MARKHAM LUTHERAN CHURCH
COVID-19 WORSHIP PROTOCOLS
When reading over the following requirements, please remember that they have been put in place to keep you and your family safe. We love you and want you to be well. COVID-19 is a terrible disease, especially the variants we're experiencing now. Even a mild case can leave a person with other health issues, such as heart disease and severe lung damage, etc. IF YOU ARE ILL OR BELIEVE THAT YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID-19, PLEASE STAY HOME AND SELF-QUARANTINE. Contact your health care provider as soon as possible. If you haven't been vaccinated and boostered, go to your preferred pharmacy or health care provider.
1) You are encouraged to arrive at church at least ten minutes before the service starts to get settled. Pews are no longer blocked off, but physical distancing is strongly encouraged. KN95 masks for adults and children are available. Please exchange your cloth mask (outside) for a quality mask.
2) Before exiting your car, if you haven't already put on your mask, please do so. Everyone, vaccinated or unvaccinated, must wear a well-fitted, high quality mask while on church property; the only time masks will be lowered is to take Holy Communion, or, if you choose to eat or drink at coffee hour in the social hall. Please keep your mask over your nose and chin at all other times.
3) You are encouraged to bring your own hand sanitizer.
4) Please don’t linger/gather to visit in the small narthex upon arrival or departure.
5) Physical distance of at least 6 feet at all times, including in the pews occupied by non family members, is strongly encouraged.
6) We request that you continue to mail in or 'PayPal' your offering; there will be a receptacle in the narthex to receive your mission offering (loose currency) and offering envelope, should you choose to use it. Please do not try to physically hand your offering, even in an envelope, to anyone.
7) COVID-19 is airborne. Singing and talking at full volume spreads particles farther. The liturgy will usually be spoken. Please make your responses quietly. If the service includes a hymn(s), please sing very softly behind your mask; don't project your voice. There is no reason/need to lower your mask during a response or hymn.
8) The Sacristy is closed to everyone except Pastor, the altar guild chairperson, and the custodian. Please do not use it as a 'hallway' into the church nave.
9) As you depart the service, you're welcome to recycle your service bulletin and Communion "cup" in the bins provided.
10) You may use the lower level church bathrooms. There is also a private, all genders bathroom off the 'cry room' to the north of the narthex.
11) Baptisms, confirmations, weddings, or other rites will be assessed on a case by case basis. Please contact Pastor Schneekloth.
Weddings are never scheduled during Lent. It is recommended that you ascertain Pastor's availability before scheduling your wedding and booking/paying non-refundable deposits on your venues. See the "Weddings" section of this website.
Holy Communion is very important at MLC. For the time being, we will not be able to resume our beloved tradition of coming up to the chancel and kneeling or standing at the altar rail in tables of twelve or so and receiving the bread in hand or mouth and drinking from the Chalice (Common Cup). But we will still be together, and partaking of the Body and Blood of our Lord each Sunday.
1) Pastor will preside at the altar in the sanctuary behind the chancel gates. We are currently using pre-packaged, self-contained elements of real sacramental wine and small wafer from World Communion Cups. When Pastor has consecrated the bread and wine, he will bring them down to the table at the foot of the chancel steps.
2) You will be invited to come forward to help yourself to the consecrated bread and wine. Please process up the center aisle, keeping at least six feet between you and other communicants, and return to your pew via the appropriate side aisle. (If you need help, Pastor or the Assisting Minister will be happy to bring the elements to you.)
3) After everyone has returned to their seats, you may lower your mask and Pastor will say, "Take and eat the body of Christ, given for you." Cross yourself and eat. Then Pastor will say, "Take and drink the blood of Christ, shed for you." Open your wine, cross yourself, and drink. Raise your mask.
4) Please hold on to your empty plastic "glass" and the lift off seals. A plastic bin will be available in the narthex for you to drop them in on the way out so that they can be disposed of properly.