Peace Lutheran Church Port Byron, IL


Hi all,
I received this from Bishop Clements. As we consider getting back to worship in person these are things we need to consider. I’m pondering them and trying to think things through. If all goes well the first time we might get to worship together is May 31, Pentecost! I hope you will join me in thinking about this and in conversations as the time comes closer.
Stay safe,

Things to consider before returning to the sanctuary:
Pay close attention to CDC, Illinois Department of Public Health, and your county health department guidelines. The decision to resume public worship should be made by the Congregation Council with the pastor. It may not be appropriate to resume worship as soon as we are given an OK by governmental authorities. Consideration should be given to the health and safety of worshipers and worship leaders. Persons who are sick should be told to stay at home.

The White House and CDC have announced three phases of reopening with different levels of social distancing. These have implications for worship.

It is possible that as restrictions are gradually lifted that groups of less than 10 will be permitted to gather. I would not resume regular worship in your building under these conditions. If multiple services are held, the worship leaders would be exposed to and come in contact with many more than 10.

When larger groups are permitted, mark seats to maintain social distancing. For example, you might use every other pew. Maintain a distance of 6 feet between people who do not live in the same household.

Online worship and devotional opportunities should continue even after public worship is resumed. They are tools for outreach to both your own members and new populations.

Announce the congregation’s expectations regarding hygiene and social distancing. The church building should be “deep cleaned” and disinfected prior to every worship service. Hand sanitizer should be available and conveniently located. Face masks should be worn for as long as they are recommended and provided for worshipers who do not come with their own.

Children should remain with their families for a children’s time/sermon and not be invited to come forward.

Sharing of the peace may be accomplished with a simple nod and folded hands without moving from one’s seat with just those located near them.

Offering plates can be located near the entry/exit points of the sanctuary. Electronic giving should be encouraged as a normative practice.

Offering counters should use practices similar to a bank, wearing gloves, sitting at a distance, and using hand sanitizer.

Worship leaders should not greet worshipers before or after the service. Greeters should greet from a distance and not shake hands.

Attendance pads should not be passed, and pens should not be shared. If attendance records are kept (which is helpful in contact tracing), consider using an attendance card that can be placed in an offering plate.

It may be advisable to temporarily discontinue singing and the use of choirs. COVID-19 is spread through droplets and singing is as effective as coughing in spreading the virus.

Fellowship time/coffee hours should be suspended until the risk of COVID-19 has passed.

As the weather improves, consider outdoor worship.

Holy Communion presents an additional set of challenges. I am recommending that you first gather for worship with using a Service of the Word liturgy to work out the logistics of simply being together.

When the celebration of Holy Communion is resumed, intinction and common cup should not be used. The methods should not be employed until we are well past the pandemic. Communion with bread only may reduce the risks of contamination. Wafers require less handling than bread.

If wine is used, small glasses or disposable cups could be prefilled. A pouring chalice could be used if there is no contact with the communicant’s hand.

Those who distribute the elements should wear a mask and gloves.

A distance of six feet should be maintained between family groups.

Come Share The Spirit!

Join with us at Peace Lutheran Church of Port Byron, Illinois as we proclaim and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Worship service begins on Sunday morning at
9:00 a.m. - children of all ages are encouraged to attend. We celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion every Sunday. For all church services we want you to be comfortable whether it be wearing jeans or suits and dresses.


Worship Times

Sunday Service:
9:00 AM


Contact Info

Phone: 309-523-2295

Pastor Nancy Jaster

Phone 309-593-2333