On Monday, June 1, 2020 the elders conducted the monthly meeting, at which we reviewed the updated policies concerning church services in the state of Illinois. Beginning next Sunday, June 7, 2020, we will be conducting worship service at 10:00 a.m. Every attempt will be made to follow guidelines as published by the Illinois Department of Public Health. If you are part of a high-risk category, having health issues that preclude your attendance, please contact Pastor Kern, and he will plan to come to you for a visit. Your health and well-being should not be superseded by the sense of mandatory attendance. Our Bible Class and Sunday School will not begin again until a later date. The following steps will be taken, in order to meet guidelines:
Face coverings will be required; if you do not have your own, we are working on getting some to hand out at the door
The liturgy will be abbreviated and will not include singing of hymns
Where possible, pastor will read the introit and prayers in solo
The Lord's Supper will be celebrated in the fellowship hall following the service of the Word, as directed by the pastor and elders
Pews will be cordoned off in the middle to encourage social distancing
Fellowship will be discouraged inside the facilities both before and after the service
Pastor will be wearing a mask; if he comes off as not clear or loud enough, please inform one of the elders afterward
Doors will be propped open for you both before and after the service
Please understand this process is new to all of us. Some of what we do may appear to be totally "off-the-cuff." If there is something we can do to improve upon our service, please let us know. We pray that one day, these practices that impinge upon our fellowship as a congregation may be a memory of the past.
May 4, 2020
In a meeting this evening the Elders and the Pastor met, with the consultation of Diane Bertels (a nursing professional), and Rich Bertels (our congregational chairman) to discuss our ability to worship under the Illinois guidelines, and the possibility of receiving the gift of the Lord’s Supper once again. The governor in a recent statement found cause to exempt places of worship from a list of activities prohibited under the “stay at home” policies, while still leaving in place the ceiling of ten persons in any place at any one time. Face masks are mandated when the six-foot distancing is not kept.
While we appreciate the new ruling, that allows us to gather in small groups, we also recognize the restrictions are intended to keep our members, as citizens of the state of Illinois safe. That is after-all the purpose and cause of civil government, even as Martin Luther provides us in Catechetical instruction, regarding the Fourth Commandment.
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper remains important to us, in the message of salvation it brings into our personal lives, both in this world and for life eternal. Nevertheless, it is not our action of attending the meal…the frequency of attendance over period, but rather the faith that our Lord assures us by way of His meal. Some may find a hunger for the Meal more frequently than another. We look forward to the time when we may be able to partake of His Meal in communion with each other, but for now we will do so in group sizes that will protect us from the virus.
Because of the limitation of the numbers to assemble at any given time, we will continue to distribute worship services by way of the internet, for those having the ability to do so. We have provided copies by mail for those who are unable to do so. The church will continue to be open for prayer on Sunday mornings from 9:00 a.m. through 11:00 a.m. Beginning immediately, opportunities to receive the Lord’s Supper will be made by appointment with Pastor Kern. Please contact him, by way of the parsonage/church phone at (618) 377-6221 or his cell phone at (618) 610-0669.
January 6, 2014
Views from church on December 22 with ice reflecting in the trees.