COVID-19 / Coronavirus Policies

December 2021 Policy Updates

With the rise in the Omicron variant, we encourage people to wear masks during worship. Masks, hand sanitizer, bulletins and announcement sheets are available in the vestibule. Please make note of the following:

  1. For all worshippers:
    1. Masks are optional for those fully vaccinated or who have recovered completely from COVID no matter which section they are in.
    2. If you have not been vaccinated please continue to wear a mask.
    3. You may choose to continue to wear a mask if that is your preference whether you’ve been vaccinated or not.
    4. Windows will be open in the sanctuary and the exhaust fan will be running to promote ventilation.
    5. If you are more comfortable, you may watch the service in the ministry center on the TV screens.
    6. You may listen to the service in the parking lot with your radio turned to 93.7FM.
    7. We will continue to livestream the 8:15am worship which will be available on our YouTube channel.
    8. Please be kind and respectful of those around you and maintain the required distancing in each section. (Don’t try to sit in a pew if it already has the maximum number of people in it)
    9. We will again be using the yellow attendance sheets. Please fill one out per family and put it in the offering place at the double doors to the sanctuary.
  2. We will have a three-foot section near the front of the sanctuary clearly marked.
    1. This area is for those who are fully vaccinated (2 weeks past final shot) or who have recovered completely from COVID.
    2. People may sit in each pew.
    3. Please allow three feet between you and whoever else is in the pew who is not in your household.
      1. Generally this means two people at one end and two people at the other end, or three people at one end and one at the other end.
      2. If there are more than three people in one household, they get a pew to themselves.
  3. The Six-foot section is toward the back of the sanctuary and in the narthex immediately behind the sanctuary.
    1. This section is for those who have not been vaccinated or wish to maintain social distancing.
    2. If some people in your family have been vaccinated and some have not, you should all sit in the six-foot section.
    3. To maintain social distancing, seating will only be available every other pew.
    4. Pews that should not be used will be clearly marked.
    5. Please allow six-feet between you and whoever else is in the pew who is not in your household.
      1. This means two people at one end and one person at the other end; or one person at each end.
      2. If there are more than two people in one household, they get a pew to themselves.

General COVID-19 Policies

“And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31, (ESV)

Whereas a newly emerged, poorly characterized virus is circulating globally, is easily transmissible, causes serious illness and death for a portion of the population, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (GDLC) adopts the following policies:

  1. Our mission continues to be Gathering People to Christ, Building Believers in Christ and Serving the World as Christ. We recognize that how we carry out our mission will change over time in order to protect the safety and well being of our congregation, our families and our community while treatment and vaccine for the virus are being distributed.
  2. Decision making is informed by our faith and love of God and our neighbor and is based on the best information available from authoritative sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local health departments, the Ohio District, the Governor and Medical Director of the Ohio Department of Health, and current scientific publications. We will comply with all orders and implement recommended practices. We expect that procedures will change regularly as our knowledge and experience expand.
  3. Communication among church staff, members and the community will be frequent and offered in a variety of formats, including, but not limited to, email, Twitter, Facebook, telephone, video, written word and in-person. Every effort will be made to ensure faithful, timely communication of accurate information that reflects the hope we have in the Gospel of Christ.
  4. Worship and communion are vital for our members and community. We will provide all avenues for worship and communion (e.g. streaming services, DVD recordings, outdoor worship, in-person worship/communion with precautions) that can be done safely within the constraints of the changing progress of the pandemic.
  5. Managing risk We recognize that despite careful preparation and care, we cannot completely eliminate risk for those attending in-person services and gatherings and urge those who are ill, who are at greater risk of severe illness or who care for someone at such risk to avoid in-person gatherings until the risks have diminished or disappeared, choosing instead to continue to participate in the life of the congregation using all available technology. Where possible church meetings, fellowship and education will utilize technology to eliminate or minimize in-person gatherings while such gatherings are restricted.
  6. Employees Staff of GDLC are treasured assets and are encouraged to work from home or from the office (individual offices) as health and demands of each position dictate. Individual questions about health, sick leave, working from home, etc. will be resolved in consultation with the administrative committee and the Senior Pastor.
  7. Participation with disease investigation and control measures. When a case is identified in a GDLC employee, member, visitor or other individual accessing GDLC property, we will work closely with health department staff to quickly identify those who may have been exposed. When made aware, we will reach out to members who are isolated or quarantined to help provide for their needs during this time. In anticipation of this need, we will keep track of those accessing/using the building.

Sunday Morning Worship During COVID-19

We continue to adjust our worship experience in response to local, state and national Covid conditions and guidelines.

Here are our current Sunday morning worship opportunities:

In-person Worship

In-person worship is held at 8:15 and 10:45 in the Sanctuary and Narthex. Additional seating is available in the Ministry Center, where the service is shown on screen. Communion is available at both services.

Parking Lot Worship

Each service can also be listened to from the church parking lot at 93.7 FM and Communion is available inside during worship.

Online Worship

The Early (8:15) Service is live streamed on our YouTube channel each Sunday morning and is available for replay anytime after.

Bulletins/Programs for each service are available for download from the Church website each week.

Christian Education

Preschool – 5th Grade

  • Children’s message and children’s hymn in worship.
  • Meets in-person in the Fellowship Hall.

6th – 8th Grade

  • Weekly class is in person with Pastor Tritten and Bob Brantsch.
  • Monthly social activities have been suspended because of COVID.

9th – 12th Grade

  • Weekly class is in the Loft with breakfast provided. Taught by Laura Boicey and Ryann Jagger.
  • Sunday evening Bible study in the Loft from 7:00-8:30pm.

Adult Education

  • The Women’s Bible Study is meeting on Tuesdays at 11:30 AM in the Luther Room.
  • The Laurel Lake Bible Class is meeting at 2:00 PM on Wednesdays.
  • The Fit for Life class is meeting on an as-needed basis.
  • Sunday Morning Adult Education: The book of Romans. Meets Sundays 9:30–10:30 am in the Narthex.