Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!
In-person Worship to Resume at Holy Cross Lutheran Church
For 63 Sundays, Holy Cross Lutheran Church has offered worship solely on Facebook Live. We are elated to announce in addition to Facebook Live, HCLC will welcome in-person worshippers in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings, beginning this Sunday, May 30, with a single service at 10:00 am! We currently plan a return to two services on Rally Day, September 12.
The Church Council did not make this decision lightly. A team of HCLC members, who are also medical professionals, provided the Church Council with a comprehensive report outlining current CDC guidelines for where we are in the pandemic today and in our local community. As of May 25, Fairfax County has a positivity rate of 1.5% and 55.6% are vaccinated (with at least one dose); Loudoun County has a positivity rate of 1.9% and 55.3% are vaccinated (with at least one dose). Given this information, the HCLC Worship and Music Team recommended to the Church Council that HCLC implement necessary COVID safety measures and resume in-person worship in the sanctuary on May 30, 2021. The Church Council unanimously approved this request.
In an abundance of caution, HCLC is requiring masks to be worn while inside the building for everyone ages 2 and up. (The CDC recommends ages 2 and up to wear masks when a mask requirement is in place.) Worship leaders may remove their masks when they are leading worship in the chancel, lectern, or pulpit, but all parishioners should remain masked, even when seated in a pew.
In accordance with CDC guidelines, HCLC will require social distancing of at least three feet while inside the building. Family units may sit together in worship. Please maintain a social distance during elements of worship like the Sharing of the Peace. Regardless of vaccination status, we ask that you simply wave from a distance when greeting others. Communion will be distributed in a COVID safe manner.
HCLC currently uses MERV-13 filters (rated to filter out particles that carry COVID-19) in the sanctuary HVAC system. In addition, there are two stand-alone air scrubbers in the sanctuary with MERV-13 filters.
During the pandemic, HCLC acquired new technology to allow for worship to be streamed on Facebook Live. HCLC will continue streaming worship on Facebook Live indefinitely. In addition to being a wonderful evangelism tool to bring the Word of God into the community, both locally and nationally, it will also allow those who may not be able or are not yet comfortable in public places to worship with HCLC at home. Everyone’s situation during the pandemic is different, and HCLC does not want anyone to feel pressured to attend in-person worship if that is not appropriate for you.
HCLC will begin offering a nursery with a vaccinated nursery attendant as soon as possible. We hope to have arrangements made with our nursery attendants to provide a COVID safe space for children by June 6. We appreciate your patience as we work these details out. Since children under 12 cannot be vaccinated at this time, it is critical that we spend more time creating a safe space for the nursery.
It is with gratitude to the leaders of HCLC who got us this far in the pandemic that we move forward towards normalcy. If it were not for the members of the COVID Worship Team, HCLC staff, Executive Committee, Church Council, and many other volunteers, HCLC would not be in a position today to welcome our community back into the sanctuary. Above all, we thank you, the members of HCLC, who have persevered through this pandemic and expressed patience as we worked out new ways to praise God.
If you have any questions about our current COVID-19 protocols, please contact: Pastor Martin, Jeremy Shoop, or Sam Carter.
Finally, we can’t tell you how great it is to once again say, we look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
In the name of the Great Physician who provides all we need,
Martin Eldred, Pastor
Jeremy Shoop, Director of Music and Liturgy
Sam Carter, President of the Congregation
Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!