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HCLC Response to COVID-19

(as of March 25, 2020)

HCLC COVID-19 Update
Executive Order 53

Katheryn Wheeler from the Metro DC Synod office attended a Zoom meeting for Virginia Faith Leaders and the response to COVID-19.  She has shared with us that Executive Order 53 applies to religious institutions. The governor’s office was very clear that religious institutions are not considered in the retail exceptions. We are considered in the social gathering category only.  

In accordance with Executive Order 53, there are to be no gatherings of more than 10 people in any congregation for the next 30 days. A copy of the order can be found at the Commonwealth of Virginia website.

As worship leaders gather to provide online worship we are practicing social distancing and keeping surfaces disinfected.  

For the next 30 days worship will be streamed live on Facebook each Sunday at 10 AM. You will receive a weekly email with the bulletin and Weekly Update at noon on the Saturday before each Sunday worship service.  

HCLC is also going live on Facebook each night at 7:30 PM. Each night, a different church leader is bringing a time of devotion, prayer and music to you at that time. Please join us in gathering as an assembly online during these times of social distancing.

In the name of our Great Physician, Jesus Christ,

Martin Eldred, Pastor
Deb Reilly, Council President
Jeremy Shoop, Director of Music and Liturgy
Teresa Easterly, Church Administrator
(as of March 12, 2020)

Gracious God, it is good for us to gather as your beloved in community. We treasure your presence with us in word and meal, song and prayer. Be with us in these days when gathering together is difficult because of health concerns. When those who must stay home from worship, we trust that you surround them with your sheltering wings. Encourage us in connecting as we are able, reaching out to our neighbors in need and being persistent in prayer. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our constant companion. Amen. 

As the current virus outbreak continues to develop, so does the HCLC response. Be assured that church leadership (Pastor Martin, Deb Reilly – Council President, Jeremy Shoop – Director of Music and Liturgy, and Teresa Easterly – Church Administrator) are in constant contact and making adjustments as needed. 
The Metro DC Synod office sent an email Wednesday evening with guidance on how congregations should proceed in consideration of the current health crisis. With consultation to the synod’s email, the national ELCA church office, Fairfax and Loudoun County School communications, and current HCLC policies, HCLC is taking the following actions:
Music Ensembles:  All large ensembles (Sanctuary Choir and Bell Choir) will not be meeting for rehearsal for the time being.
Worship on Sunday:  This Sunday we will have our regular 8:30 and 11:00 AM worship services. There will be no communion at these services. We will celebrate the Service of the Word. This is the order of liturgy used by ELCA congregations before weekly communion was a practice. 
Sunday School:  Sunday School for children is canceled for two weeks. Parents of school aged children, keep an eye on your email for an age appropriate devotion you can share with your child instead of attending Sunday School. Sunday School for adults is canceled this week. Adult Sunday School for next week will be assessed next week.
Disinfecting the Building:  All pews, doorknobs, tables, and other surfaces touched will be disinfected before/after worship services on Sunday morning. We are also working on putting floor stand hand sanitizer stations (like what you see at grocery stores and Costco) in the narthex. As soon as our supplier is able to deliver them, they will be installed. 
Church Council:  The Church Council meeting scheduled for Monday will be a virtual meeting. More information will come from Deb Reilly on how that will happen.
Prayer:  In times like this, prayer is essential to our daily lives. Please consider using prayers like the one at the start and conclusion of this email in your morning/evening devotions. Pray for each other and check in on neighbors you know to be sick.
When to Stay Home:  If you are feeling symptoms of a cold or flu, we ask that you stay home. Worship resources for you to use at home will be posted on our website and Facebook. You can find the sermon each week on our Facebook page (Holy Cross Lutheran Church Herndon VA). If you do not use Facebook, send an email to Teresa or Pastor Martin and a digital copy can be sent to you.
Online Giving: If you miss church and would like to make your offering donation online, please go to www.HolyCrossLutheranChurch.net, click the “Donate” button and fill out the form as appropriate. You can also simply mail a paper check to the church. It is important to remember that in times like these the work of the church is important and we want to make sure our financial standing is firm to carry out our ministry for the community. 
In the name of our Great Physician, Jesus Christ,
Martin Eldred, Pastor
Deborah Reilly, Council President
Jeremy Shoop, Director of Music and Liturgy
Teresa Easterly, Church Administrator

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