We are currently at Stage 5 for Worship and Meetings/Gatherings.
Our congregational council met, 6/8/2020, to discuss our congregation and our life together. This discussion included a COVID-19 mitigation plan to keep our congregation and staff safe. Please review the policy below, while some of the pieces might feel inconvenient, this is an effort for us to keep ourselves and our neighbor safe. As Bishop Wickstrom often states, “this is a labor of love.”
As you review it you will notice different stages of worship. The congregation will communicate each week on the e-news what stage we are in and what that means. Some of you will feel we are moving too slow while others too fast, you will need to make the best decision for you and your family in regard to how to respond. Further note that it is more of a continuum and based on local conditions and state mandates our worship will have to move stages appropriately. Note that until it feels no longer necessary, we will continue to offer online worship opportunities, however depending on the stage, the audience the service is intentionally directed to will change.
The council at present, in consultation with local healthcare providers, feel we can meet at a stage 5 at this time. What does this mean:
- 8am will still be our regular Zoom worship as we have been experiencing it.
- Adult Forum will begin at 9:05 and end promptly at 10:05 so those who desire can attend worship at 10:30 in person. (See next)
- 10:30am worship will be held outside in the parking lot.
- We will park around the fire pit.
- Congregants will be asked to either stay in your car or stay on the drivers side of their vehicles for spacing. This will allow us to sing together.
- Please bring your phones to connect by Zoom to see the materials for worship. While we are planning on using an FM transmitter we might not have this for the service on 6/14 might need to revert to Zoom for audio.
- Please use proper social distancing guidelines and bring a mask.
- If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or Flu like symptoms please seek a medical professionals care and do not attend worship in person.
Communion: As a congregation we continue to have conversations during Adult Forum. We will hopefully have an understanding of how we want to proceed with this meal in our context for our community of faith during this time. These conversations will be wrapped up soon and you will be notified of how we are going to proceed.
In closing, thank you for your graciousness in the midst of this interesting time we are living.
You may download and print this document or keep scrolling and read it right here.
Christ Lutheran Church of Fairbanks, AK
COVID-19 Mitigation Plan
This mitigation plan approved by the Christ Lutheran Church (CLC) council on June 8, 2020 follows the guidelines established by the State of Alaska. It is intended to allow for business of the church to proceed while mitigating the risk of COVID-19 transmission for our safety. There are varying perspectives on the appropriate response to the ongoing situation. It is our duty and responsibility to show our Christian love for one another by making these important, temporary changes in the life of our congregation which include different phases of building usage and worship gatherings depending on the local conditions. Note that specific practices for Worship will be covered in a document regarding a phased approach to worship.
Communication: The primary means of communication will be by email, the CLC Facebook page, website and on the entryway doors of the building. All are expected to abide by the following guidelines to protect the staff and each other.
COVID—19: any person with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or any other flu-like symptoms may not enter the facility and are asked to refrain from being on the campus. (We also recommend that you seek the care of a medical professional.) Further any person who is immunocompromised and over the age of 65 should also maintain their distance to protect their health.
Occupancy and distancing: Six foot distancing will be observed by all non-household members. Please refer to the worship gathering plan for the phased offerings for worship.
Face Coverings: Face coverings must be worn by everyone entering and exiting the church. Staff may choose at their discretion to forgo a face covering when alone in their office.
Sanitizing: Hand sanitizer and/or handwashing are recommended for all entering the church and are available at the entrance to the building. Disinfecting (by wipes and/or spray and towels) is to be done by those entering the facility on any surface that is touched. If the Worship stage has the congregation in the facility volunteers will disinfect the surfaces. If sanitizing supplies are unavailable the gathering cannot take place. Places to be particularly cleaned are doorknobs, , chairs and other high touch surfaces.
Tracking: The administrative assistant will keep a record of those who enter the facility during her regular office hours. If entering the facility outside of this time please email the administrative assistant at email@example.com you will only need to state that you entered the facility and when.
Food and Fellowship: Until further notice food and drink will not be shared at the CLC facility.
Meetings: If mandates allow committees can use their discretion to meet in person as long as the above procedures are followed. Zoom is an option and can be used for all meetings and gatherings. Note that meetings taking place outdoors are okay as long as physical distancing takes place. This could be meeting outside at the church or doing some outdoor activity together where distancing takes place naturally such as a hike.
