While we continue to offer Online Worship each weekend, Salem has also resumed in-person worship. Seating is limited. Pre-registration and masks are required.
Worship Protocols during COVID-19
Remember that we have not simply “gone back to normal.” The situation with the virus is still dangerous.
Please wear your mask at Salem
“Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:7). This is the apostle Paul’s description of love in action. Such love was needed for the Corinthian believers to overcome the selfish use of their spiritual gifts, Christian liberty, and the Lord’s Supper. The COVID-19 (SARS-Cov-2) pandemic is providing us with an opportunity to practice unselfish love toward our fellow citizens and church members.
In an effort to curb the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus Governor Walz has issued Executive Order 20-81 mandating the wearing of face coverings in public. This order asks Minnesotans to wear a face-covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings including churches and schoolsh.
While the personal views of some may differ from the Minnesota Department of Health and Governor Walz regarding the effectiveness of wearing face coverings in curbing the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus, the Lord calls on us to obey the civil leaders our loving Lord has given us. In addition to our respect for God’s governing authorities, out of love for our Christian sisters and brothers we also will not want our neglect of wearing a mask to distract others or make them feel unsafe during worship.
Executive Order 20-81 does not bring us into conflict with Scripture. Therefore, out of love for our Savior we ask that when you come to Salem, please wear a mask unless you have a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for you to maintain a face covering.
Other precautions we are taking
- Hand sanitizer will be available upon entrance and in other conspicuous locations and the church bathrooms will be available for handwashing.
- We will practice social distancing. We will have clear directions for entering and exiting the building and the sanctuary. In the sanctuary please be sure to sit only in pews that are marked as open.
- Attendees are asked to greet one another without touching.
- Attendees are asked to limit restroom occupancy to 2 people at a single time.
- We will limit singing in the services. Studies have shown that singing is an easy way to spread the virus.
- Our services will follow the same outline we have been using for our online worship. Pastor will share all the spoken parts live. We will use the same song recordings that we use for the online worship service in our live worship.
- A basket will be available for offering envelopes.
- Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned after each service.
- The entire service will be projected on the screen. A limited amount of bulletins will be available for those who cannot see the screen. They will be on a table in the back of church.
- Children’s activity bags and other common use items will be removed for the time being. Families with children are encouraged to bring their own “quiet toys” from home. The Fireside Room will be available if needed for calming anxious children.
- To minimize commonly touched surfaces, there will be no coffee served before, during, or after the service. All who come are welcome to bring their own coffee (or other drinks). Attendees are welcome to visit after the service, as long as social distancing safeguards can be maintained.
- If you are sick, or have recently been exposed to COVID and are under quarantine, please worship privately at home. If someone does come to church and is later diagnosed with COVID, please be aware that those who attend may be asked to quarantine at home for 14 days.
Those who feel uncomfortable coming to church at this time should not come to church. This virus is dangerous and affects some much more than others. If someone has health issues, is in an at-risk age group, cares for a young or elderly person, or just feels it’s too risky, it is God-pleasing to stay home to worship. The third commandment does not say, “You shall come to church.” The third commandment directs us to honor God’s Word and when possible, not to give up meeting together. We will continue to post our worship services online each week. We will continue to provide online devotional material, along with Forward in Christ, Meditations, and Portals of Prayer. We all can read and study God’s Word in our homes, and even over the internet with Google Meet and Zoom. These are all ways to worship the Lord! These are all ways to keep the Third Commandment. Again, if you feel at all uncomfortable coming to church please worship at home with a clear conscience.
Communion Distribution Plan
Communion is offered during in-person worship the 2nd and 4th weekends of the month. If you would like communion privately, please contact Pastor Jake or Pastor Jon. They would be happy to share it with you.
- Vestrymen will wear gloves and a mask as they prepare the elements and will be careful not to touch anything else as they work.
- Wafers will be placed in individual cupcake papers.
- Individual cups will be spread out in the communion trays.
- Ushers will direct the flow of traffic one person at a time, six feet apart, to maintain social distancing. They will alternate sides as we normally did for communion.
- If families are seated together they will be able to walk up together.
- The individual will pick up one cupcake paper with the bread in it and take the bread, then will pick up an individual cup and take the wine.
- The individual will turn toward the side of church where they are sitting. They will deposit the paper and the cup in the receptacle and will walk down the side aisle to their seat.
- Pastor will offer the blessing to the entire congregation once everyone has received the Lord’s Supper.
- Following the service, the vestrymen will wash and dry the individual trays for the next service.