July 19, 2020
A message from Andrew Malone on behalf of the Reuniting St. Luke’s Task Force:
I would like to share some developments from the Reuniting St. Luke’s Task Force. First and foremost, thank you for your responses to the Reuniting St. Luke’s Survey.
You can view the survey results as a PDF here: Reuniting St. Luke’s Survey Responses
The Task Force greatly appreciated being able to add your perspectives, hopes, and concerns into our recommendations. About two-thirds of respondents felt uncomfortable or less comfortable attending indoor, in-person worship during Illinois Phase 4. Most respondents were more comfortable with an outdoor worship option, but many of the written comments urged caution and appeared uncomfortable resuming in-person worship at this time.
After discussion and discernment about the survey results, reflections on what other Lutheran congregations in the Metropolitan Chicago Synod are doing, wonderful analyses from Task Force member Genevieve Wasser as to what social distancing would require at both the Armitage and Wrightwood spaces, and attention to the ongoing COVID-19 developments in Illinois and nationally, we recommended to Council that St. Luke should enter into a “Phase 3.5.”
In Phase 3.5, worship will continue online on Sundays at 10:10 am. Small-group St. Luke’s gatherings of 10 to 15 individuals are allowed, if they meet outdoors while adhering to social-distancing practices. Additionally, staff and leadership will continue to examine creative ways to connect our community, including possibilities for Holy Communion. Phase 3.5 will last from July 1 to at least October 1st.
Council has approved Phase 3.5, and you can view the full guidelines as a PDF here: Guidelines for St. Luke’s Phase 3.5 | July-September 2020
The Reuniting St. Luke’s Taskforce will be sending out another survey in September to reassess the perspectives, hopes, and concerns of the congregation. We will also be keeping up on the ELCA’s guidelines, the Metropolitan Chicago Synod’s recommendations, and local, federal, and state guidelines. If Illinois or Chicago were to revert to an earlier phase, then St. Lukes would also revert to the previously approved plans for those phases.
While we will not be able to see you in person on Sunday mornings in the near future, we look forward to continuing to observe our community’s many talents through the online services. And we look forward to finding creative ways to connect and further our community beyond the Sunday morning service. Once again, thank you for helping us envision how we can Reunite St. Lukes with health, safety, and welcome in mind.
on behalf of the Reuniting St. Luke’s Task Force