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  • Writer's picturePastor Arianna

‘We are to fear and love God so that we neither endanger nor harm the lives of our neighbors...'

Dear Emmanuel,

As we hear more states across the country open businesses, and our own governor make moves to open restrictions on our travel and work, I encourage us to remain patient. Our first priority is the safety of our community and our neighbors. Emmanuel’s council is in weekly conversation regarding the health of our finances, building, and our members and friends. We will be taking all precautions in deciding when to open, what needs to be done with our space beforehand, and what worship needs to look like to keep us healthy.

In a recent letter Bishop Kristen Kuempel listed many precautions, measures, and actions we would need to take before reopening our building for worship. These include:

  • thoroughly cleaning & disinfecting gathering spaces after each gathering (keeping in mind that all surfaces will need to be disinfected—pews, hymnals, doorknobs, altar rails, lecterns, pulpits, etc.)

  • seating at least six feet apart, wearing masks, and the volunteers to monitor and enforce this

  • separate doors for entrance & exit, and the means to prevent bottlenecks

  • Holy Communion distribution method that requires individuals to stay at least six feet from each other, and does not include intinction, common cup, or placing the bread into hands

And to top it all off, we know our insurance carrier will not cover costs or liability for any COVID-19 cases that occur through contact with Emmanuel Lutheran Church.

Bishop Kuempel writes, “These are uncertain times. We all know that. We also know that some part of all of us wishes that if we could just get back to “normal” that this would all go away. As Lutheran churches, it is critical that we continue to keep in mind Luther’s explanation to the 5th Commandment: You Shall Not Kill, ‘We are to fear and love God so that we neither endanger nor harm the lives of our neighbors, but instead help and support them in all life’s needs.’ We are being asked to do what should come naturally to us, but often doesn’t: put the needs of others ahead of our own needs.”

Emmanuel’s council are those entrusted to decide when we will resume worship, study, and fellowship in the building. We will give you at least two weeks’ notice before opening! It will take that time to clean the building, spread the word, and recruit hospitality volunteers.

All that said, I miss your faces and conversation!

Please join us for fellowship time on Sunday mornings. This is scheduled at our ‘normal’ coffee hour at 11:30am each Sunday. You can join by smart phone, tablet or computer by downloading the Zoom app. Or you can join us by phone by calling a telephone number. Please follow the directions below to join us. And contact Maxine Holden at (509) 389-7694 for technical assistance.

Emmanuel Sunday Fellowship, every week on Sunday at 11:30 AM Pacific Time

Through Zoom App:

Enter: Meeting ID: 899 8443 4554 and Password: 946904

By Phone:

Dial: 1-253-215-8782

Enter: Meeting ID: 899 8443 4554 and Password: 946904

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Arianna Arends 509-954-5886

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NRSV

COVID 19 update April 29 2020
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