June 8, 2021
Dear People of Beautiful Savior,
Our Regathering Task Force, which is made up of Beautiful Savior members who represent a diversity of opinions, experiences, professions, and backgrounds, met on Thursday, June 3, to make adjustments to our COVID guidelines and practices. Beginning Sunday, June 20, 2021, Beautiful Savior will make the following changes based on revised CDC and legal guidelines as well as reflections from members of our congregation:
9:00 a.m. Sunday Worship – Indoors and face coverings are optional
11:15 a.m. Sunday Worship – Indoors and face coverings are required
During both worship times, we will continue to follow the capacity limits that restaurants and bars are following, which includes physical distancing practices. The revised sanctuary capacity will be 150.
In the near future, the Worship Team will consider reinstating the contemporary style for 11:15 a.m. Sunday Worship based on the spiritual needs of the congregation and guests as well as volunteer availability.
As a reminder, online worship will continue to be an ongoing/permanent ministry of our congregation.
Food/Drinks at Activities
Coffee and other refreshments before/after worship will resume.
Indoor activities that involve food (such as bible studies, receptions, etc.) will continue to follow the capacity limits that restaurants and bars are following, which includes physical distancing practices. The Welcome Center limit will be 50 people. The Youth Room (upstairs) limit will be 10. The Conference Room limit will be 6.
Outdoor activities that involve food will not have a capacity limit, but will still include physical distancing practices.
All activities involving food must have food that is prepackaged or pre-plated (i.e., no buffet style events at this time).
Face Coverings in General
We ask that anyone who has recently been exposed to COVID-19, or has reason to believe that there was exposure, refrain from entering the Beautiful Savior building until the recommended quarantine time has concluded.
We recommend that people who have not been vaccinated continue to wear face coverings for their own protection, and for other people’s protection, for the near future.
We will continue to monitor trends and adjust the procedures based on all of the knowledge we gather.
Thank you for your ongoing dedication to the mission and ministries of Beautiful Savior, and thank you for your immense patience as we approach the end of navigating this pandemic storm.
Sincerely, in Christ’s Service,
Preparing for Worship in the Sanctuary
The following are key elements to know in advance before attending worship in the building:
If you are sick, or you think you are sick, or you have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please utilize our online worship opportunity instead of indoor Sanctuary worship.
Our maximum worship attendance capacity is currently set at 150 people. We expect this number to rise as pandemic conditions improve.
There will be space for worshiping in the Welcome Center utilizing the screen and sound system whether for overflow or comfort.
For contact tracing purposes, we are required to have the name and phone number of all people present. We will still register people at the door, but preregistration helps our staff and volunteers, and simply gets people into the Sanctuary faster and easier. You can preregister on our church website – bslcmi.org/church-events – or by calling the church office at (248) 646-5041.
We will provide you with prepackaged Holy Communion elements for worship.
We will sing hymns, but only a verse or two of each. We will increase singing over time as pandemic conditions improve.
Offerings will be deposited in a basket upon entry or departure so that we are not passing a plate.
The entire order of worship will be on the screen to limit physical contact with bulletins/hymnals, however a small batch of bulletins will be printed and available on the Welcome desk.
The windows will be open, fans utilizing the filtration system will run constantly, and the heat radiators will be running. (Consider dressing for the weather, but indoors.)
In-Person Group Gatherings Now that we are worshipping in person, BSLC ministry groups and outside groups that use our facility may utilize the church building. The Welcome Center will be the primary meeting space at this time as it has the ionized air filtration system to help keep everyone healthy.
If your group is unable to meet in person at this time, please contact the church office for any needed assistance. We would love to help you with some online options for your group.
If your group will be regathering in the building, please remember these safety and sanitary procedures:
There are sanitation kits in each meeting space. Please sanitize your tables and chairs before and after your meeting.
Maintain 6 feet of physical distancing space between each person/household. This often means every person/household has their own tables.
The Welcome Center is already set up to accommodate these procedures.
Please call us with questions. Remember that with our currently limited space, the group schedule that you had before may not be available, so be sure to check with the church office to confirm your time/room assignment. Thank you for your patience as we travel together on this new road. We look forward to a full building schedule as soon as possible.
May 18, 2021
As many of you know, here in Michigan and in many other US states, most requirements for wearing face coverings were dropped within the last week for people fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Unfortunately, the dropping of these mandates comes with little to no guidance. Individual businesses and organizations like our congregation have been left directionless on how to implement any changes. If you are like me, you experienced whiplash from how fast all of this changed.
As a congregation, we have been prudent and methodical, not reactionary, in the way we have traversed the pandemic. We have placed our faith in God and our trust in scientists and medical professionals, some of whom are members of Beautiful Savior, whose knowledge comes from God, the source of all wisdom.
On top of this, and I normally don’t announce these things in advance, but I’m taking the next couple weeks to rest and breathe after a very exhausting year. This has been planned for a long time. I fully predict that we will modify or lighten the requirements for face coverings, but I don’t want to dump those changes on the supply pastors filling in while I am out of the office. For what it’s worth, next week, Pastor Phil Hemke will be preaching, and the week after that, Pastor Dave Steele will be preaching. They both faithfully served Beautiful Savior, and this will be an opportunity for you to see them again. I will resume preaching and leading worship on June 6, which is Confirmation Sunday. So, just three weeks from now – just three weeks – is quite possibly when changes will roll out for us.
We won’t be harmed by taking just a few more weeks to figure out what all of the changes mean for wearing face coverings. On the flip side, any changes are going to take a few weeks for us to adjust to anyways, especially in regard to our mental health. As your pastor, I’d like to be here for you when that happens. It’s been over a year since we’ve seen each other’s complete faces. This has been a year filled with fear for many people, and because of medical concerns and other challenges, that fear has not dissipated for everyone. We want to be compassionate to those people as well as be fully clear about any changes we’re making in our requirements for face coverings. We are not a congregation that intentionally surprises people.
What I can say for sure is this … our requirements will change, and they will change soon. Also, I can say that in no way as your pastor will I ever support requiring people to show proof of vaccination in order to worship here, with or without a face covering. That would not only violate your privacy, but also insult your intelligence. So, let’s give this just a few weeks, learn from how others are rolling out changes, how they are doing it well or really messing it up, and then make a wise and prudent step fairly soon for ourselves.
Sincerely, in Christ’s Service,