Pastor Hagen's Message to the Congregation, 3/24/2021
ELIM IS REOPENING
On Tuesday, March 22 the Elim Church Council agreed it was time to begin reopening the church building. Over the past year the Council looked at CDC guidelines, followed Gov. Walz's directives, monitored St. Louis County Covid 19 cases and listened to Elim's own medical experts, all in an attempt to make good decisions concerning in person gatherings and keeping members safe. Over that time the Council created a plan to reopen gradually when the Covid numbers consistently declined over a period of time. This past month they included in their evaluation the availability of the Covid vaccine. This past Tuesday they decided it was time to begin gradually reopening the facilities. So how will this work?
1. First, starting April 1 the parking lot will be open to groups.
Anyone wanting access to the parking lot will need to register with
Deb W. prior to using the space. Deb will manage how many
people will be on the property at any one time.
2. Starting April 15, small groups will be able to schedule meetings in
the building. Again, these groups will need to register with Deb W.
prior to coming in and only certain rooms will be available for use.
All Covid protocols must be maintained by people using the
3. On April 25, as long as Covid numbers remain low, the sanctuary
will be open for in person worship with limited seating.
Again, a registration process will be put in place and once the seating
limit is met, registrations will be closed. The Council understands
this may cause some hardships but the limits are necessary to
maintain social distancing.
Throughout this reopening the safety of members and guests will be Elim's primary concern. Everyone entering the building will need to use sanitizer, wear face masks and be registered. Social distancing will be expected of all people while in the building.
Worshipers will be seated with immediate family groups. Groups will be social distanced throughout the pews and in the worship space. A route for entering and exiting will be outlined and followed. Sadly, for the immediate future there can be no shaking hands, hugging, or social interaction while in the building. There also cannot be any fellowship time or eating during this initial reopening phase. Bathrooms will be open but congregating in bathrooms is discouraged.
As has been happening since the beginning of Covid, Elim's virtual worship will continue for those who do not wish to come to
in-person worship yet. The service will be shown live on Zoom and can be accessed in the same way it has been over the past months.
The Church Council is working out details on how to do communion and how special music might be incorporated into Elim's worship. This is a learning time and we encourage people to be understanding and be patient until all the bugs are worked out.
Thank you for staying strong over this past year. It is a good day to be giving thanks to God. With excitement, I look forward to seeing you in person soon.
Pastor Jim Hagen
P.S. Thank you for keeping Elim in your prayers and continuing to financially support Elim's ministry. Please consider joining others who have found the blessing of using electronic giving. If it were not safe and convenient, I personally would not be using it. If you would like to try electronic giving you can click HERE where you can give a one time or repeating donation, or you can scan the QR code.
God bless you this week and remember, God is with us!
Pastor Hagen's Messages
March 28, 2021 Pastor Hagen speaks on Mark 15:22-47 Palm Sunday
April 4, 2021 Easter Morning, in Mark, We are the Ending of the Story
Sunday, April 11, 2021 Pastor Hagen speaks on John 20:19-31