St. Andrew Sermon Series for July 5th - July 19th

The Greatest Enemies of Confession and Absolution

Church Reopening Update - From the Board of Elders at St. Andrew

Here is a letter from the elders regarding the reopening of the church for indoor services.   

     Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we are living in some of the toughest times I personally can remember. Seems like a perfect storm. Covid-19, our cities burning, people’s dreams of owning businesses gone, our own local businesses hanging on the edge, record unemployment, events being canceled left and right. As I write this letter Summerfest and our very own traditional VBS are now canceled. Such surreal times that it’s hard to see light at the end of the tunnel.

      Fortunately, we do have a very bright light at the end of our tunnel. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died on the cross for each one of us. What a blessing to be a Christian in these uncertain and often horrific times. We can be certain that He is with us all day, every day and will get us thru these times as well.

     It is the wishes and intentions of the elders and Pastor to give our congregation the best opportunities to come together to worship under the extreme circumstances we face today. We have been very blessed to have drive-in services. Not only have we given our congregation the chance to come together to worship regularly but also dozens of our Christian family members from around West Bend. As their churches re-open they are coming to us because they are not comfortable going inside yet. Great community outreach. Again, thank you to all of you for being here and supporting St. Andrew whether it was time and talents or financial or worshipping with us. We would not exist if it wasn’t for you.

     All of that said we wish to implement a new worship schedule that hopefully will fulfill the needs of our congregation for now. Starting June 14th, we will have 2 services.
     9:00 am service will be drive-in only. Same format as we are now doing. Communion as weather permits.
     10:30 am service will be indoors with our normal worship format. Some restrictions per below.     
     Every other pew to be used. Families can sit together with social distancing guidelines in place for all others. Hand sanitizer to be available as you come in and leave.
     Seating limited to 62 people in the main sanctuary with another 94 possible in the ECC gym. First come first to access main sanctuary. Sound is hooked up in kitchen area and gym. Goal is to put service on a big screen in gym so all have visual access. Bulletins will be placed in pews to alleviate some contact.
     We would like to utilize lay readers at our 10:30 service. Randy Sheffield will be contacting all of you who have read in the past to see if you are willing to read.
     Communion will be come up single row, spaced and distributed at the Baptismal font. No common cup for now. Place used cup in baskets provided. Those in the gym will be directed at the appropriate time to come in and receive Communion. Pastor and elders will wear masks and gloves during distribution. We will use regular plastic cups for inside service.
     We will be asking The Alter Guild to get involved with the set up and clean up of our services again.

     Collection basket at back of church instead of passing between people. You can give at the end of the service if you are so compelled.

     Ushers will release people from the back of church to the front so as to keep people moving out freely without congregating.

     Please feel free to wear masks if you like. Please bring your own as we cannot provide for all. Please understand that we cannot mandate the use of masks so if you are not comfortable with others that are not wearing masks please utilize the 9:00 service.

     Why did we pick these times?

     9:00 is what we have done for quite some time now. Our visitors are used to them and we have several of our current members who are not comfortable coming inside yet based on an impromptu survey last Sunday. Changing this time would create the most problems.

     10:30 was selected as another time many members are familiar with. We believe inside services will be light to begin with. The hope is that the covid will subside and we can get back to inside only at 9:00 down the road. Obviously none of us have knowledge of the future.

     Why don’t we do inside and outside services together at 9:00? The ergonomics of having 2 concurrent services just do not work. How do we handle the elements with regard to consecration. Pastor is inside and people outside have no visual contact with him. Will we have 4 or 5 elders at every service. People inside always get Communion and outside service Communion may not happen due to weather. People driving thru for Communion while folks inside are trying to leave. Parking issues. Just not feasible in our opinions.

     We realize these times may not be ideal for some. We are simply trying to make the best out of a lousy situation. Again, our goal is to get back to all inside. Until then we thank you for your support and understanding. As our situation can change in a heart beat so may be some of the things we just talked about. Not a perfect system but let’s not worry about “what’s wrong with this” and be happy for the opportunities we are being given. We will adjust as we go.