Worship for August 1, 2021

Livestream worship at 10:30am

In-person worship at 10:30am

As we continue to monitor COVID rates and best-practice guidance, we are modifying our protocols:

  • Starting this week, those who are fully vaccinated may attend worship without masks.  Those who are not yet vaccinated are expected to wear masks while in the building, for their own and others’ protection.  (Of course, vaccinated folks are welcome to wear masks for protection or solidarity with those who cannot yet be vaccinated.)  
  • We are asking everyone to bring masks to wear during our sending hymn.  Since guidance continues to show that singing together is a concern, by no longer wearing masks together we are making it more difficult to sing more often.  Asking for masks at the sending hymn seems a reasonable trade-off we may revisit in the future.  Please bring a mask so we can at least have this bit of group singing in our worship!  

Our previous modifications are still in place:

  1. We are no longer requiring pre-registration, and we are retiring the sign-in sheets at our entrances.  The Sanctuary will open at 10:20 to allow the livestream service to finish.
  2. We have returned to receiving our Gifts & Offerings by passing the plates, and will return to offering them to God on the altar.
  3. We are passing the Peace, although in non-contact ways.
  4. We receive Communion at the altar rail, appropriately distanced.
  5. We have coffee available on the patio by the Memorial Garden.

Sign up here to help: Ushers, readers, prayer assistants, and communion assistants needed!

For Children and Families

Upcoming Worship Schedule

August 1: We have the chance to hear one of our own, Pastor Matt Becker, as our guest preacher!  To make his worship leadership as uncomplicated as possible, we will have one, hybrid (both in-person and livestream) service at 10:30am.

August 8: For our in-person worship, we’re going to the beach!  We join our siblings at Bethel Lutheran Church for a joint worship service on the Lake Michigan shore at 10:30, followed by a picnic.  Our livestream will be at 9:00 as usual.

If you are willing to bring a dish or help with set-up click on this link https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B094CA9AC2EA4FB6-worship.  If you have any questions call or text Kathy Sutherland (219)309-4414.

August 29: Confirmation Sunday!  We hear our students’ Witness to the Church at 9:20am (in-person and online), with a hybrid (both in-person and livestream) worship including Affirmation of Baptism (Confirmation) at 10:30.  We are adding an additional in-person service at 8:00.

September 5: We will have a livestream worship at 9, with an in-person service at 10:30.

Starting September 12: As our program year begins, we are returning our Faith Formation Hour to Sunday mornings at 9:20.  We will also return to our pre-COVID in-person schedule of worship at 8:00 and 10:30, which will be a hybrid (both livestream and in-person) experience.

Updating our COVID planning

As Porter County’s infection rate, number of cases, and advisory level continue to look promising we are adjusting our COVID response planning, especially for worship.  Already we are no longer requiring pre-registration, have returned to sharing the Peace and using our offering plates, and receiving Communion at the altar rail.

As of July 1, those who are fully vaccinated may attend worship without masks.  Those who are not yet vaccinated are expected to wear masks while in the building, for their own and others’ protection.  (Of course, vaccinated folks are welcome to wear masks for protection or solidarity with those who cannot yet be vaccinated.)  

We are asking everyone to bring masks to wear during our sending hymn.  Since guidance continues to show that singing together is a concern, by no longer wearing masks together we are making it more difficult to sing more often.  Asking for masks at the sending hymn seems a reasonable trade-off we may revisit in the future.  Please bring a mask so we can at least have this bit of group singing in our worship!  

As always, we hold our planning lightly: developments in infection rates and relevant guidance will mean we revisit our protocols and will update as we go along.

A word about Livestream Communion:

While we keep ourselves separate to steward each others’ health, we are including Holy Communion during our livestream on Sundays. Our goal is to experience Communion together, even while apart; immediate, not something available as a recording that someone might use later; organic, not something prepackaged or purchased; safe and accessible, so people don’t need to travel/have contact with others to pick things up. Please note: extraordinary times like these require us to depart from our usual practices. We all eagerly look forward to the time when we can leave these extraordinary measures behind and return to safely gathering in person on Sundays, as is our norm!

Here’s what you need to prepare in advance: Before Sunday’s service, choose a plate and cup that you will use for Communion in your space. Find some bread (whatever kind works for you; even a cracker can do in a pinch) and, if you have it, grape juice or wine. Note that if you don’t have grape juice or wine, that’s perfectly OK; our theology teaches that receiving Christ in one element (i.e. just bread or just wine) is more than sufficient! You can leave an empty cup ready as a sign of that overabundance of blessing. We also recommend having a candle handy, which you can light throughout the Sunday service, if that is safe for you, to help create a worshipful space in the midst of our homes which are also offices and schools in this time!