Update from Pastor Bruce

Dear Light of Christ Community,

I'm writing to give you a brief update on what the Church Council has been doing in light of the most recent COVID-19 developments.  As you may know, we have decided that the Church Council will be making all the decisions regarding our "living with" the virus as a congregation.  The Council wants to hear from our committees, staff, task forces, and congregation as we live with this virus.  But we believe it is best for us as a congregation to have the Council make the final decision and not have multiple people or groups making these decisions.  

Several weeks ago the Governor issued an Executive Order which allowed congregations to open up our buildings for worship services and other ministries.  In response to that Order, the Minnesota Department of Health issued a document titled Industry Guidance for Safely Reopening: Faith-based Communities, Places of Worship, Weddings, and Funerals.  https://mn.gov/deed/assets/worship-guidance-ACC_tcm1045-433301.pdf

In this document the Department of Health directs congregations to develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan before opening our doors.  The Health Department then lays out eight pages of policies, procedures and protocols that must be included in the Preparedness Plan.  

So for the last three weeks the Council has been hard at work on developing and implementing a Light of Christ Preparedness Plan.  The Council has been assisted by our staff members and by a Wellness Task Force made up of seven health care professionals in our congregation. The Task Force members are  Luke Borman (Pharmacist), Kelly Harstad (Nurse), Ben Neilsen (Hospital Administrator),  Britta Reierson (Physican and TF Co-Chair), Barb Russell (Occupational Therapist), Stacy Vancura (Mental Health Therapist), and Heidi Wuerger (Physician and TF Co-Chair).  Kylee Amdor, our Council President, and I are also on the task force.  The task force has been working through the Department of Health guidelines and advising the Council on how we can gather "in-person" for our various services and ministries in as safe and as low-risk a way as possible.  

The Council has already approved some parts of our Preparedness Plan and beginning next week we will send you the policies and procedures that have been, and will be, implemented.  Please don't hesitate to contact any Council member if you have any questions or concerns or comments about our Preparedness Plan.  

Click here to read an email from our Minneapolis Area Synod Bishop, Ann Svennungsen, about the wisdom of conducting in-person worship right now.  

Finally, please continue to hold Light of Christ, our Delano community, and the wider nation and world in your prayers as we seek to stay as vibrant as we can despite this virus.

Peace and joy always,  

Pastor Bruce Kuenzel

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