An Update on Our Worship Format
“We care about each other.” This has never changed.
Thank you, Lodi church family! I have seen that you put the safety of others ahead of your personal preferences and honor the most vulnerable. Everyone who attends our Sunday service in person keeps their mask on and maintains a physical distance during the in-person gatherings.
What, then, has changed? Without the need to quote the governor’s assessment of the situation in his latest executive order, we all know that cases of Covid-19 drastically surge in our community. We hear more news of infection from our friends and neighbors and from our church family. I hear you say, “It is coming closer to our house.”
We try not to act in fright, but with care for each other, especially the vulnerable among us. I don’t think that caring for the vulnerable necessarily means getting rid of all in-person activities. However, I certainly see the reason behind the governor’s urge to “avoid gatherings of any size between individuals who are not members of the same living unit or household.” It is because what happens with large numbers of asymptomatic infections is that it takes more than a week from the time of exposure to the time of getting notified of the exposure which caused infection. During the period, the person understandably would feel no reason to inhibit interactions with others. That way, they might attend church events in person, and while they are carrying along what they don’t know they are carrying, they may end up spreading the virus in the gathering. I hear from those among us who attend our Sunday service in person that they understand the risk of exposure and thus they follow the safety guidelines. Nevertheless, we want to minimize the risk as much as we can.
Here is what we will change in our Sunday worship format and our Safety Protocol
Starting on Sunday, November 15, for next four Sundays, our 8 o’clock service will be offered only through live-streaming from the sanctuary. This means that attending in person is not expected. Disinfecting the surfaces adequately between our two services is challenging, while it is very crucial.
Attendance at our 10 o’clock service has been consistently small with about 10 people. We will continue to hold the service in person with the guidelines that put priority on the safety of people at higher risk. If you plan to attend, please make sure your answers to these screening questions are ALL “NO”
In the past 48 hours, have you been sick?
Have you been in close contact (6 feet or closer for a cumulative total of 15 minutes)
within the past 7 days, with those whom you don’t know well or don’t know about their health status?
within the past 14 days, with anyone who is known to have confirmed Covid-19 or who has experienced any Covid-19 symptoms?
Are you currently waiting on the results of a Covid-19 test?
Our Safety Protocol reflects current scientific and medical knowledge about how Covid-19 is spread. Wearing a face mask and physical distancing are expected at all times while you are in church. Newly installed uv light tubes are disinfecting the air ventilating in the sanctuary and fellowship hall.
Let me end with what I began with. “We care about each other.”
We are all in this together. We are one family in Christ. We rely on each other for life and death. In time, the storm will pass.
Yours in Christ,
Thank you, Pastor Peace, for your diligence and loving concern for our LUMC family!
I join Pastor Peace in these concerns and recommendations as we face increased danger in this pandemic. As difficult as it is, we will come through this stronger than ever.
Sherian Foster, Coordinator of the Worship Enhancement Team.
“The LORD himself goes before you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8