Church Building Closed: Services & Meetings Suspended
Updated 08/02/2020 12:00PM
Bethany Lutheran Links:
- Returning to Church 4 Phase Plan for Bethany Lutheran Church
- Required Tasks Before In-Person Worship Begins
July 29th Update from Re-Opening Subcommittee
Our Re-Opening Subcommittee met today and discerned that with our county’s current rate of new COVID-19 cases, it is in the best interest of our members to postpone our outdoor worship service. At this time we are not scheduling another target date. We understand that this is disappointing, but rather than having to postpone a few days beforehand each time, the subcommittee continues to discern when the best possible date for a return to worship at the church will be.
The subcommittee will be meeting again on August 12th at 12pm.
For those who are not able to access worship videos online with us, beginning this Sunday August 2nd at 12:30pm we will be hosting a small socially distanced worship watch party at the church. Pastor Megan will play the morning’s worship service on the projector for those gathered.
If you would like to attend, please RSVP by contacting Pastor Megan at email@example.com or at her home number 360-822-9334.
What you need to know for the Worship Watch Party:
Attendance will be limited to 10 visitors who have signed up ahead of time, masks and physical distancing will be required. You may bring your communion elements with you to consume in your vehicle after the service has ended. Masks, hand sanitizer, and communion elements will be available if needed.
We continue to keep our Bethany Lutheran family in our prayers, and look forward to connecting with each of you soon.
Bethany Lutheran Re-Opening Subcommittee
For this phase of reopening, we are required to make many health and safety accommodations, including:
- Face masks must be worn while at church, including events held outdoor.
- A physical distance of 6 feet must be maintained from people outside your family unit.
- Complete attendance lists must be kept for all events to facilitate contract tracing.
- Many elements of worship will have to be modified, including singing, communion, and the sign of peace. Details regarding all health and safety modifications can be found in the attached plan.
We need your cooperation to succeed in the Phase 2 reopening. Without 100% participation in all health and safety protocols, in-person church services will be canceled. While we apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, the risk of operating with anything less than a 100% participation rate is simply too high, as our insurance policy will not cover the church’s liability otherwise.
If you are planning to join us for in-person service, please plan ahead and prepare:
- Check your temperature before leaving your home, if you have a fever please stay home and worship with us online
- Face covering (cloth or disposable masks) for yourself and your family
- Bread and juice to be left in your car for receiving communion at the end of the service
Staying Home & Staying Connected
As so many of our members and friends are in the high risk category for COVID-19, we believe it is in the best interest of our congregation and our community to suspend all gatherings at this time. We recognize that during this time, many might find themselves feeling isolated, and we want you to know that your church family is still here for you, even if it is via phone, email, or online.
Please consider connecting with at least one or two other members from our church directory via phone and asking them to regularly check in with you as well. This may be daily phone calls or every other day. Let us know who you’re connecting with via email or phone so that we can make sure no one is being left behind.
Women of Bethany Bible Study is meeting via Zoom on Tuesdays at 10:30am.
Breakfast group and Duct Tape group are encouraged to connect with at least one fellow member during your regular meeting time via phone.
The Moms of Young Children Book Club and Small Seeds/Sprouts will be meeting via Zoom on Wednesdays at 10am and 4pm respectively.
Worship @ Home
We will be streaming worship online at facebook.com/bethanylongview as well as on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSrgbiDWVYBB8ibeB7qZpvg and the most recent video of worship will be available below once we begin. You can also listen to Pastor Megan’s sermons online here: http://bethanylongview.org/sermons .
During our worship at home, each service will include a time where you may receive communion at home with whatever elements you have available, they will be included in our communion together electronically.
You can also check out Pastor Megan’s “How To” videos on our YouTube Page here for How to Use Zoom and here for Using Google Drive for extra help in using Zoom or uploading readings and songs. Please know that Pastor Megan is available to walk you through technology needs.
Offering @ Home
To continue with your offering, checks may be mailed to the church office, you can sign up for Simply Giving here: http://www.thefellowship.com/downloads/simplygiving.pdf , or you can use the Vanco GivePlus+ App on your phone to give electronically. For assistance, give us a call to walk you through any of these processes.
The church office will be closed through May. The phones will be forwarded and our secretary Kim will be working from home as much as possible. Essential tasks may be completed at the church building such as treasurers meeting, emergency maintenance, or staff needs.
During this time of anxiety and worry, prayer is so important. Pastor Megan will regularly be inviting members to send in prayer requests and to join in communal times of prayer via email, phone call, Facebook, and Youtube throughout this time.
We continue to pray for those who are affected by COVID-19, for those who are self-quarantined, for those who are experiencing isolation, anxiety, and fear, we lift all afflicted to our Lord in prayer. Know that you are not alone, God is with you and we are in this together. Please call, email, and reach out as you need.
For more information on the Novel Coronavirus, please visit https://www.doh.wa.gov/emergencies/coronavirus and for the most up to date information for our county please visit http://www.co.cowlitz.wa.us/205/Health-Human-Services . You can also find resources from our denomination, the ELCA, here: https://elca.org/publichealth