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, and 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, it is easy to do so. Click here to visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website for information.
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 required.
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 mask while on church property; the only time masks will be lowered is to take Holy Communion. Please keep your mask over your nose and chin.
3) Only the front door (southeast side, under the canopy, facing 160th Street) will be open from the outside. All entries and exits will take place there. Be prepared to walk around the church if you park in the west or north parking lot. Please leave the east side parking spaces for those who physically need to be closer to the entry.
4) You are encouraged to bring your own hand sanitizer.
5) Please don’t linger/gather to visit in the narthex upon arrival or departure.
6) Physical distance of at least 6 feet at all times, including in the pews occupied by non family members, is strongly encouraged.
7) We request that you continue to mail in or electronically transfer 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.
8) 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, 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.
9) The parent/child retiring room will not be available. Parents, if your nursing little one needs to eat, go ahead and nurse in your pew; we have always welcomed and love our nursing parents and babies. If your child cries, Pastor will talk louder. If you would be more comfortable/peaceful outside the nave while nursing or otherwise comforting your child, there are two pews set up in the Adult Forum room on the south side of the nave. You will have a view of the lectern, pulpit, and Communion Table from there. Please understand that you are not required to move there, though.
10) The Sacristy is closed to everyone except Pastor, the altar guild chairperson, and the custodian and her assistant.
11) As you depart the service, you're welcome to recycle your service bulletin and Communion "cup" in the bins provided.
12) There will be no coffee hour and the lower level of the church will be closed and off limits.
13) One bathroom will be available on the east side of the narthex. The bathroom will be sanitized before each service, but we ask that each person who uses the bathroom wipe down the taps and sink, toilet seat, and handle before you use the facilities. That way you will know they have been sanitized for your use. (Wipes will be supplied.) If you require a disability friendlier bathroom, an usher will help you with the chairlift down to the lower level bathrooms.
14) Baptisms, confirmations, weddings, or other rites will be assessed on a case by case basis.
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 portable altar in the front of the Nave laid with pre-packaged, self-contained elements of wine and small wafer from World Communion Cups.
3) 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.)
4) 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.
5) 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.