April 10, 2020 11:00 am.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I am sorry for all the confusion and changes in our services. We are reinstating our communion services with strict conformance to the CDC guidelines and the aid of sign up genius. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084baaae2ca2fa7-communion. Please note: the building is locked. We will not allow more than 10 people in the building at a time. Please wait in your car, at least one parking space away from any other cars, until 5 minutes before your service time when you will be let in. Maintain distance while entering the building and throughout the service. Keep track of everything you touch so that it can be cleaned with disinfectant immediately. Use the hand sanitizer while in the building and avoid touching your face. Please only use the bathrooms in the building if absolutely necessary and make sure the pastor knows that you used it so that everything (doorknobs, etc) can be disinfected. The CDC also recommends wearing a face mask while in our building with other people.
Why all the confusion? Last night, after the Maundy Thursday service, I was shown the Governor’s latest guidance in the midst of this pandemic for churches on a phone. I misread and misunderstood what he said. I mistakenly thought that he was forbidding us to meet at all or to have Holy Communion and in response we cancelled our communion services for the weekend. He was not. As many of you noted, and which Pastor Frese and I confirmed with others, he was only issuing guidance for drive-in worship services. This is more clear if you read his order on the governor’s webpage from a full browser and not on a phone. It also more clear if you read what he said exactly instead of relying on any newsource’s summary of what he said. Even in regard to drive-in or drive-through services, which we are not having, he did not issue another executive order but was only giving suggestions. He actually restated yesterday that we could have services, in accordance with current CDC guidelines, of 10 or fewer people. Thus we are reinstating things as they were, in accordance with the executive orders.
We urge everyone to take all precautions. Do not make unnecessary trips and stay at home as much as possible. No one should feel pressured to come to our services. Our services are not risk-free. We are taking more precautions than the CDC requires but we cannot guarantee a germ-free environment. If you are risk averse or high risk or for any reason do not feel comfortable gathering in groups of 10 at the Church or receiving Holy Communion by the mouth at this time, please do not do so. God will sustain your faith by His Word and none of us will judge you for this.
This all could change again. We will attempt, always, to respond appropriately and quickly as God gives wisdom. Please pay close attention to the news announcements from Redeemer’s webpage. https://redeemer-fortwayne.org/news/
Yours in Christ,