Covid guidelines for worship

The Board of Elders decided that effective immediately, Immanuel will now move to a mask optional policy for all of its gatherings. This includes public worship, Bible studies, fellowship gatherings, youth events, family cottages, confirmation cottages, board meetings, and the like.
This specifically includes Holy Communion up front, where masks and gloves will no longer be required for the distributor or recipient; individually-sealed communion will remain an option for the foreseeable future.
Please note: this change in policy does NOT impact Immanuel Preschool which remains mask required. DCFS regulates the masking policy of the preschool and has made no changes to their procedures.
Thank you to the 230 of you who responded so quickly to share how a masking policy change would impact your worship habits and gathering at Immanuel. Your responses directly impacted this change.
After almost two years of seeking God’s direction to hold this congregation together through unprecedented times, it is my prayer that we can continue to uphold one another in charity putting the best construction on what we hear.
St. Paul’s words for us in Romans 14 are helpful in this way, “For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink [masks or mitigations], but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
It is our aim that as a congregation we can once again around Word and Sacrament focus on the Righteousness of Christ’s Love for us, the peace that comes when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity, and the joy of the Spirit that sends us to family and friends with hope that is within us.
Should you have any questions, concerns, or clarifications, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any of the elders.
Thank you for your patience and your understanding. May the Lord continue to bless Immanuel as we rescue and restore families in our community.
In Christ,

Pastor James on behalf of the Board of Elders