Pastor Logan Scheiwe reported St. Paul Lutheran Church will reopen for public service this Sunday for its 9 and 11 a.m. service. Scheiwe said people will be seated in the sanctuary in a manner that ensures proper spatial distancing.
“In consultation with the (Henry County) Health Department, we are encouraging those who are 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions to participate online or by radio at 94.1 WTPS-LPFM,” he said. “We also encourage attendees to wear masks as they arrive and depart to help protect others around them.”
The sanctuary will also be sanitized between the two services. It was reported the 7:45 a.m. Sunday service remains online-only at this time. The service will be recorded in advance as there is not enough time to sanitize the sanctuary prior to the 9 a.m. worship.
The Thursday-night service is planned to resume May 28 at 7 p.m.
Those attending are asked to park in the north/main parking lot and enter those doors, as the back lot doors will remain locked to help minimize touch points. The doors will open 30 minutes before each service for seating. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to allow ushers and elders to direct them to seats and ensure proper distancing.
If necessary, overflow seating will include chairs in the Narthex, followed by seating in the gym and/or chapel. Following services, ushers will dismiss people from their seating to ensure a gathering does not occur while exiting the building.
The hymnals have been removed from the sanctuary, and orders of worship will not be distributed. The entire service will be projected on screens.
In other guidelines: every other pew will be open to space out the congregation; families should sit together in the same pew and six feet should be allowed between non-family members; those who feel sick are asked to stay at home; offerings may be placed in the box in the Narthex while arriving or department, or online giving is also encouraged; and coffee in the Narthex will be temporarily suspended.
The church reported it has already installed a UV system in the air handling units to continually sanitize the air. A portable sanitizing system that measures the cleanliness of surfaces is also on order. Until that system arrives, the pews will be wiped down for sanitization. Those wishing to volunteer to assist in wiping down the pews is asked to call the church office at 419-592-3535.