Everything permitted in Phase One is also allowed in Phase Two.

Our SMART team has determined that when an average of 40 positive cases registered in the county over the last 14 days per 10,000 in population, it would be appropriate to discontinue Phase Two and return to Phase One.

We will also monitor decision-making among other ELCA congregations within Crow Wing county and use them to contribute to our decision-making.

Throughout the pandemic, no matter what level we are in, we will provide streaming worship. Also, we will hold an indoor worship service(s) with size restrictions. Currently, the size restriction is 50 congregants.

The building may also 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 with 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.

Prior communication will take place w/ congregation to prepare them for worship. We ask people to please stay home if you’re ill. Anyone over two years of age must have a mask. Everyone should maintain 6 feet between family groups. When we offer Communion, communing with bread alone is theologically acceptable. We will place a stationary collection box(s) where people can drop their tithes and offerings in. Volunteer and staffing will increase to implement cleaning and safety protocols and accommodate additional services with reduced attendance.

We will provide worship orders and announcements on the smartphone app only. Seating will be by every other row. We will continue to offer Parking-Lot worship through the use of an FM transmitter.

Staff members will ensure the HVAC system is well serviced and have fresh filters. That all other inspections such as fire inspections and alarms are working. We will set the HVAC system to maintain humidity levels of RH OF 40-60%. And will be run for 2-4 hours both before and after services and seek to maximize ventilation during worship.

We’ll remove hymnals, worship materials, all items not easily cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected. Our money counters will have hand sanitizer just for them; they will sanitize frequently & use bank teller protocols, and gloves will be available. We will identify an area to separate anyone who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 during hours of operation – w/ signage. Our baptismal font remains empty. We will ensure the safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep disinfectant products away from children.

Suppose a person known to be diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in our facility. In that case, we will notify local health officials, communicate with staff and congregations about potential exposure, maintain confidentiality, and close off areas used by the sick person. We will not use the room until after a thorough cleaning and disinfection have taken place. 

There will be additional signage and markings. These include clear signage that communicates policies & hygiene practices. Retractable banners will express our congregation’s desire to encourage everyone to engage in safe ways. Markers will be put on floors to remind people to maintain 6 feet of distance. We’ll close rooms & post areas that are off-limits. 

We will engage in intentional infection control by treating and cleaning seating between services and placing sanitizer stations throughout the church. Cleaning & disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects 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 will continue to offer worship online throughout. We will stream & record our worship services. 

During 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, handling the offering plate, Kids Time, Communal speech, singing, and the use of wind instruments. Worship services will be no more than 40 minutes. There will be no congregational singing. We will feature instrumental music & [optionally] one soloist. This singer will be masked and stand 12ft away from everyone else; We will schedule worship services far enough apart to allow time for cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces between services. We will consider adding worship services for less attendance and shorter worship service as needed.

Worship leaders will continue to use the following protocols for Communion: During preparation, empty from the tube without touching. Communion Servers should continue to wear masks and gloves. Communion preparers should wash hands for 20 seconds—communion assistants commune last. We will explore ordering pouring chalices. During communion liturgy, the presider stands back and maintain 6 feet distance between families in the communion line.

Practices or actions we won’t do: Breaking of bread and elevating wine; Touching peoples hands; Use communion bread

Practices or actions we will do: Reaching out to members who have taken the safe food handling course to use as resources: Congregants will use individual cups until 42 days of declining cases; Prepares and presiders & servers will wear a mask; 1 plate (paten) per bread server; We will use wafers until 42 days of declining cases.

The staff will develop new instructions for ushers and greeters. Ushers will assist with disinfecting between services. 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/50 or fewer. Bible studies continue online. Only in-person programming is worship; All other programming, committee meetings, etc. remain online.

Our staff will continue to enter the building only as needed—one staff person designated as a building presence.

*** Per CDC recommendations, Phase Two is appropriate in a context with 14 days of declining cases.