Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Dear Trinity friends,

As the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) continues to spread across the globe and our country, I want you to be aware of the ways Trinity Lutheran Church is responding with care and caution to this public health emergency.

First of all, this is a quickly evolving situation. We will be relying on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and local public health officials as our primary sources for reliable information. We will also look to the Wisconsin Council of Churches, our local synod, local hospitals, and school districts for guidance.

Given the speed with which things may change, please be aware that important and time sensitive information will be released primarily via email, social media, and the church website. We will make every effort to reach out by phone to those without email.

For now, we are planning to have worship on Sunday, March 15th. If you are in a high-risk group as defined by the CDC (people 60 and older; or with underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes; with weakened immune systems; or who are pregnant), please do not place yourself at unnecessary risk to come to worship. We are working on providing ways to participate in worship online.

Common Sense Practices:

  • Clean your hands often: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. (Fun fact: singing the Doxology or praying the Lord’s Prayer takes about 20 seconds!)
  • Avoid Close Contact – Practice “Social Distancing”: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Space yourself out in groups – aim for about 6 feet between unrelated people. I know this feels strange to do at church – but we will work to express our love and care in other ways as we seek to promote the well-being of all.
  • Stay home if you are sick: This is an act of self-care and of care for others. We will strive to make worship available to you digitally. Please call Pastor Andy at 608-424-5594 if you would appreciate prayer or support.

Current Precautions at Trinity:

  • Taking a break from hand-shaking and other contact: Our ushers will greet and welcome you without shaking hands. Likewise, during the sharing of the peace, we ask you not to shake hands or hug. Instead, we will have to communicate with warms words, smiles, and gestures. As a suggestion, you can place your hands on your heart and bow slightly as you say “Peace be with you.”
  • Offering: Baskets will not be passed from person to person. Only the ushers will touch the offering plates. We ask ushers to wash their hands often as well.
  • Holy Communion: All communion ministers will clean their hands before serving. We already use single use cups and pour from clean chalices.
  • Pastor Andy: I will not stand in a receiving line at the end of church where there is temptation to shake hands, but please connect with me by email or phone if you need prayer or support.

Regarding our offerings, your continued financial giving is important for the health of our congregation – especially in this time. We appreciate your generosity, and we will need to work together to continue to support our mission. You always have the option to mail your offering to the church office, or it’s easy to give online. Go to www.tlcmsn.org/giving/.

Finally, I want to encourage you to look out for each other. All of these precautions are taken out of an abundance of care for you and for our community. We will look for ways to support one another and care for the most vulnerable.

God be with us in these days.

Pastor Andy

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