COVID-19 Official Response Page

 
Protocols and Guidelines for In-Person Worship at Bethel (click here for a PDF)

 

PRE-SERVICE CHECK LIST (AHS PROTOCOLS):

  1. If you have arrived back in Canada within the last 14 days, please self-isolate and do not attend worship at Bethel.

  2. If you have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, please do not come to worship.

  3.  If you have a fever, please do not come to worship.

  4.  If you have a cold, cough, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, please do not come to worship.

  5.  If you have underlying health issues that make you more vulnerable to COVID-19, please do not put yourself at risk by attending in-person.

 

 

 GUIDELINES ON ARRIVAL AT BETHEL:

 

  1. Masks are expected. Please bring your own mask. If you don’t have one, we will provide one for you.

  2. Please be aware that photography, videography, live streaming and other recordings will be in progress at Bethel’s 11:00 am Sunday service. It will be available to watch live on the internet (FaceBook, YouTube, Vimeo) and also as a video to watch at other times. By participating in Bethel’s services you consent to be photographed, videotaped or otherwise recorded and you grant your permission for Bethel to use recordings containing your image, likeness, voice or statements for Bethel’s promotional, publicity and other purposes.

  3. Please arrive early so that you can follow social distancing protocols on entering the foyer and we’ll have adequate time for seating all worshippers.

  4. Doors will open 30 minutes before the worship service begins and at that time we’ll begin seating. Please enter through the front main doors.

  5. Please observe social distancing while exiting your vehicle and please enter the foyer as a household.

  6. Please observe social distancing guidelines as you line up to enter the foyer.

  7. As you enter please follow directions of greeters.

  8. The greeter will ask you if you have read the Guidelines and if you are complying with the Protocols.

  9. A greeter will be taking attendance. (In case of an outbreak at Bethel we will follow up with all who attended worship at that service).

  10. Touchless hand sanitizers are available.

  11. You will not have access to the mail slots.

  12. The use of the washrooms will be limited to 2 people at a time.

  13. You will not have access to the coffee station or the water fountain. Please do not bring your own coffee since you’ll be wearing a mask.

  14. The Cry Room no longer exists. It has been converted to a Sound Room for when we begin Live Streaming our worship services.

  15. Ushers will direct you to your seats in the sanctuary.

  16. If you wish to have doodle paper and pen/pencil for your children, please bring some with you. Children are expected to remain with their parents at all times.

  17. There will be no congregational singing.

  18. Our exit from the sanctuary will be directed by the ushers.

  19. Please exit the foyer as soon as the service is over.

  20. In the parking lot please keep in mind the social distancing protocols as you visit with other worshippers and as you enter your vehicle.

 

*Note: The above are subject to change.

 
Update for June 1, 2020

 

Dear Family at Bethel,
 
A huge component of my pastoral ministry and leadership has been the area of “change”:….psychology of change; kinds of change (developmental, transitional, transformational); how to initiate change or be a change agent; how people respond to change; etc. etc. The ancient Greek philosophers debated the concept of change:
“Can you step into the same river twice?”….some maintained that you can’t even step into the same river once. Heroclitus (540-480 BC) said, “The only constant in life is change.”
 
There is no doubt that this pandemic has forced transformational change. Radical change can be very disorienting. For me, I often feel very scattered….sort of like I ordinarily was juggling 3-5 things at once and now suddenly I’m trying to juggle at least a dozen.  And, while all changes can give one a sense of loss….radical change certainly can trigger a sense of grief…..and one of the components of grief may be
a feeling of being depressed…..because the losses are very real!
 
In our minds we all realize that Bethel also has….is….and will be going through change. We may understand it with our heads….but processing it with our hearts may be something entirely different. It has been said that the longest distance in the world is from one’s head to one’s heart. I’m anticipating that transformational change at Bethel will continue on into the future. This means that not only are
activities changing……but in some cases, the very nature of Bethel….and the character of our worship community is changing. This will certainly trigger a sense of loss and of grief…..for you and for me.  I can assure you that things will not be the same as pre-covid. For many of us, this may be discouraging and a huge disappointment. We’ll experience the loss of the familiar and of the routine; of fellowship and community and connection.
 
Bethel has a “Re-Opening Task Force”. Here are some changes in the works for Bethel.
 
Lord willing, we will open for in-person worship on Sunday, September 13. Two worship services: 9:00 and 11:00 am.

  • We will follow AHS guidelines and protocols such as social distancing, masks, etc.

  • 9:00 and 11:00 because we need to provide the time in between the services for all to leave the 9:00 service before the worshippers arrive for the 11:00 service.

  • The 9:00 and 11:00 times may change because we don’t know how many are ready to return for in-person worship.

  • We anticipate being able to accommodate 100 worshippers per service (following social distancing guidelines).

  • Those who wish to worship in-person will have to pre-register – either online or by calling the office. Remember we expect we can only safely accommodate 100 per service.

  • We are going to experiment with 2 Wednesday evening services in August so that we can orient greeters and ushers with the procedures and protocols. It will give us an opportunity to test the procedures.

  • We are planning to prepare a video that will help you understand the process you will see when you arrive for in-person worship.

  • We will continue with worship online.

