Dear First Lutheran Family and Friends,
Yesterday, November 17th, Governor Hogan issued an updated Executive Order that directs worship centers to reduce maximum attendance from from 75% to 50%. However, this guidance has no practical impact on our in-person services as the maximum we can seat in the sanctuary due to social distancing and fixed pews is about 25% of our max capacity per the Executive Order’s guidelines.
However, of greater impact to our ministry is the implementation of additional restrictions on hospital and nursing home visits. As of right now, I am unable to make these visits. However, if you feel a visit is needed, I recommend you speak directly to the hospital or nursing home to see what their policy is. I am willing to follow whatever guidance they have to make visits should visits be necessary and allowable.
I realize many of us, and I include myself in this category, are growing weary of the pandemic and all it has caused us to have to do in response. It is indeed difficult! That is why I continue to keep all of us in prayer as we continue to live through this incredible period of time.
While it's hard, and I know many of us have many different views on where we are, where we’re going, and how we should get there, I and First Lutheran Church’s leadership continue to keep two things at the very top of our priorities. As has been stated throughout this time - first, we want to honor God and His Word in all we do as Jesus calls us to love God and our neighbors (Matthew 22:37-40) while we live obediently under those God has appointed as our leaders to serve us all and keep order in His creation (Romans 13:1-2). Second, we are striving to do what we can to keep all of us and our neighbors safe from harm as we continue to worship God our Father as He has called us to do.
As with previous Executive Orders, this one also authorizes local jurisdictions to clarify guidance for their residents. Currently, because Calvert County cases have been on the rise once again, the guidance issued to churches and congregational leaders over the summer and last week (click for links July , August , and November) remains in effect. The Calvert County Health Officer continues to monitor the status of cases.
God calls on us to worship Him in all things! Nothing prevents us from doing just that. If you feel comfortable doing so, in-person worship takes place each week on Sunday at 8:30AM and Wednesday at 6:30PM. You can also attend worship on-line through First Lutheran Live! at 10:00AM on Sunday or anytime through YouTube. Links to sign up to attend in-person services or worship via livestream, as well as our Sunday Schools and Bible Studies, can be found at www.firstlutheranchurch.org.
Please join us as we continue to trust our heavenly Father, through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ rejoicing in His eternal presence among us and His protection over us!
In Christ’s Love,
On-line studies on Sunday and during the week continue to be added. When available, please check in here.