Our Response to COVID-19 at SPL

A Special Message from Pastor Eric Trickey

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To our family and friends of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church,

This is an unprecedented experience we are all sharing right now. We are hearing information about COVID-19 from multiple sources and it can surely be difficult to sort through all that is coming your way. Our team at SPL has spent many hours tracking with the most current information from certified resources and have remained connected with state and local officials regarding appropriate responses and actions in this situation. We have been hard at work giving thoughtful consideration to appropriate next steps for our congregation, understanding things have continued to change moment to moment. Thank you for your patience and trust in the process.

First and foremost, we recognize that God is in control, and we love and trust Him in everything. The number one mandate we have as followers of Jesus is to love the world around us and love our community. After reviewing all of the information available to us at this time, we have concluded the best way we can love our community is through social distancing, or not gathering in large group environments. This can help allow our community and health care system appropriate time to prepare and respond to COVID-19 at a time that it may impact our area.

So, we have decided that for at least the next two weeks, we will not be gathering physically in worship. Thanks to the many developments in technology, we will be able to gather spiritually in worship via our online platform. Some of you may already utilize our live streaming service on occasion. I encourage you to gather with your family and worship together at your regular worship time (Saturday 6:00pm, Sunday 8:00 & 10:30am, Wednesday 6:30pm). You can simply go to our website at https://spldecatur.org to Media, or go directly to https://spldecatur.churchonline.org and join in for our worship time together. (See below for additional information regarding worship.)

Because of systems already in place, you are also able to continue your giving. You can access the Online Giving system both on our website and through the Church Online platform when you join us for worship. You can also mail your envelope to the Church Office.

Because we will be worshiping online, this means any of you who regularly serve as a part of worship will NOT need to report to SPL until notified (Ushers, Communion Assistants, Lay Ministers, Coffee Ministry Assistants, etc.). The exception to this is of course Praise Team Vocalists and Musicians (you will receive further specific communication from your leader).

At SPL, we want to care for our congregation in all respects, including the physical well-being of our community. While we won’t be gathering in worship for this time, we do want you, our church family, to take precautions to keep yourself and others safe, especially in light of the current season we are in and the introduction of COVID-19 (or coronavirus) into the mix.

Please be mindful of the guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the http://www.dph.illinois.gov/ (IDPH), including:

– Stay home when you are sick
– Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom; before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
– Use tissues and throw them away after use
– Keep a distance; no handshaking
– You should be fever free for at least 24-hours, without fever-reducing meds, before venturing out

We will continue to keep you updated as other developments occur. Our staff will continue to report to work at this time. Please continue to follow along with us via the Latest News section of our website and social media outlets. If you have further questions, please contact the Church Office at 217-423-6955 or info@spldecatur.org

Blessings to you all,

Pastor Eric

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