June 14 Reopening

Greetings, WLBC Family,

We are delighted to announce that WLBC will be reopening for in-person worship services starting this Sunday, June 14! After consulting the state and CDC guidelines for church services, and talking with the leadership of other local churches, we are putting forth the following procedures for now. As things progress, we will put out new procedures as deemed responsible and appropriate.

First, a note on unity. We are very much aware of the sensitive nature of these issues. We know that there is considerable debate as to the scientific effectiveness of some elements of the guidelines, as well as concerns over the intrusion of politics into the matter. We are also quite well aware of various inconsistencies in relation to the enforcement of previously stated guidelines and concerns. Our desire, however, is not to debate these matters with one another, nor do we want to create a divisive atmosphere in our church body. Rather, our desire is to come together in love and unity as God’s people and show courtesy and respect for those whose convictions may differ on some points. We trust each of you to determine what course of action you believe is best for you and your family, but we ask all of you, as we follow Christ’s example, to put the needs of others ahead of your own.

Until further notice, here are the guidelines we will be following for the WLBC Reopening:

  1. In-person worship services will be limited to 50 people. We are asking everyone who wants to attend to either reply to the weekly reservation email, or call the church office (815-728-0422). Give your name and indicate the number of people who will be attending. The weekly reservation email for this Sunday’s service (June 14th) will be sent out on Wednesday, June 10th. In subsequent weeks, the reservation email will be sent out on Sunday afternoons for the service coming up on the following Sunday. We will do our best to accommodate as many different persons as we can from week to week. If it becomes necessary, we will add another service.
  2. Please maintain recommended physical distancing from one another as best you can. The sanctuary chairs will be safely distanced from one another. Family members living in the same household are welcome to move their chairs closer to one another if so desired.
  3. We are asking everyone to wear a face mask while inside the building. We recognize they can be uncomfortable, and there are differences of opinion about this matter, but we are asking everyone to do this out of consideration for one another.
  4. If you are sick, or live in the same household with someone who is sick, please stay home.
  5. For persons who are older (70+) or have other underlying health conditions, please consider staying home. We leave that choice up to you, however.
  6. Please refrain from handshakes or hugging. I know that will be tough, but we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
  7. Please move the majority of “fellowshipping” (aka talking with one another) to outside either before or after the worship service. Avoid congregating inside.
  8. We are suspending Sunday School, Junior Church and the Nursery for now. We will, however, have materials for kids during the service.
  9. We will not take an offering during the service. Rather, the offering plate will be set up at the rear of the Sanctuary.
  10. For Communion Sundays, the elements will be served in individual packages.
  11. We will not be serving coffee or refreshments for now, but that may change.
  12. We will have extra face masks and hand sanitizer available in the lobby.
  13. The livestream will continue for those who are not able to attend in person.
  14. As stated before, I will send out a reservation email each Sunday afternoon for you to reserve your spot for the service the following Sunday. You may then reply to that email or call the church office to book your spot. We will try to spread it out as best we can so that as many different people who want to attend are able to do so.
  15. Please spread the word for those who may not receive this message.
  16. Finally, FYI: Our church cleaner will be doing a special cleaning of the church each week by wiping down all surfaces and spraying the chairs with a disinfectant.

I know we are all eager to see one another and continue the long process of getting things back to “normal.” Please be patient with the process and with one another. I know we will all put love, unity and consideration above any other matters.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Dan