With gratitude to God and a posture of humble faith, Trinity Lutheran Church will resume public worship on the weekend of May 30th-31st, gathering outdoors at the Chapel on the Beach at Camp Arcadia and with significant precautions in place.

Worshiping together as the people of God and receiving His gifts in the gathered assembly is essential to Christian identity and vital to Christians’ spiritual, emotional, and mental health. The goal of the Elders and Pastor Tinetti has been to return to public worship as soon as we could do so faithfully and responsibly. With the stable situation of the coronavirus epidemic in our region, the easing of the Governor’s restrictions, and the example of other churches in our area (and across the state) resuming public worship, we believe that time has come.

That being said, we know that we are in uncharted waters, and our congregation has the unique opportunity to resume in an outdoor worship space. While this does pose issues like inclement weather, reopening in what we define as Phase B provides an extra layer of protection and prudence. We think being more conservative and taking a month to learn of any issues arising from churches reopening in their sanctuaries is being good stewards and balances our desire to resume public worship with care for our members and neighbors. We plan to exercise this additional prudence and operate in Phase B for a month to start.  We’ll monitor any learning from churches reopening in their sanctuaries over that month, and during June the Board of Elders and Pastor will make the decision to continue into July in Phase B or move on to Phase C.

Please note that the following only addresses the matter of public worship, and not other important ministry issues such as Bible study, VBS, etc.  These will be addressed in due course.

Phase A

  • Timeframe: current
  • Stream worship online
  • Upload sermon to podcast

Phase B

  • Timeframe: beginning Pentecost weekend, May 30th-31st
  • Meet at the Chapel on the Beach at Camp Arcadia, located at the end of Oak Street
  • Two services
    • Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m.
    • Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.
    • A third may be added if necessary
  • Precautions
    • Attendance limited to 25% of Chapel’s capacity (= 75 people)
    • If possible, for purposes of determining capacity, notify Pastor ahead of time (pastortinetti@gmail.com) which service you plan to attend
    • Masks encouraged and will be available for those who need one
    • Guests at Camp Arcadia will attend a separate service from local residents and visitors
    • Those who are sick or showing symptoms are asked to stay home
    • Parking available in Camp lot; turnaround and handicap parking also available
    • Every other row of seats, adequate spacing between households
    • Sanitizer booths at entrance
    • Offering dropped into collection box
    • Seats and railings are disinfected between services
    • Single-use printed worship folders
    • Holy Communion will be continuous distribution with individual cups only
  • Worship will continue to be streamed online
  • Inclement weather contingency
    • In the event of inclement weather, services will be moved to Finch Park
      • Congregation will be notified via signs, e-mail, and Facebook
    • If the weather remains too severe, in-person service will be cancelled
      • Online service will still be available
  • Holy Communion will also be available at church on a household basis and by appointment

Phase C

  • Timeframe: TBD
    • The Elders and Pastor will continue to monitor the situation and make determination on a rolling monthly basis
    • Criteria will include stable infection rates in our region, learnings from area LCMS churches returning to worship in their sanctuaries, and progression through the phases of the MI Safe Start plan
  • Meet at Trinity Lutheran Church
  • Continue with multiple services
  • Above precautions continue to be observed, with modifications as necessary
  • Worship will continue to be streamed online in the near future

For some of you, this plan may be too cautious; for others, it may not be cautious enough. We believe that it balances our desires and our responsibilities as stewards of God’s gifts at Trinity Lutheran. We ask your continued prayers, patience, and understanding as we prayerfully seek to regather God’s people for worship with prudence and faithfulness. 

We also want to acknowledge that some parishioners may still feel uncomfortable gathering for public worship. No one should feel compelled to attend whatsoever. We respect the determination of each individual’s conscience, and will continue to provide pastoral care and access to the means of grace via other arrangements as needed. 

The COVID-19 epidemic is an evolving situation and this plan is subject to change. Contact Pastor Tinetti or one of your Elders (Chip May, Tom Dunn, Paul Scheppelman, Jack McKenna, and Mark Kuhlmann) with any comments or questions.