The leadership of Trinity Lutheran recognizes that the increase in Covid-19 related hospitalizations and deaths in NW Michigan is concerning. Recently, Covid-19 has directly affected church members and their families. It is important to us, now as always, that we care for the health and well-being of all Trinity members, their families, guests, and neighbors.
The current circumstances do not change who we are or what our mission is in the community. Moreover, even with respect to the pandemic, we recognize that we are in a different place than we were a year ago. As our local hospitals struggle under the weight of the current surge, however—and as Covid-19 touches the lives of our own community—we want to take measured steps to convey our sensitivity to the situation and to help ensure that our congregation continues to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.
Consequently, we are taking the following steps at this time in addition to our current protocols:
- The 5 p.m. service on Christmas Eve will take additional precautions, including the requirement of face coverings. The 7 p.m. Christmas Eve service will be normal.
- On Sundays, the rear 3 pews will be reserved for those who wish to wear face coverings and practice more intentional physical distancing. (If you're wearing a face covering you may sit wherever you like, but these pews in particular will be set aside.)
- Pastor and his assistant for Holy Communion will wear face coverings for the distribution of the Supper.
- Live-streamed services will continue for the foreseeable future.
The Elders considered once again having two services each Sunday, but ultimately decided against doing so. Our desire is to bring God's people together rather than splitting us up (recognizing that there are times and situations when this isn't possible). We believe that continuing with one service at this time helps us best fulfill our mission.
With respect to face coverings, no one will be required to wear one, but neither will anyone be discouraged from doing so. Please follow your conscience and do as you feel comfortable. We are "eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3).
In this, as in all that we do, we will keep seeking to share God's heart with our neighbors, echoing the angelic announcement: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10-11).
Your servants in Christ,
Pastor & Elders