Our Regathering Task Force unanimously decided to resume our indoor, in-person worship in the Beautiful Savior Sanctuary on Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.
This worship decision was made in light of many restrictions being lightened for other members of our communities, including those in schools, entertainment, sports, restaurants, and more. Also supporting this move are improved Covid-19 treatments, decreases in infection rates, downward trends in hospitalization for serious cases, and a rapidly growing number of active Beautiful Savior people (and I happen to be one of them) who have received at least one of two vaccination shots.
If you are not yet ready to take this worship step, we want you to feel no pressure to do so. We all have varying reasons for when and why we will be able to worship again in the Sanctuary. That’s why we’re grateful that online worship that is livestreamed as well as recorded for later viewing is now a consistent ministry of Beautiful Savior. If you are ever unable to worship in-person due to health, travel, or a host of other reasons, our online worship opportunity will still be available for you.
One of our primary goals during the pandemic has been to keep Beautiful Savior faithful, together, growing, and entrepreneurial. Thanks to God’s guidance and power, that has happened, and we are stronger than when we entered the pandemic. We thank God for the many amazing people who are leading us through this wilderness period. The outpouring of new ministries has been extraordinary. Certainly, the way that talented and courageous Beautiful Savior people have led in the outside world has also been an incredible witness to how the church is not contained within a building. Instead, we as the church are the people of God who carry God’s love in Jesus Christ with us wherever we go.
Thankfully, in Christ’s Service,
The Rev. Dr. Niklaus C. Schillack
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11
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.
Face coverings over both the mouth and nose are required. Face coverings will be adjusted just once for receiving Holy Communion.
Our maximum worship attendance capacity is currently set at 75 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.
There will be designated spaces for households to sit, which will be spaced generously from other people, and ushers will seat as well as dismiss people. (Imagine what happens at a wedding.)
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, our staff team is working on the details for other group gatherings in the church building. At this time, we are allowing internal ministry groups, such as small groups and study circles, to meet in the building, as long as our safety procedures are diligently followed. For example, due to the physical distancing restrictions, many of our previously used smaller rooms do not meet the criteria for group meetings. This limits the number of groups we can accommodate. 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. This “one step at a time” process will also allow us to monitor the cleaning and sanitizing procedures in place to be sure we are following the protocols set forth by the Regathering Task Force as well as those put in place by our county and state governments. The easiest way to determine if you group falls in this first phase of group regathering is if you can say yes to these questions:
“Is this group directed or led by a BSLC member?”
“Is the focus of the group a religious study or church service group, or is this group essential to the operations of the church?”
We know that there will be some growing pains with this process. Please understand that our greatest desire is to throw open the doors of the church and welcome every group back into the building soon, but we need to do this in a manner that is responsible to the entire community. 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. Soon, it will be spring and we hope to utilize our outdoor spaces to accommodate more groups.
If your group will be regathering in the building, please remember these safety and sanitary procedures:
Everyone must have a face covering that fully covers the mouth and nose.
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.