Pastoral Visitation: Pastor will visit with members on a case by case basis. Preferably meeting outside and with good physical distancing. Pastor will not be making house visits during this time.
Vital Ministries: Deemed such by the Church Council can take place with extra precaution and in compliance with state mandates. Examples of this are—Food Box Ministry and AA.
Worship phases and expectations at Christ Lutheran Church in Fairbanks, AK
The following are the phases of worship gatherings at CLC. They will comply with state mandates and local conditions for gathering. While some might feel this is a rushed approach others will see it as not fast enough. To best love our neighbor CLC will err on the side of caution out of love of the neighbor.
Baptism: Will be accomplished by the parents/sponsors putting the water on their child while the pastor extends hands in blessing and says the baptismal words. The same will be true for confirmation.
A note about Communion: At present a decision has not been made about communion. This will occur mid-June as discussions around this topic and how CLC wants to proceed in a manner that is authentic to this congregation is developed. It will not happen as before until our final stages.
Funerals and Weddings: As local conditions dictate gatherings, each event will be on a case by case basis.
Stage 1: Virtual Worship/Ministry Meetings Only
Sunday worship: Zoom format open to all. Music and worship leaders lead from their homes. If there are circumstances that preclude a strong internet connection some leaders may opt to be at the church facility.
All meetings and educational opportunities to be conducted virtually.
Stage 2: Virtual Worship/Ministry Meetings Only
Sunday Worship: Zoom format open to all; music worship leaders lead in the sanctuary and maintain a minimum distance of 10 feet. Pastor leads worship from pastoral office and assisting leaders connect from their homes. All educational opportunities and ministry meetings are conducted virtually. This Stage is for when State Mandates allow for groups up to 10.
Stage 3: Virtual Worship/Small groups outside
Sunday Worship: Zoom format open to all; worship leadership at home or at the church building as in Stage 1 &2. Educational opportunities, ministry meetings and groups can opt to meet in groups of 10 or less if they are outside. All participants are required to wear a face covering and maintain a distance of 6 feet apart.
Stage 4: Virtual Worship and small groups inside
Sunday Worship: Zoom format open to all; same format for leadership as Stage 1 & 2. Educational opportunities, ministry meetings, and groups can opt to meet in groups of 10 inside the church facility. Participants will be required to wear a face covering and maintain a distance of 6 feet apart. People will sign up to sanitize before and after the meeting. Groups of 11 or more will be conducted virtually or outdoors.
Stage 5: Worship in person outside and small groups inside
Sunday Worship: Worship will be on Zoom and/or Facebook Live and open to all; in person worship involves pastoral leadership, assisting ministers, and music worship leaders. Participants will be required to wear face coverings and maintain a distance of 6 feet. Singing may be done with a face covering and a distance of 10 feet. Passing of the Peace will happen with no physical contact. Small groups will conform to Stage 4.
Phases of outside worship will be to move from dispersed to more condensed over time as mandates and local conditions allow. Possibly in this succession—one service outside in the parking lot. Then around the fire ring and then to the lawn at the front of the church.
Stage 6: Worship in Person Inside and small groups inside.
Sunday Worship: Will be on Zoom and/or Facebook Live and open to all; in person worship involves pastoral leadership, assisting ministers and music leadership and will be limited to 20 people including leadership. All people are required to wear cloth face coverings and maintain a distance of 6 feet apart. Passing of the peace will happen with no physical contact. No singing and no communion will happen. Humming the music is allowed. A common offering basket will be in place for the receiving of the offering.
Sanitation requirements: Separate entrance and exit. Doorknobs and rails to be sanitized before and after the service.
Stage 7: Worship in person Inside with Small groups inside
Sunday Worship: Worship will be on Zoom and/or Facebook Live. Stage 6 applies with the addition of communion. There will be an effort to maintain 6 feet of distance between people. Presiding minister will visibly sanitize hands and provide bread only to communicants. Communicants will sanitize their hands before and after receiving.
Stage 8: Worship in person and no restrictions
Sunday Worship: As long as people desire or are using virtual means to worship this will be provided. However this will not be the primary means of conducting the service. Those who have symptoms or traveled to a place prone to an outbreak are asked to maintain distance from the facility for a “quarantine period”. This will be the last stage when our state and healthcare professionals give a sort of all clear where the threat is in a sense over. Note that we should always be vigilant in our daily hygiene and sanitization.