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Guidelines for Returning to the Lord’s Altar

Guidelines for Returning to the Lord’s Altar

Here is how we are planning to slowly return to church and receive the Sacrament of the Altar beginning with Phase 3 of the Reopen Illinois plan. Please read these guidelines carefully and let me or your elder know if you have any questions.

* Services will continue to be live-streamed and recorded each week on Sunday at 9am and Wednesday at 7pm. Everyone is encouraged to join us with these online services to worship, praise, and hear the preaching of God’s Word.
* Beginning June 7 we will offer two blocks of time per week for members to sign up and come to church to receive the Sacrament of the Altar:
* Sundays from 11am to 3pm
* Wednesday from 11am to 3pm
* Services will be scheduled on the hour and half hour. (11, 11;30, etc.)
* Services will be limited to 9 people at a time (plus Pastor makes the current gathering limit of 10).
* Those desiring the Sacrament should contact the Church Office or Pastor to choose one of the slots they wish to attend. We appreciate your being flexible in the event a slot you desire has already reached its maximum number of guests. You may begin making your appointments on Monday, June 1.

The Service of the Sacrament will be as follows:
* The group will come forward to stand near the altar rail in front of the front pew. The entire service will be conducted as we stand up front. (The service will be brief but anyone who needs to sit may do so in the front pew.)
* There will be a brief service including Confession and Absolution, the Lord’s Supper, prayer, and benediction.
* You may take a service bulletin from the those available in the narthex.
* Masks are to be worn the entire time while being removed just to receive Christ’s Body and Blood
* For the distribution of Christ’s Body, the host will be given in to your hands only, not directly into the mouth.
* For the Distribution of Christ’ Blood, we will offer both the chalice (with a high proof alcohol soaked purificator to cleanse it) and individual cups.
* Only pastor will be distributing the gifts (an elder will not be present).
* Pastor will remain masked throughout the service; He will commune last.
* Following the benediction, we ask that the congregation not linger in the church or narthex. We will use the time between services for setting up for the next group and doing any cleaning necessary.
* Please place your service bulletin in the box marked for used bulletins.
* If you feel sick or are exhibiting any symptoms of illness (fever, aches, etc.) we ask that you please remain at home. If you are unable to attend during your scheduled time slot, please let pastor know.
* Pastor will begin visiting homebound members again provided they are comfortable with him coming to visit. He will wear a mask and take normal precautions including hand washing and sanitizing, etc.

I want to make this part very clear: If you are not yet comfortable coming to church to receive the Sacrament, that is OK! There is no judgement one way or the other. The Lord’s Supper is a gift we all desire and the situation of this pandemic makes us cautious and uncertain. We are taking every precaution to make the Lord’s gifts available in a way that takes our situation into consideration while making the Lord’s gifts available.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or your elder to discuss them.

I am looking forward to seeing you back in church, even if it is not all at once. The Lord continue to bless each of you.

– In Christ, Pastor Buetow