24 Sep Revision to Forward Together Reopening Plan
Good Shepherd Board approves revision to Forward Together reopening plan
Dear Friends and Family at Good Shepherd,
This week, the Good Shepherd Board approved changes to our reopening plans that will lead to more opportunities for members to gather together safely. These changes were recommended to the Board by the COVID-19 and Reopening Task Forces and have been reviewed by the church staff. The board has approved going to Phase Two of our plan while making a few revisions to what that phase includes. Our new plan will allow outdoor worship services starting in October, along with in-person baptisms, funerals and weddings. It would also allow groups of 10 or less (not including staff) to meet at the church.
Jared and I hope to unveil details of possible outdoor worship opportunities in the coming weeks.
Groups wanting to meet should send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. In all cases, registration, masks and social distancing of 6 feet or more will be mandatory for all in-person events.
The Board and I are aware of the continuing challenges of the pandemic and reserve the option to go back to Phase One, if necessary, if the health situation gets worse or other unforeseen circumstances take place. I also want to emphasize a couple of points:
- For the foreseeable future, our main avenue of worship will continue to be online. We will continue to broadcast services at 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. each Sunday, and 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. When we hold an outdoor service, the service itself will be very simple and will be in addition to our regular online offerings. But we understand the need, after 6+ months of pandemic, for people to have some option to worship together as a wider community, and we believe there is a way to do so safely outside.
- A revised Phase Two should also not suggest there are any plans to move to Phase Three, and in-person worship inside, any time soon. However, the board and the task forces feel that our church needs to take every step possible to try and bring members together, despite the challenges. All of us agree that it is important to take these first steps now, so that Good Shepherd will be prepared to move operations back to both campuses as the opportunities arise.
- Finally, if you don’t feel comfortable coming to in-person events, please have no worries about staying home. I know many of our older members and people who have health issues are concerned about participating in any group event right now. Please feel no obligations to participate in-person until you feel it is safe to do so. We will continue to try and meet all our members, wherever they are, through technology like Zoom, Facebook, YouTube, and good old-fashioned phone calls and e-mails.
Thank you for your patience, grace, prayers and support as we continue to navigate through these challenging times.
Pr. Chris Enstad