REGATHERING GUIDELINES SYNOPSIS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dear Faith Lutheran Family-
We hope this letter finds you well and in good spirits. In these ever changing days we thank you for your consistent support and loyal partnership in ministry. We have a God that promises to be with us and guide us in all circumstances. Please be assured that we miss being with you in person but we are grateful for the Holy Spirit that binds us together and unites us in our mission to learn, serve and share the Gospel. We write today to share updates and look to our next steps.
Click here to download the full letter >>>
 
Step One (August 2, 2020)
• Online worship continues.
• Outdoor worship begins with restrictions. (Physical distancing, masks expected, pre-registration)
Register here >>> for Rally Day Worship
Register here >>> for Outdoor Worship starting Sept 20
 
Persons who are at higher risk for severe illness (elderly or underlying health conditions) are strongly encouraged to stay home and worship online.
• Private prayer time for individuals in the sanctuary begins. (Physical distancing, masks expected, and
pre registration required here >>>
• Small groups of 10 people or fewer allowed in-person indoors with restrictions. (Physical distancing, masks expected, and coordination with office staff prior to the meeting required.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

When the Pandemic Preparedness Team met in mid-January, we decided it was safe enough to return to in-person worship, while continuing to offer live-streamed worship for those who are still safer at home. The deciding factors were the declining numbers across a variety of metrics: case rates, positivity rates, hospitalizations and death rate.

We returned to in-person worship Sunday, January 24th and we will resume like we did this past fall: 8:30am in the Sanctuary and 10:00 in Steiner. Music at the 8:30 service will be more traditional with piano and a soloist, and the Prime Time Band will lead worship at the 10:00. We will livestream both services when the Prime Time Band plays.

We are committed to a strong live-streaming option for worship as there are many who continue to feel safer at home. Additionally, the option to livestream worship has increased viewership and worship for those who are homebound and those in assisted living. 

We will continue to watch the various metrics, especially with the new variants, and we are hopeful about the vaccine progress. If you’re above the age of 65, you can sign up for the vaccine lottery here: https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/index.jsp and you can check out the Carver County Vaccine information page here: https://www.co.carver.mn.us/departments/health-human-services/public-health/health-and-wellness/disease-prevention/covid-19-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine

Small groups and Faith Formation activities are resuming in-person gatherings. Please check out the website for the latest details.

Please do your part: pre-register for worship, maintain six feet physical distancing, wear your mask, and if you’ve been exposed to Covid-19 or are feeling unwell—please keep those germs at home and join us for worship online!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Step Three
[Downward trajectory of positive COVID-19 tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period. Hospitals able to treat all patients without crisis care measures. Peak has passed according to state health officials]
• Online worship continues via livestreaming.
• Indoor worship continues with restrictions. (Physical distancing, masks expected,
pre-registration required here >>>)
• Begin additional indoor services as needed.
• Private prayer time for individuals in the sanctuary continues. (Physical distancing, masks expected, and pre-registration required here >>>)
• Small groups and meetings for teams and committees continues, numbers allowed for indoor meetings will follow Minnesota Department of Health and government guidelines.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Step Four (Date: 05/30/2021)
 

We rejoice over the CDC’s new guidelines and at what they mean for us all—that vaccines work, that vaccinated people are able to do ‘normal’ activities more safely, and that the end of this pandemic is in sight. We thank God for this good news, for the hope and relief that it brings, for the intellectual gifts God gave scientists over the ages to get us to this point, and for the selfless sharing of those gifts with the rest of us!

We also notice that the CDC still requires masks in hospitals, in care facilities, on public transportation, and for those who are not vaccinated. We’re aware that children under 12 years of age still aren’t able to be vaccinated, and that many in our community have not yet had a chance to be vaccinated.

Updated Guidelines:
I. Masks
   a. We strongly encourage those who are unvaccinated to continue wearing masks.
   b. For those who are fully vaccinated, masks are optional.
          i. We recognize that some people who are fully vaccinated may continue to wear masks for various reasons:
             to protect people in their lives who have compromised immune systems and children under 12 who are not
             yet eligible to be vaccinated, and in support of those who are unvaccinated.
 
II. Worship
   a. Beginning Sunday, May 30 at 9am worship, we will resume congregational singing. Physical distancing between
       households and preregistration will no longer be required.
 
III. Food
   a. Beginning June 6 th after worship we will offer refreshments for outdoor social time.
           i. Beginning July 4 th coffee and socializing can resume indoors after worship.
   b. Effective immediately, funeral receptions with refreshments will be permitted indoors.
 
IV. Ongoing Care for the Community
   a. We continue to encourage:
           i. Those who are sick to stay home.
           ii. Cover coughs and sneezes.
           iii. Practice good hand hygiene – wash with soap and/or sanitize regularly.
 
Summer Youth Activities and Covid-19
• We strongly recommend that youth and volunteers get tested prior to participation, preferably with results 
   returned 1-2 days prior to the start of the event; unless they are fully vaccinated.
           o Free at-home tests are available through Vault,
              more information here: https://learn.vaulthealth.com/state-of-minnesota/
 
• We ask that students and volunteers who have Covid-19 symptoms and/or those who have a known Covid-19 
   exposure to please stay home.
 
• We encourage adult volunteers, and eligible youth (currently 12+), to get vaccinated if possible.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Step Five (Date: TBD)
[A vaccine or 95% effective treatment option is widely available. No resurgence of COVID-19; all indicators continue to decline. No government orders are in place.]
• All normal practices may resume as directed by church pastors, staff, and leadership.
COVID-19
The most important things we can all do, are all the same things we recommend to prevent the spread of any illness:
 
– Wash your hands frequently with soap and water/use hand sanitizer
– Using your arm or the crook of your elbow, cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
– Stay home when you are sick
– Avoid close contact with anyone with flu-like symptoms
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
– Wipe down hard surfaces with Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
 
We will continue to monitor the situation, follow guidance from health officials and keep you informed as needed. 
 
You can monitor the following websites for current information:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
www.cdc.gov
The World Health Organization:
www.who.int
US Department of Health and Human Services:
www.hhs.gov