COVID-19 Worship Changes

At Christ The King Lutheran Church we care about you and want you to worship with us safely.  We have worked hard to bring ourselves in compliance with CDC recommendations, basing our actions on, first of all, our love for God and for our neighbor, and secondly, on applying science-based solutions.  

 

MASK/FACE COVERINGS REQUIRED

By order of the State of Wisconsin, everyone age 5 and older must wear a mask or appropriate face covering when inside a building that is not a private residence, and when another person or persons are present who are not members of your household.  This order includes houses of worship and does not exempt them. 

Wearing a mask or face covering is a good thing to do, regardless of whether the government has mandated it.  At the very least, it calms the fears of those around us, and may provide some limited benefit in preventing the spread of the virus.  Yet, even though wearing a mask is a good thing for most of us to do, it may not be good for everyone to do.  According to the state’s order, the following individuals are exempt from having to wear a face covering or mask:

1. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 (while it’s recommended for that age group, wearing a mask or face covering is not required.  No mask is recommended for children under age 2.)

2. Individuals who have trouble breathing.

3. Individuals who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.

4. Individuals with medical conditions, intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, or other sensory sensitivities that prevent the individual from wearing a face covering.

We will not turn anyone away who seeks the comfort of Christ and the Gospel.  Everyone is welcome at our services.  If you do not have a mask of your own, you may use one from our supply of disposable masks.  The current “mask mandate” runs from August 1 through September 28. 

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING

By far, social distancing is the most important factor in preventing the spread of COVID-19.  Those infected with COVID-19 are often without symptoms for several days; many show no symptoms at all.  The virus is spread in two ways: by aerosol transmission (think of marbles), and by droplets (think of boulders).  Aerosol transmission is when dry particles are expelled from the lungs simply by breathing.  Droplets occur when someone coughs or sneezes.  The best ways to avoid breathing in someone else’s aerosol or droplets is by being physically distanced—or socially distanced—from them. 

Here’s how we have implemented social distancing here at Christ The King. 

  1. Every other pew is closed for seating to help maintain sufficient space between people and families. 
  2. We limited space in our sanctuary to 1/4 capacity (50 people), reserving the fellowship hall for overflow space. 
  3. Family members may sit together, but individual families are reminded to remain at least six feet apart in the sanctuary. 
  4. At the Lord’s Supper, individuals stand six feet apart, no one kneels and pastor wears gloves for the distribution of the supper (and a mask). 
  5. Visiting after church is encouraged to take place outside (where the half-life of the virus is less than two minutes).
  6. Because of concerns for aerosol transmission due to singing and time spend indoors, the service has been significantly shortened.  We only sing three hymns, and a limited number of verses with each hymn, along with a shortened liturgy.  Offerings are collected prior to the service.  Communion services are usually finished in less than one hour; non-communion services in forty-five minutes. 
  7. We encourage high-risk members (due to age and/or underlying conditions) to attend on Monday evenings. The entire sanctuary is open for seating (other than the closed pews, of course). We follow a spoken liturgy on Monday nights, with, again, a reduced amount of singing.  Monday night services typically last about 40 minutes. 
  8. “High touch” areas (communion rails, pews, etc.) are sanitized after the Sunday service using a combination of sanitizing wipes and disinfectant spray. 
  9. Restrooms are cleaned and disinfected weekly.
  10. Touching items in church is kept to a minimum.  Bulletins and worship materials are printed at least 48 hours prior to the service to reduce the off-chance of contamination.  The entire service is printed in the bulletin each week so that no one needs to touch hymnals or Bibles in the pew racks.   
  11. Hand sanitizer is readily available in the narthex, kitchen, and copy room. 
  12. Those experiencing symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste/smell) are asked to stay home from church and self-quarantine.
  13. For fellowship time after church, we will be limiting time spent indoors and snacks will be individually wrapped/served.

If you have questions about why we are doing any of these things—or if you’re wondering why we are not doing a certain thing, feel free to ask. 

 

 

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