After consultation with our COVID-19 Response team and leadership team, we are moving forward with planning for limited in-person services and activities where and when it can be done safely, we continue to proclaim Jesus Christ, live in Christ, and serve our community and its spiritual needs in this time of great change and uncertainty.
Due to the nature of this virus, we recognize that all people will not be able to return to church this fall, and there will be variation in what activities will be able to be safely held on campus. We will continue to offer online services, bible studies, and experiences indefinitely and encourage people to utilize online opportunities whenever possible.
While we typically have reservations regarding such inequities, we see a need for spiritual care for all people and are committed to doing that as safely as possible. We know welcoming people back to campus will be slower and much more limited than some people will like. We will be cautious, and we will make adjustments when and where they are needed.
The following guidelines are from our COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. The full plan can be read here.
St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff, volunteers, visitors and members. To ensure that, we have developed the following COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplace and community, and that requires full cooperation among our staff, volunteers and members.
What We’re Doing:
- Registration is required for all in-person worship to adhere limited capacity recommendations.
- We have check-in tables dedicated and marked entrance and exits for buildings.
- There are posted signs to remind us all of proper hygiene practices and to join us online if you have experienced symptoms or are at risk of Covid-19
- Hand-sanitizing stations are available throughout the building.
- All seating areas are physically distanced and will be seated by households.
- All St. Andrew’s services will be as touchless as possible and all high-volume areas will be thoroughly sanitized between services.
- Modifications to in-person worship services will be made to limit risk of spread of the virus. This includes no congregational singing, shorter duration of service time and the requirement of face coverings in worship. Traditional 9am in-person worship will be a shortened Service of the Word
- No Cookies or coffee will be offered
- Kids are welcome to attend worship with their families. Weekend DOCK programming will continue online only.
- No offering plates or baskets will be passed. Instead, there will be an area at the check-in tables for guests who want to give in person. We recommend online giving in this time.
- To reduce touchpoints, bulletins, connect cards, pens and offering envelopes will not be available in seating areas. Connect with us digitally at saintandrew.org
How You Can Help:
- If you don’t feel well or have health concerns, please stay home and join us online at saintandrews.org
- Please wash your hands, use hand sanitizer often and mitigate a sneeze or cough.
- Maintain a distance of six or more feet between yourself and other guests.
- Please respect the personal health decisions of others.
FAQS ABOUT WEEKEND WORSHIP
Will there be reservations for weekend services?
Capacity for in-person worship is limited. Registration is required to attend an in-person service at St. Andrew’s. Registration will open online Monday for the following weekend services.
Will St. Andrew’s Online still be available?
Online services will continue indefinitely. For the past several months, we’ve been grateful for the ability to worship together at live.saintandrews.org, via dial-in phone number, on social media and Fox 9+. We care about you, your health and your safety and continue to encourage you to continue to attend online if possible. You’re part of the St. Andrew’s family no matter where you choose to attend!
What about kids and youth programs?
DOCK children’s weekend education programming will be online only through December.
Are you requiring or recommending that people wear masks?
In accordance with Gov Walz’s executive order requiring face coverings in public beginning Saturday, July 25, face coverings are required inside St. Andrew’s buildings. More info on the Executive Order is linked here
Will temperature checks be required?
At this time, we are not requiring temperature checks to enter the building, but we are asking all to do a self-screening assessment prior to attending worship.
What about those who are considered more vulnerable or caring for those who are?
If you’re vulnerable for any reason we are encouraging you to remain home. If you have any symptoms of sickness or have been around anyone who has shown symptoms, we ask you to remain home from St. Andrew’s for at least 14 days.
While our gradual return to in-person worship will be slower than some would like and faster than others desire, we continue in mission to serve the spiritual needs of our community, with health and safety a top priority. We continue to believe online worship provides the safest option for our community regardless of age or medical condition. We also know there is a very real need for worship and spiritual care in this time and are committed to doing everything we can to meet those needs safely.
Over the summer months, we have been working diligently to understand best practices and training regarding the health and safety of our community, congregation, staff, and volunteers. We have hosted limited gatherings on campus for funerals and weddings in our sanctuary this summer and hosted outdoor worship experiences that have helped us prepare for in-person worship. We will continue to abide by the safety recommendations and guidelines put forth by the MN Department of Health and seek counsel from state and local health experts.