On Friday, Governor Tim Walz released new guidelines for businesses, organizations, events and faith communities. These guidelines give more options and opportunities for congregations to be together for worship and other events.
We are excited that as the COVID numbers in the county have improved, more options are available to us again. Trinity’s pastors and worship leadership met this week to talk about what the new guidelines mean for us and how we will live into them.
- We will sing! Beginning with Wednesday night’s Lenten service, we will again be able to sing as a community as part of our worship service. We will require people to wear masks. But the Governor said that singing while masked is now allowable. We have also spoken with some of the medical folks who are Trinity members to see if they believe it is safe. They confirmed that if we wear masks, it will be fine We have so missed the sound of our voices lifting praise to God! So in our worship, moving forward, we will sing as long as the COVID numbers continue to remain low.
- We will increase the capacity of the Sanctuary to 125. We know that the Governor’s new guidelines say that churches can be open at 100%. However, it also says that we need to maintain social distancing. In our Sanctuary, with a long and narrow design, we cannot operate at full capacity with 6′ of social distancing. We really are limited to about 125.
- The capacity in Fellowship Hall has increased to 200. The wider room means that it is easier to spread out chairs so that families can gather for worship, socially distanced, sitting in family groups. This is important, because…
- We will re-start a contemporary worship service in Fellowship Hall at 10:45am on Sunday mornings beginning April 18th. We are excited to open up another worship option during this time. We are waiting until April 18th because it doesn’t make sense for us to re-launch this service right before Holy Week, and we want to give it a couple of weeks after Easter so any possible “Easter spike” in COVID numbers can die down before we open something new. Again, masks will be required at this service.
- After Easter, we will evaluate and determine when we will add the Saturday, 5:00pm worship service and when we will begin with in-person worship during the 9:30am live-streamed worship service.
This has been a long and slow process. We all wish it could have moved faster. However, our primary concern remains the safety and well-being of all of our people. Our goal has always been to make decisions that show the greatest love to God, and to each other, especially the vulnerable. And so while we will move forward with our return to making in-person worship available, we also want to do so safely and within the guidelines of the Minnesota Department of Health.
So we encourage those who are concerned, or who are physically vulnerable, to continue to exercise caution. We are concerned about your health. And if you wish to continue worshipping online, please do so. We are glad that this will remain one of our options into the future.
Please let us know if you have any questions.