5 at 9 am.
As with all businesses and organizations opening up, we must comply with public health guidelines. There will be some changes since we last met inside for worship. What to expect:
In compliance with the mandated guidelines, the seating has been arranged to allow for social distancing.
Wearing a mask is encouraged. Hand sanitizer and masks are available for anyone who wishes to use them.
There will be no congregational singing and limited congregational speaking.
Sharing of the peace will not include handshakes or hugs. A simple bow or nod with a greeting is suggested.
Offerings may be placed in a basket at the door.
Communion will be served in individually wrapped packages with a wafer and grape juice, as we have been doing outdoors.
At the end of the service, ushers will dismiss attendees by household group.
There will be no social time inside the building.
July 22, 2020
“Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10
The Apostle Paul could have penned those words just yesterday. By now, most of us are weary. Weary of hearing about the corona virus. Weary of listening to a constant stream of information about testing and tracing, research and vaccination. Weary of being asked to keep distance and avoid large gatherings. Weary of the discussion about whether or not masks are needed.
These can be challenging and difficult times. Yet, like the Apostle Paul, I encourage us all to not grow weary in dong the right thing. What does that mean for us?
As I write this, Wednesday, July 22, Governor Walz announced a mandate for all of us to wear face masks in all public indoor gathering spaces. That includes us as a church. Beginning Sunday, July 26 we must require that our worshipers wear masks when we worship. People who have a health condition that prohibits them from wearing a mask are exempt as are children age 5 and under. If you do not have a mask, come, and we will provide one for you.
I recognize that for most of us, wearing a face covering is uncomfortable and annoying. But increasing evidence shows that wearing one offers protection for our neighbor in reducing the spread of disease. And that is exactly what the Bible says we must do. We love God and we love others. We work for the good of all, especially those of the household of faith.
So, dear weary ones, hang in there with me. Together we can do this.
Peace in Christ,