Per CDC recommendations, Phase Two is appropriate in a context with 14 days of declining cases.  The Lord of Life SMART Team has set a target date for the staff to be ready for Phase 2 by September 1st.  All things permitted in Phase 1 are permitted in Phase 2.  If it is the consensus among ELCA congregations within Crow Wing county that conditions warrant it, we will discontinue Phase 2 and return to Phase 1.

What does Phase 2 mean for the congregation?

  • In addition to streaming worship (which will be provided throughout), we will hold (a/an) in-door worship service(s) with size restrictions.
  • The building will be open for individual prayer by appointment with our parish nurse as long as the participant agrees to wear a mask and observe social distancing and cleaning protocols.
  • We will continue to advise High-Risk people to shelter in place at home.
  • All church groups that have even one person in a high-risk category should not meet in person, but only by Zoom.
  • Corporate worship will remain the only meeting in the church building.

What does Phase 2 mean for the Operations Team?

Support for the Worship Service

  • Prior communication will take place w/ congregation to prepare them for worship
  • Sending out Pre-worship publicity:
    • Stay home if you’re ill
    • Anyone over 2 years of age must have a mask
    • Children under 2 don’t need a mask
    • Everyone should maintain 6 feet between family groups
    • When communion is offered, communing with bread alone is theologically acceptable 
    • Stationary Collection box(s) will be placed where people can drop their offering envelopes
    • Volunteer and staffing may need to increase to implement cleaning and safety protocols and to accommodate additional services with reduced attendance.
    • Bulletins will be available by smart phone app only
    • Seating by every third row
    • Encourage people to register for services  {should we do this?}
    • Screening w/ thermometers will take place at the doors   {should we do this?}
  • We may continue to offer Parking-Lot worship through the use of an FM transmitter

Enhanced Hazard Mitigation

  • Assure the HVAC system has been serviced and all filters have been changed
  • All other inspections such as fire inspections and alarms are working
  • Set HVAC system to maintain a humidity levels of RH OF 40-60%.
  • Run HVAC 2-4 hours prior to services and after (this is set automatically).
  • Maximize ventilation
  • Remove hymnals, worship materials, all items not easily cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected
  • Money counters need to sanitize frequently & use bank teller protocols
  • Have gloves available
  • Have ample hand sanitizer just for counters
  • Identify an area to separate anyone who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 during hours of operation – w/ signage
  • Baptismal Font remains empty
  • Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants
  • Keep disinfectant products away from children.

If a person diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the facility

  • Notify local health officials
  • Communicate with staff and congregants about potential exposure
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Close off areas used by the sick person 
  • Do not use the area until after cleaning and disinfection

Additional Signage and Markings

  • Clear signage that communicates policies & hygiene practices
  • Retractable signs – 2 @ $240  
  • Tape on floors, etc. to ensure staff and children remain at least 6 feet apart
  • Close rooms & post areas that are off-limits

Infection Control

  • Treat/clean seating between services
  • Sanitizer placement / sanitizer stations
  • Clean & disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects in between uses; 
  • Clean high touch areas daily 
  • Extensive cleaning plan (w/ visible checklists)
  • Clean after and in between worship events w. lysol – fabric mist or other approved chemicals
  • Prop open doors so no one touches a handle
  • Open windows throughout the church in used spaces and seek to increase circulation. ??  [we need to discuss this in light of HVAC discussion]

What does Phase 2 mean for our Program Team?

Worship Planning

  • We will continue to offer worship online throughout
  • We will stream & record our worship services
  • We will discontinue: 
    • The customs of passing the peace (or we may use non-touch alternates), holding hands, and greeting line at the door, passing the offering plate
    • Kids Time
    • Communal speech and singing 
    • Use of wind instruments
  • No communion indoors until Phase 3
  • Consider adding worship services for less attendance / shorter service
    • Worship services no more than 40 minutes
    • Worship services – no singing
    • Feature instrumental music & [optionally] one soloist – masked – 12ft away from all
    • Scheduling services far enough apart to allow time for cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces between services
  • New instructions for ushers/greeters to maintain distancing monitoring, planning, and training for e.g., greeters, ushers, etc.  Ushers will assist with disinfecting between services.  A total of 4 people will be needed for cleaning. 
  • Sterilizable busy bags with something for kids to take home
  • Nursery care not available until phase 4
  • Fellowship hall closed; no coffee hour
  • No visits to hospitals/care facilities
  • All baptisms are private
  • Funerals/weddings w/25 or fewer
  • Bible studies continue online
  • Only in-person programming is worship; All other programming, committee mtgs, etc. remain online

The council has granted the following special exceptions: 

  • The High School youth group (12 youth & the youth director) may participate in the planned Amnicon Trip following the requirements outlined by Amnicon, and the following requirements for travel to and from the destination:
  • <safe travel guidelines to be followed>
    • Waivers must be signed by parent/guardians
    • Temperature taken upon arrival
    • Everyone must agree to wear a mask

What does Phase Two Mean for the Staff?

  • Continue to enter the building only as needed.
  • One staff person designated as a presence in the building.

What does Phase 2 Mean for the SMART Team / Council?

  • Encourage staff to work from home as much as possible
  • Consider plans for small outdoor gatherings