In-Person Worship Services Resuming
In-Person Worship Services have resumed. The service will also be held live on Zoom for folks who would prefer to attend worship in that way.
We aren’t going “back,” we are moving forward! It will be a learning curve as we figure out new ways of doing things. As we’ve all experienced this year, there’s no manual for how to handle this! Lots of time has been spent by Elim’s SMART Team to get to this point and they know that plans on paper may need to adjusted when actual people are involved - Your patience, understanding, and grace is greatly appreciated. We are glad to be able to start worshipping and hearing God’s Word in person again, while protecting our church community.
So what can you expect to happen? Here’s a run-through for you:
Elim’s SMART team is asking for folks to reserve their spots. We are currently limiting attendance to around 50-60 individuals depending on family unit sizes in order to maintain social distancing. Reservations will be helpful to know how many to plan for and also so folks don’t show up on Sunday and find there’s no room. If you arrive without a reservation, you’ll be able to attend in-person only if there is still space available. We will be holding a few spots for visitors who may not be aware of the reservation system.
On Sundays following worship, the reservations will open for the following Sunday. You can sign up at the Elim Lutheran website () It’s a simple form to fill out— you’ll provide your name, contact information, and indicate the number of individuals in your household who will be attending worship the following Sunday. If you do not have internet access, you may call a dedicated number for reservations at (218) 461-8207 and leave a voicemail with your information. Remember, you will need to make a reservation each week for the next Sunday.
You will be contacted If registration is full for that week, and you will be invited to sign up for the following week.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU ARRIVE
Enter the church through the upper main doors.
In the vestibule you will be invited to sanitize your hands and pick up a mask if you do not have one with you. Everyone will be required to wear a mask which covers your mouth and nose. Those who have completed their second vaccine dose are also required to wear a mask.
The next stop will be to check in for worship. Provide the volunteers your name and they will check you off from your reservation.
Please take your coats with you to your seat.
As you enter the sanctuary, there will be a table to pick up communion elements (on communion Sundays). There will also be hymnals and bibles, if you like to use one. (They have been removed from the pews—words for the liturgy and hymns will be projected on the screens.)
Offering plates will be located by the exits of the sanctuary for you to place your offering. Plates will not be passed during the service. Electronic giving is encouraged.
An usher will then escort you to your seat. We will follow social distancing guidelines in the sanctuary with 6 feet between household groups. They are going to need to seat folks to maximize capacity while maintaining social distancing. This means you may not get
to sit in the seat you prefer, which may be hard! Think of it as an opportunity to get a new perspective on the sanctuary you’ve missed being in for the past year! If you have mobility issues that do not allow you to be seated further forward in the sanctuary, please let the usher know.
During hymns we invite you to hum or sing softly to yourself. We are erring on the side of caution for the time being when it comes to singing.
Communion will be taken at your seat. Pastor will share the words of institution and will then invite you to partake in the meal. Remove your mask, eat the bread, drink the wine/juice, and then replace your mask. Paper bags will be available in each pew to dispose of your container.
For the time being the Nursery is closed - children will be seated with their family.
The ushers will dismiss rows at the end of the service like they do at a wedding. This will help allow for social distancing. You’re asked to collect your belongings, head outside and be on your way. At this point there will be no coffee hour or social time within the church building.