Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Holy Cross COVID-19 Response & Plan

Current as of June 6, 2021

Update: June 6, 2021

With the case counts in our county decreasing again, and the CDC guidelines released a few weeks ago regarding the wearing of masks for fully vaccinated individuals; starting Sunday, June 13, we will no longer require masks in worship at Holy Cross. That said, masks continue to be a way for us to express our love of our neighbor, and our local Bear River Health Department continues to recommend the wearing of masks, but we trust our collective wisdom to continue to act out our faith in God through loving God and neighbor.

Update: May 2, 2021

Per the newly-released CDC guidelines regarding gathering size in light of the growing number of vaccinated persons, we are resuming full-capacity worship services on Sunday, May 9. We’ll continue to wear masks, but all pews will be available. (Or in other words, you can sit in your favorite seat again!) We do ask that, if possible, we continue to spread out within the church, as well as maintaining social distance in all gathering areas.

HCLC COVID-19 Pandemic Plan

With the goal of returning to meeting together in a safe, responsible way, creating opportunities for people to attend Holy Cross Lutheran in-person while limiting risk of contracting COVID-19; and out of a love for God and our neighbor (expressed in Luke 10:27) expressed, in part, through recognizing that different people will have different levels of comfort, and respecting each other’s personal boundaries especially when they differ from our own (Galatians 5:13-15, Romans 14:13-19); the church council has adopted these measures.

As part of this decision, we wanted to have a plan in place to try to avoid the surprises we had in late May, when we had taken steps to meet in person only to, at the last minute, reverse those plans. We will be following the Utah health guidance levels as posted on the Utah Coronavirus Website.

If the Transmission Level for Box Elder County is “High”, in-person services will be suspended, and we will be meeting online-only.
If it is “Medium”, in-person services at the church will be open but online worship is strongly encouraged.
If “Low”, in-person services at the church will be open and online worship will continue as usual.

Here’s is a description of what in-person worship will be like when we are meeting in-person:

  • No coffee or refreshments provided.
  • Discouraging visiting in the narthex and fellowship hall to maintain social distancing.
  • Encouraging those who want to visit with each other to visit outdoors.
  • Requesting wearing a mask or other face covering.
  • Providing hand sanitizer at the entrance to the church.
  • Disinfecting pews and high-traffic areas before and after service.
  • No sharing of the peace, passing the offering plate, or gathering at the altar rail for Holy Communion.
  • Individually prepared Communion cups for Communion.
  • If someone isn’t feeling well, especially if exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, please worship with us online.
  • If someone is at high risk for complications of COVID-19, or is medically incapable of mask-wearing or following the other guidelines, please continue to worship with us online.

We will continue to monitor the pandemic situation, especially the COVID-19 Transmission Index. Keep an eye on the church website or Facebook page for updates. There’s also a good chance some of the details of how we are meeting together will change; please be flexible as we all figure out together how we will move forward.

Please do remember that even as we resume in-person worship, our online live-streams will continue. We have been gathering online through these extraordinary times, and believe that God’s Word — experienced through preaching and the Sacraments — is just as effective when we are meeting together apart as when we meet together in the same room.

For more information on COVID-19, visit the Utah Health Department or the Bear River Health Department.

-Pastor Mike Galica