In-person / hybrid livestreamed worship is coming to St. Luke’s on Sunday, June 6!
What does this mean? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about what worship will look like in the coming months.
Where and how do I attend worship?
Beginning on June 6th, you will have the option to attend worship in TWO ways: either in-person at our new location (3325 W Wrightwood Ave) OR online. We encourage everyone to choose the option that is right for them, trusting that God holds us together in community across distance and technology.
What time is worship?
For now, worship is at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings.
Eventually, our worship time will be moving one hour later to 11:00 a.m. because we are sharing a building with our awesome partners at Grace United Methodist Church. In order for Sunday morning worship to work for both congregations, Grace will eventually worship at 9:00 a.m. and St. Luke’s will worship at 11:00 a.m., with a shared Coffee Hour and Sunday School during the 10:00 hour. That new worship schedule will be rolling out in Fall 2021.
Do I have to RSVP for in-person worship?
Yes. In order to maintain COVID safety, attendance at worship will be limited. If you are planning to attend worship in person, please RSVP at this link. Contact Claire (office@stlukesLS.org) in the church office if you need help with this process.
Unfortunately, with limited attendance comes the possibility that someone may wish to attend worship, and be unable to do so. We understand this may be frustrating and painful. At the same time, we trust that God calls us to care for one another, even when that care means enduring inconvenience or even hardship.
If you find that the worship attendance is full by the time you register, please register for the waitlist. Similarly, if you have registered for worship and find that your schedule changes, please modify your RSVP so that someone on the waitlist can attend in your place.
If you are planning to attend the worship livestream online, there is no need to RSVP, just show up!
Will online worship change?
Yes. For the past 14 months, our online worship has been in a prerecorded format. So many people stepped up to make online worship meaningful during COVID, and our community was enriched by all your hard work. Now, worship will not be prerecorded, but instead it will be livestreamed from our sanctuary. That means that you’ll be watching a video of in-person worship as it’s happening.
Since we’ve never livestreamed worship before (and for that matter, have never worshipped in this sanctuary before!), we may at first have some glitches. It will feel different than prerecorded worship. We will have to learn the best way to be a hybrid community together. We ask for your patience and collaboration during this transition, as we figure it out together.
We’re still working out the details of the livestream, but you will be able to find the livestream or appropriate links on our Facebook page and in our email newsletter beginning on June 6th.
How will we practice COVID safety in in-person worship?
The Reuniting St. Luke’s Task Force has thoughtfully, carefully, and prayerfully developed a set of guidelines to help St. Luke’s worship safely in person. In doing so, they consulted local, denominational, and scientific resources. Here are some highlights of those guidelines:
- Masks must be worn over the nose and mouth at all times for everyone over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status
- Social distancing is required
- Worship attendance is limited in number to allow for social distancing
- Seating in the sanctuary is marked to allow for social distancing
- Families/households/pods may sit together
- You are asked to stay home if you experience any symptoms of COVID
- For now, we will refrain from communal singing. Instead, music will be led by a soloist on behalf of the congregation.
- As possible, windows/doors will be opened and fans turned on to allow for air circulation
By attending worship in person, you are agreeing to abide by these guidelines. If you have questions or concerns about these guidelines, please reach out to Marit Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
How will we handle things like the passing of the peace, offering, and communion?
Worship has always been contextual, and the challenges of COVID offer the church the opportunity to be creative!
When it’s time to pass the peace, we will offer no- or low-touch greetings to one another, such as a wave, elbow bump, or “Peace be with you!”
During the offering we won’t pass the offering plates, but will instead remind each other to be generous to our community as an outpouring of gratitude for God’s abundance. Online giving is strongly encouraged! An offering plate will be available at a podium in the sanctuary for those who wish to give via cash or check.
Before distributing Holy Communion, the presiding minister will thoroughly wash their hands. Wine/juice will be offered in tiny individual plastic cups. When you come forward to receive communion, please leave 5-10 seconds of space after the person in front of you. You will receive the bread and wine/juice, and then step over to the side and momentarily move aside your mask while you eat and drink. Immediately replace your mask, put your cup in the receptacle, and then return to your seat. If, instead of walking forward to receive communion, you prefer for the ministers to come to serve you at your seat, just let an usher know. If for whatever reason you prefer not to commune, you may come forward to receive a blessing or remain in your seat to pray.
Is it going to be like this forever?
Probably not! The Reuniting St. Luke’s Task Force is meeting frequently (although still less frequently than the CDC–we are volunteers!) to update and revise these guidelines. Things are changing quickly, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation as we seek to keep everyone safe, healthy, and together.
Tell me about accessibility in this new space.
Public Transit– We are located directly in front of the 82 Kimball-Homan bus stop, or 0.3 miles from the Logan Square Blue Line Station (exit to the southwest).
Parking– Unfortunately, we do not have a parking lot. Free street parking is available on both sides of Kimball Avenue. Street parking on Wrightwood Avenue is permit only. Please allow 10 minutes to park and find your way, as you may need to park a few blocks away.
Arriving– To access our front doors requires climbing two outside stairs. Once inside the front doors, 12 stairs lead up to the sanctuary, or 12 stairs lead down to the fellowship hall. A lift is accessible at sidewalk level that provides access to both levels.
Seating– Most seating is in pews, but there are also sturdy wooden chairs (with no arms) and spaces that would allow for wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
Children/sensory– The side chapel, which is directly adjacent and open to the sanctuary, includes a soft couch and rocking chair, along with an area of books and toys. Worship includes amplified voices, live music, percussion, and people noises.
Worship resources– Bulletins and hymnals are provided for worshippers to follow along. Both are primarily in English. Large-print bulletins are available upon request.
Bathrooms– At this time, there is an all-gender restroom on the sanctuary level (accessible by climbing one stair from the sanctuary), and men’s and women’s bathrooms on the lower level (accessible without climbing stairs but not yet fully ADA-compliant). The downstairs bathrooms, as well as the Sunday School room, have infant/toddler changing tables. Plans are in development to renovate the restrooms and increase accessibility.
Please reach out to Pastor Erin (pastorerin@stlukesLS.org) to talk about your particular accessibility needs.
Wow, this is a big transition. How can I help?
How kind of you to ask! We are in need of worship leaders who can help us with this transition. If you are willing to serve in any of the following roles in June/July, please email Pastor Erin (email@example.com) today!
- Ushers– Welcome people to the space, help to carry out COVID guidelines, and generally help make worship happen! Ushers are more important than ever, so please consider serving!
- Sound/livestream– Help us broadcast to online worshippers, and help everyone hear what’s being said!
- Sacristan– Help manage the “stuff” of worship like linens, communion elements, etc.
- Assisting Minister– Along with Pastor Erin, lead the assembly in worship and prayer
- Day-of roles– When you arrive in worship, you may be invited to jump into some day-of roles, like Reader or Communion Assistant. Thank you for your willingness to jump in!