 

We realize that some in our worship community have wondered “why haven’t we re-opened sooner?”…..while others are wondering “why are we re-opening so soon?” After prayerful deliberation, we are trusting God for guidance as we go forward.
Stay tuned- there will be more details to follow. Our Task Force is putting together Guidelines for In-Person Worship.
 
Regarding the Lord’s Supper – we may try experimenting with a process for in-person communion during one of the August Wednesday evening services. In the meanwhile…..the Lord’s Supper will continue to occasionally be offered online. And, is also available for private in-person by appointment. Please call Pastor James, Pastor Matt, or me and we will gladly schedule it for you.
 
Regarding Sunday Children’s Ministry and Youth/Confirmation Ministry –
Roxanne and Michael are working on “how that might look” – stay tuned.
 
Regarding Re-opening for Bethel’s groups and organizations – procedures and guidelines are being outlined by the “Re-opening Task Force”. They will be sent to leaders of these groups.
 
Some Additional Changes:

  • The Cry Room has been converted to a sound room…..needed for streaming the worship services.

  • Additional lighting has been installed in the sanctuary to provide for streaming the worship services.

  • Cameras are being installed in the sanctuary for streaming services online.

  • Plexiglass is being installed at the office doors and will be present for the musicians and vocalists.

  • Touch-free hand sanitizers are present.

  • Worshippers will be ushered in the sanctuary to available seats.

You’ll notice these and many other changes.
 
In the midst of all the changes and my trying to help us navigate the changes…..I need to keep reminding myself….”Marv, what is the purpose of Bethel?.... It is not for me to be comfortable; or for me to continue in the routines (ruts?) that are familiar; or for me to simply gather for fellowship! Our purpose is to worship the God who is pure grace and whose mercies are new every morning. The God who is faithful to all His promises.” I’ve wrestled with the question….”Lord, how can I help our worship community navigate the changes they’ll experience when we re-open?”  The reply I seem to be getting from Jesus is…”Marv this is my church. I’m going to gather people both in-person and online….so they can join in thanksgiving and praise of my Father….for all he has provided and done.  (Jesus continued)….In worship, I’ll speak to them my message of hope and healing and of love and life. And then…. I’ll send them out, as I did with the first disciples so that through the power of my Spirit they can share my love with others.”
 
In the midst of it all, I need to keep reminding myself….God has not changed. He is worthy of our worship, thanksgiving, and praise. His purposes for Bethel are still the same… ”to share the love of Jesus with a hurting world.” God knows the changes we are dealing with (at Bethel and personally) and he is waist-deep in them with us. He loves us and is for us!
 
Thank you for your continued prayers for our Parish Planning Council; for all who have faithfully been making calls and contacts with members of our worship community; for the many behind the scenes individuals who have been quietly and diligently serving among us; for our 6 summer students; for the staff members and for the Re-opening Task Force.
 
If there is anything I can do to assist you please don’t hesitate to contact me.
 
 
Pastor Marv
(on behalf of the Re-opening Task Force: Terry Noble (chair); Alicia Strand; Normay Wiebe; Roxanne Theroux; Ann Nelson; Heather Lademann)

RESOURCES you may find helpful:
Covid-19 Financial Help for Individuals
Covid-19 Financial Help for Businesses
Covid-19 General Assistance
 
PROGRAM UPDATES AS OF MARCH 18, 2020

Additional cancelled programs:

Club Quest Events

Wednesday Afternoon Al-Anon meeting

Tuesday Evening Al-Anon ("Strength and Hope" group) suspending meetings until April 17

Sunday Evening Men's Basketball

Bible Study with Esther

Pre-Marriage group meetings cancelled

 
CURRENT PROGRAM UPDATE AS OF MARCH 17, 2020 - 7PM

  1.  All Sunday Worship Services (8:30, 9:45 and 11 AM) are cancelled. We will live-stream one service at 9:45 am.

  2. Wednesday Lenten Services and suppers are cancelled but service will be live-streamed at 7:00 pm.

  3. Sunday School is cancelled.

  4. BLESS Preschool has been cancelled.

  5. All Youth Ministry events are cancelled. This includes Junior High Youth, Confirmation, Senior High Youth, Senior High Guys Group, and Senior High Girls Group.

  6. GriefShare is now cancelled.

  7. Men's Monday Bible Study is cancelled. 

  8. Monday Evening Ladies' Bible Study will meet via "Zoom". Contact Damaris for details.  dcrawford032@gmail.com

  9. Parkinson's Support group is cancelled.

  10. SUN (Seniors United Now) is cancelled.

  11. Spring Choir Practices are cancelled.

  12. Bethel's Wednesday Quilting Group is cancelled.

  13. Wednesday Women's Fellowship is cancelled.

  14. Club Quest Events are cancelled.

  15. Recycled Teens gathering for April 6 is cancelled.

  16. Children's Musical practice is cancelled.

  17. Cookie Club Baking is cancelled.

  18. Parent to Parent is cancelled.

  19. Wollaston Family Games Night is cancelled.

  20. All hockey parties are cancelled.

  21. "Eternal Anchor" Dinner and Silent Auction has been cancelled.

Blood Donor Clinics will continue to happen as they are an essential service.


Click here to download our current info bulletin as a PDF

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
9:00 - 3:00 PM

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©2020 Bethel Lutheran Church

298 Bethel Drive

Sherwood Park, AB

T8H 2C5