Fifth Sunday Council President Update – May 31, 2020

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Good Morning Everyone!

Back to Church – Boy, doesn’t this have a whole new meaning! Usually I we would be talking about an event in September, and that would involve a special day filled with the excitement of meeting up with many people we have seen over the summer, do to vacationing and other commitments, a day with a delicious pig roast and pot luck, and at this moment that event is still not out of the question, But, for the time being, back to church will mean a new normal, the residual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, next week, on June 7th, we will be opening the church back up for in-house worship, and yes there will be many new normal’s!

As you may have seen on our web site, we will have a much different worship experience, some of the changes being implemented for the return to in-person worship:

  • Face coverings (masks) will be required by everyone while in the church building.
  • Hymnals, Bibles, song books, and sign-in registers have been removed from the pews, in an attempt to stop hand-to-hand contact.
  •  Printed worship bulletin will NOT be available. All service material will be projected on the screens and distributed via email.
  • Nursery Services will not be available.
  • “Heavenly Happenings” and “Word, Prayer, and Care” will be distributed as they have been the past few weeks – a limited number of printed copies will be available in the planter on the church porch.
  • Every-other pew will be available for seating. Each week we will use alternating pews.
  • Children will remain in their pew for the children’s message, if scheduled.
  • Windows in the Sanctuary will be open and ceiling fans will be used to provide ventilation and air circulation during worship service.
  • Families living together may sit together; otherwise social distancing will be practiced (the 6 foot rule).
  • Physical contact (hand shaking, hugging, etc) is discouraged.
  • Collection/offering Plates will be located in the Narthex, please just drop your offering’s in as you pass by.
  • Communion will be offered the second, fourth and fifth Sunday’s of each month. Pre-packaged elements will be available for you to pick up on your way into church.  Everyone will remain in their pew for communion as it is directed by the Pastor.
  • After church services conclude, the ushers will dismiss/release worshiper’s pew-by-pew beginning with the pews in the back of the sanctuary. You are asked to exist the church; keeping in mind social distancing, The Pastors will exit the building and be outside the building if you would like to speak with them.
  • The Oda Street entrance will be closed until further notice.

Please keep in mind, that none of the changes are meant to be harming or disrespectful to anyone, they are intended to keep the congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church safe in a situation that everyone is new to. Your patience with our volunteers ( i.e., Elders, Ushers, Greeters, etc.) would be appreciated, as they are new to this whole new lifestyle also!

That said, we are opening, with just one service a week, and as we see needed we will add a second service. There are no plans to check temperatures when worshipers arrive. We are trusting you to make the right decision whether to attend the in-person service. If you are not feeling well, please worship from the comfort of your own home until you feel better. If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 self-quarantine as directed – do not come to church until after your quarantine. Thank you!

LIVE STREAM – Our church service will continue to be streamed live on Facebook each week, for those who prefer to avoid crowds at this time, and will continue to be live streamed going forward as an opportunity to reach more of God’s people, spreading the good news of our Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Please plan to join us each week, if you are traveling, going to college, home-bound, or just not wanting to leave the house on a snowy morning.

Meetings – Since this whole COVID-19 excitement began, the boards of Trinity have continued with their normal meeting schedules, the meetings went forward, but in a virtual setting instead of face to face, the people that had computers with cameras used them, and for anyone who didn’t, there was a call in number available, it actually worked out pretty well. I would like to thank everyone for adapting during this unusual time!

Cancellations– All of our event throughout the summer here at Trinity have been cancelled: vacation bible school, volunteer dinner and so on. Many of these we hope are just postponed, others will come back next year, we will keep you updated as events are scheduled/re-scheduled by email, web site and announcements.

Tithes and Offerings- Since this whole shut down began, I am happy to report that everyone has been keeping their commitment to Trinity each week. Of course I guess I should make my usual reminder, that during the summer months when people are on vacations, and less likely to attend church, this can be a time that things get tight also, even though we may not be here our financial obligations are, So, please continue to remember Trinity each week. Text to give, the us mail, and the mail slot located half way up the ramp to the church are great ways to do this. Thank you in advance.

Bible study- The verse by verse bible study, made the conversion to a on line bible study, and it went great, it actually had more participants than when in the classroom setting, people from the UP, the Tawas area, and other parts of our state attended. Please watch for possible other studies to become available online. It may be one of those new normals!

My Brother Keeper-This was about the only outreach ministry that continued while this all started, not exactly like it was , but the dinner was still prepared and dropped off the group, thank you to everyone that continued to help!

Volunteer needed- Last year George Meinburg took on a project on our pavilion, he closed in the west end, and built a nice storage area for the tables and chairs, he did a great job with it. Now its time to see if we can find a volunteer to take on the project of chasing down the stain color of the existing pavilion, and then getting together some helpers to make the new areas match. If you are interested, and have some spare time, get in touch with Pastor, and he can help point you in the right direction.

That’s all I have for you today!

Thank you for the opportunity to present this update! I will be back for another update on the weekend of August 30th,  2020.  Hopefully it will be and in person and not on a stream.

Please continue to Pray for Our World, All the people making the decisions about this pandemic, and all of the people battling this virus!

This will conclude our live stream for today, please join us again at 9:15next Sunday morning for worship, until then!

 God’s Blessing to you all!