On May 28, 2020, our governor lifted the restrictions on houses of worship in the state of Illinois. As such, we will resume our regular Sunday Divine Service schedule of Bible Class at 8:15 a.m. and Divine Service at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 14, 2020.
When Divine Service resumes on June 14: the church doors will be open before and after church to minimize the amount of contact with door handles, etc. Safe social distancing will be the order of the day, even in the pews. Feel free to sit together as a family, but be aware so that you are not sitting directly in front of or behind another person or group. As per Illinois guidelines, we ask for a space of 6-10 feet between individuals and/or family groups for the time being.
We have plenty of room to move around and safely space ourselves apart. You may not be able to sit in your usual seat. Offerings will be collected as you enter or leave in the offering plates placed by the doors to the church.
Hymnals and bulletins will be handed to you as you enter. This will help us in keeping to a minimum the amount of hymnals we will need to clean each week.
We will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Initially, we will commune via a continuous line to avoid touching the altar rail. The ushers will direct you to the aisle, where Pastor and an Elder will offer you Christ’s body and blood. Pastor and the Elder will wear masks during the distribution.
There will be fewer cups per tray to minimize cross-contamination. Take care that you do not touch other cups as you take yours.
We will continue to offer our Lord’s blood in the chalice. You are free to receive from the chalice or the individual cups. Pastor will continually clean the rim of the chalice—as he always does—but with the added protection of using alcohol on the purificator.
Please observe about a 6-foot distance between individuals or family groups as you line up to receive the sacrament. Follow the ushers’ directions to return to your seats.
After the service, please wait to greet one another until you are outside (weather permitting) to avoid groups gathering in the narthex. We are Christian community and will continue to greet each other with Christ’s peace, albeit, if a different manner for now.
Wearing face masks is encouraged.
Congregational singing will be slightly decreased by the elimination of the distribution hymns, for now. We will still have an opening, sermon, and closing hymn.
If you are showing signs of illness or are vulnerable to illness: please be encouraged to stay home. No one will think less of anyone for making that decision at this time. We want to love all of our members in the best way possible.
Once we have returned to worship, Pastor will resume visits to shut-ins and to those who request that he bring them Holy Communion.
To repeat: We will return to our normal schedule of the Divine Service on Sunday, June 14th, at our regular time of 9:30 a.m.
We will also resume our regular Sunday morning Bible Class at 8:15 a.m. in the Martin Luther Room (lower level of the sanctuary) on the same date, where we will also practice proper social distancing.
What does this mean for our Facebook live-streamed services? That remains to be seen. We will look into the possibility of continuing the Facebook live-stream services for those who desire it, either on Sunday or a different day of the week. That will depend on the resources available to us.
Thank you for your support and your prayers during this most difficult time. We continue to cling to the certain promise of God, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will never leave you or sake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6), as we move forward in ministry here at Gloria Dei. We believe that our gracious God still has work for us to do here, as we—together as His body in this place—continue to proclaim the good news of Christ crucified and risen!