March 16, 2020
Covid-19 Response Plan - Update

Grace and peace to you in the name of the blessed, Holy Trinity.

The information we all are receiving is changing very quickly. The first and best thing we can say is remain calm; don't hoard or panic; restrict gathering and travel; wash your hands - soap is just fine. In other words, do what the CDC and credible public health sources advise. Based on the latest credible information from public health sources we had this morning, we are announcing the following plans:
  1. Worship - We will not hold any worship services for the next four (4) weeks. That means we are planning to start again on the Saturday of Easter and will NOT have Holy week services on Thursday and Friday in person. This is open to review and we will consider a longer period of cancellation as the situation dictates. There will be NO EASTER BREAKFAST should we be able to start back up by then. We will be working to provide video worship as early as this Wednesday - stay tuned - :-)
  2. Learning Ministries -  All classes for children, middle school, high school and adults will be cancelled until April 15, the Wednesday after Easter. No Church School, Affirmation, or Adult Class on Wednesday will be held. We will review the start date as information is provided. Look for resources to use at home coming from Anne, Jen & Kelly.
  3. Groups - Lenten Study groups are cancelled. We are asking that all small groups cancel meeting for the next four weeks.
  4. Council & SMA Meeting - The "face to face" meeting scheduled for March 26th is cancelled. We are however, trying to see if that meeting can be held using ZOOM - a web based meeting program. More to come. 
  5. Community Groups - We are closing the building to use by all outside groups with three  exceptions: The Food Pantry, Family Promise and WIC Clinic. These three essential ministries provide help to many in the midst of this crisis. Procedures are being put in place for each to make sure that public health is protected.
  6. Office Hours & Access - Staff will be working from home when possible. When staff is working in the building they have been directed not to meet with people unless necessary. The office will be closed to the public. We will make sure that doors on the north side are open for Food Pantry drop offs. Please contact the staff by phone and email - see the website.
  7. Prayer & Ministry - We will be sharing information about our prayers and continued ministry by email and other medium. Please keep checking. Our Facebook page will be sharing information as well. "Like it" and follow us if you have not.
  8. Offering & Giving - The expenses of being church during this time will not diminish. We need to receive offering even though we are not in worship. You can give on-line and by mail. More on the public health of giving and how you can help will be forthcoming.
  9. Public Health Response Team - The Council has appointed a team to guide us through this challenge comprised of staff, council and medical personnel. We will be in touch as new responses and information is available.
That is all for now! We urge you to hold fast to the hope that is in you because you are a beloved and redeemed child of God in Christ. We urge you to pray and be the peace that those around you need. Our Bishop, Michael Burk shared today some wisdom that would help us all. Give it a read!

In Christ,
Timothy Olson, Lead Pastor for Mission & Vision
Pamela Schroeder, Pastor for Care & Community
Garth Englund, Pastoral Intern
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church