Covid-19 Notice

Dear ones in Christ Jesus:

                I give thanks to God for all of you … for your faithfulness in watching our services online, for your faithfulness in making arrangements to receive the Lord’s Supper, for your faithfulness in prayers and offerings, and for all the other ways in which you let your faith be shown to the world.

               By now, most of us are probably going a little stir-crazy.  Today, I received news that will be received with joy by most of you:

                The Mayor of Burleson has announced that the city will conform to the directives that came from the Governor’s office just a day or two ago.  Effectively, this means that churches may reopen.  Attendees are to observe the following restrictions:

  1.  Strongly encourage the at-risk population to watch or participate in the service remotely.

  2.  Designate an area inside the facility reserved for the at-risk population, or offer a service for at-risk population attendees only.

  3.  Ensure proper spacing between attendees:

  Keep at least two empty seats (or six feet separation) between parties in any row, except as follows:

– Two or more members of the same household can sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet separation) empty on either side.

– Two individuals who are not members of the same household but who are attending together can sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet separation) empty on either side.

  Alternate rows between attendees (every other row left empty).

                In reopening, I would ask all members of the congregation to bear a couple of things in mind: 1. Don’t be self-centered.  Out of love for your fellow members, be considerate of their concerns, even if you don’t personally share those concerns.  2.  Remember that we are now broadcasting our services “live”.  It now becomes part of our Christian witness that we show the world that we respect the fifth commandment and that we are concerned for the health and well-being of others.  Whether you agree or disagree, it will matter a lot how we look to them, i.e., to our non-member viewers.

                We will therefore comply with the Governor’s guidelines, and I expect every one of you, out of respect for our Governor, out of respect for your Pastor, and out of concern for our public witness, to do your diligent best to comply with those guidelines.  Specifically, we will be seated in separate family units, and we will leave every other pew empty.  Concerning our Governor’s point 2 above, the “cry room” will be designated for “at risk” individuals.  This means that the cry room will not be available for those who might wish to lie down or to elevate their feet.  I regret any inconvenience this may cause.

                Concerning the wearing of facial masks: I do not see how we can sing hymns, confess the creed, or chant the liturgy whilst wearing a facial mask.  Therefore, the wearing of a facial mask before and after the service is encouraged, and you may certainly feel free to wear one during the sermon as well.   

                Lastly as far as the Divine Service is concerned, we will receive communion “one at a time.”  An individual will come to me where I will be standing behind the communion rail, roughly behind the pulpit.  I will give them the body of Christ.  The communicant will then walk down to the other end of the communion rail, behind the lecturn, where a Kuester will give them an individual cup containing the blood of Christ.  The communicant will then circle back to their seat.

                Initially, this will be awkward.  Mistakes will be made.  We may even get a little frustrated.  Dear ones in Christ, out of love for your brothers and sisters in Christ, and out of concern to be above reproach in our witness to the world, endure this.  We will get better at it over time, and we may well be doing this for a while, so patiently make the necessary adjustments.  Let’s get through this, together, like Christians.

                Concerning SUNDAY SCHOOL: We shall resume immediately.  I will be asking the Kuesters to place additional tables in the circle, sufficient that family units can be seated six feet apart from other family units.

                Concerning MIDWEEK BIBLE STUDY: I will discuss this matter with those who are interested and/or normal attendees as to their preference for resuming.

                Concerning THE POOR AND NEEDY: Do not imagine that, because we are now permitted with certain restrictions to meet together again, there are no needy people.  Unemployment has increased dramatically.  Our local Harvest House has particularly requested laundry detergent, and sanitary materiel: Paper towels, toilet paper, sanitary wipes, women’s necessities, bars of soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer . . . that sort of thing.  If you can help, what a great opportunity again to be who we are as Christians.  You may either bring these things to the church (we will get them to Harvest House or to others who need them), or you may take these items directly to Harvest House.

                Concerning THOSE WHO ARE ALONE OR FRAIL: as you feel so inclined, call on such people.  Ask them how they are.  Ask if they need anything and offer to bring it to them.  Take care of one another.

                God grant us all, especially in this challenging hour, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves, for the sake of the salvation we ourselves have received from God through Jesus Christ our Lord.    

                                                                  Yours in Jesus, the Risen One,

                                                                 Pastor Heimbigner

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Sunday, October 4

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Tuesday, October 6

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Wednesday, October 7

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Sunday, October 11

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Wednesday, October 14

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Sunday, October 18

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Wednesday, October 21

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Sunday, October 25

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