Updated: Sep 4
** 09/04/2020 Update: The Reopening Committee met today regarding in-person services. After reviewing the Synodical guidelines, services for the month of September will continue to be virtual. This is consistent with how a majority of the churches within the South Carolina Synod are worshiping. The Reopening Committee will re-evaluate how services will be conducted in the month of October.
Members are encouraged to participate in the Wednesday service. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot for the following Wednesday.
The St. Luke Reopening Team
(Pastor Trexler, Patrick Ford, Joyce Shaw, Rona Ewart, Buddy Dunklin, Paula Lawson, and Taylor Bell)
**08/05/20 UPDATE: St. Luke will offer limited in-person worship on August 12th, 19th and 26th. The Wednesday worship services will be limited to 20 members (excluding the worship team). Masks must be worn at all times and social distancing will be observed. Members, please check your email for more information regarding these services.
**6/17/2020 UPDATE: Due to the increase of COVID-19 cases in Florence county, St. Luke will continue online worship with the addition of communion until further notice. Members, please check your email for more details about communion.
June 3rd, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are happy to report that Council has recently approved a plan to reopen and commence in-person worship services. Pursuant to ELCA and SC Synod guidelines, services should not resume until after June 1. Furthermore, the guidelines recommend a 14-day downward trend in the number of cases. The Church has gathered the data concerning the number of new cases and established a curve to monitor.
Below are the planned phases:
Phase I - no in-person worship with services pre-recorded and posted online to YouTube and Facebook.
Phase II -outdoor service, weather permitting. Wednesday indoor services limited to ten people will be offered as we progress in this phase.
Phase III - indoor services limited to 50 people.
Phase IV - indoor services for greater than 50 people.
Based on the current information, the Church will be moving to Phase II of the plan to reopen on June 14, 2020, provided there is no upward trend in the number of new cases. The outdoor service will commence at 9:30 a.m. under our summer schedule and will be limited to 50 people sitting on the back lawn, will require social distancing, and wearing masks. The Church will provide masks to anyone in need, but the mask will need to remain on for the entire service. Please be courteous to your fellow brothers and sisters; the mask is not just to protect you, but to protect others as well. The Church itself will be closed during the outdoor services, and any facilities, including restrooms will be unavailable.
Due to the limits on attendance, members will need to sign up in advance. To sign up for the service, please email the church office at email@example.com. The deadline to sign up is Wednesday, June 10th. Those who sign up first will be able to sit on the back lawn. People who sign up after we have reached our capacity will be at the top of the list for the next service. The service will continue to be posted online for those who are unable to attend.
Those who are attending the outdoor service will need to bring a blanket or chair to sit on and will need to stay within their allotted, safely-distanced space. In addition to the 50 people who will be able to sit on the lawn, congregants may attend the outdoor service by parking in the back lot in the marked spaces. With the audio system, we believe people will be able to hear the service in their vehicles.
We also intend to hold an outdoor service on June 21, 2020. Depending on the status of the pandemic, Council will make decisions about moving between phases. Both Phase III and Phase IV will include some of the same safety policies as Phase II. We will provide more information to everyone as we proceed with each transition.
On June 7, 2020, we will be sharing a service put together by the SC Synod with Bishop Elizabeth Eaton delivering the sermon. This will provide an opportunity for us to join together in worship with Lutherans across the state. It will also give a break to everyone who has been working very hard to provide online worship services for the congregation, as well as give us time to plan for the outdoor service on June 14, 2020.
If you have any questions, or would like a copy of the policy regarding reopening, you may contact the Church Office. We look forward to reopening and worshiping together soon.
In God’s Peace,
St. Luke Church Council