Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the leadership of Epiphany has taken the health of our members and visitors seriously. Upon reopening, we put several protocols in place to ensure that we reopened safely. By God's grace, these protocols served us well. We rejoice that, one year after our national and congregational life changed drastically, we are beginning to see some return to normal. We thank God for keeping us safe as a congregation thus far and pray He continues to do so.
However, we do acknowledge that there are continued concerns about the spread of the virus. The Council takes this seriously. As more people are feeling comfortable returning to church, it is wise to reassure you of the measures we are taking for the safety of our members and visitors.
To that end, the Council reviews our COVID-19 precautions at each meeting. At their February 2021 meeting they discussed one matter in particular: kneeling for the reception of Holy Communion. At the beginning of the pandemic, we stopped kneeling out of a concern that the virus could be spread by surface contact, and kneeling required touching the altar rail. However, this has been a widely researched topic. According to the CDC’s most recent studies they report that, “transmission through surfaces is not thought to be a common way that COVID-19 spreads.” With this research in hand, the Council decided that those who desire to do so may return to kneeling for the reception of Holy Communion. However, in Christian freedom you may continue to stand to receive the Sacrament if you feel safer doing so. No one is required to kneel or to stand.
As a reminder, these are the precautions we have put in place for the safety and comfort of our congregation:
Every other pew in the Sanctuary marked as “closed” for social distancing.
Padded chairs available in Narthex for overflow if pews are full.
Chairs set up in cry room for overflow if pews are full.
No passing of offering plates. The offering plate is kept stationary at the front of the Sanctuary near the Baptismal font.
Members encouraged not to congregate in the Narthex before or after the service.
No refreshments between Divine Service and Sunday School.
Restroom doors left open to limit touched surfaces.
Bottles of hand sanitizer available.
Pastor sanitizes his hands prior to distribution of the Lord's Supper, and wears as mask while he distributes the Body and Blood of Christ and blesses those who do not receive.
If you have questions or concerns as it relates to these precautions, please see a member of Council. They are glad to discuss this with you.
Saved by God's Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9