The COVID-19 Task Force met on Tuesday evening, January 18, to review current procedures at First Lutheran. We began by praying for health care workers, for people who have lost loved ones because of covid, and for people currently living with covid. Then we reviewed FLC’s past protocols, the rates of infection and vaccination in our county, and the practices of other area congregations.

Worship is the activity that will keep the highest safeguards since we want as many people as possible to be able to participate. We also recognized that even with the current omicron infections rate, the vaccines are working to make life better for many people and organizations. Therefore, we agreed to make the following changes regarding worship. We will resume passing offering plates during the worship services and we will offer worshipers the opportunity to come forward for communion. We will offer the option for worshipers to take communion at their seats. Communion distribution will be similar to our practice pre-covid. At the 8:40 a.m. service there will be two “stations,” one on the piano side and one on the pulpit side. At the other two services there will be one station. Thank you to Pastor Mike Wilker, Spencer Martin, and Megan Pitz for developing a thoughtful and safe plan to resume these key parts of worship. Pastor Mike will give further instructions during worship. Also, Pastor Mike reiterated that if any members want to receive communion in their home, please contact him to arrange a visit.

We decided not to make any other changes at this time. We continue to encourage mask wearing in the building for any activity. Small groups members are responsible for speaking with one another to decide together about mask wearing during their gathering. This also means that FLC will continue to follow the Decorah Public Schools protocols for mask wearing for children and teens. Finally, for fellowship times, beverages and food can be shared and we recognize and respect that individuals and families will make choices about their participation. The Task Force will continue to monitor the pandemic and make changes as needed.

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