COVID-19 News and Plans

Update: From Orange to Red 

On Friday, November 20, Boulder County moved to the Red status of Colorado’s COVID19 Dial. At this level we will make the following adjustments and commitments:

  1. Worship: We continue online worship services. Because of rapidly increasing rates, we ask that anyone leading from the sanctuary wear a mask, except when preaching. We have acquired some mask-aids to help those who wear masks during worship. We hope this helps those listening at home, too. We continue to look for ways to make worship meaningful and safe.

  2. Meetings and Groups: No indoor or outdoor in-person meetings. We will continue scheduling Zoom gatherings. If you’d like a gathering scheduled, please contact pastor@bethlehem-lutheran.net" style="text-decoration-line: none;">pastor@bethlehem-lutheran.net.

  3. Office: We will not be meeting in offices. One person may work in an office at a time. Colorado (and we) recommend remote work as much as possible.

  4. Building: The building remains closed unless an appointment is made through staff or approval is given through council. All people entering the building must sign in and record their temperature at the front door. Further instructions are listed by the check-in log on the podium by the front door.

  5. Travel: If you travel to a state with a seven-day rolling average of 5% COVID19 positivity rate or higher for the time you were there, please refrain from in-person visits to the church for two weeks following your return. If you are scheduled to lead in worship, please contact Brenda (brenda@bethlehem-lutheran.net) and we will find a substitute for you. 

Bethlehem Lutheran Church will continue to heed the health recommendations of 

relevant organizations—which include the ELCA, Rocky Mountain Synod (RMS), the CDC, Boulder County Health, and the State of Colorado. 

 

Please continue to follow our weekly email, announcements, website, and Facebook posts for notifications of any changes and updates to our current situation.

 

Please call or email with questions or needs during this time (303-776-3290),

 

BLC Mask Guidance:

1. Wear your mask when...

...you're entering the building.
...you're walking through hallways and common areas.
...you're going to the restroom, kitchen, water fountain.
...you're going into someone else's office.

2. You don't need to wear your mask if/when...

...you or the person you are communicating with has a disability which makes seeing your mouth essential for communication. (Example: you are talking to someone who is hard of hearing or deaf.)
...you cannot medically tolerate a face covering. (If this is an issue, please talk to me, privately. We can take other precautions for your health and the health of those around you.)
...you are leading spoken worship and at least 25 feet away from others.
...you are in your office and alone.

3. Here is the state's guidance: https://covid19.colorado.gov/mask-guidance
4. Here is the CDC reasoning for wearing masks: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html

 

 

Links to online services:

Sunday and Midweek Services and Daily Devotions

      (open to public)

Sunday Worship bulletins 

       (requires a BLC member account)

 

Aging In Place: Top Internet Scams Targeting the Elderly

Be aware that there are a number of scams being run during this time of pandemic that are targeting our older community. Please read about these and discuss with your loved ones (https://www.aginginplace.org/internet-scams-affecting-elderly/). If you would like more information, contact Carolina Gerard, Outreach Intern, National Council for Aging Care (cgerard@aginginplace.email).

 

Staying Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic

For some, the stay at home order during the COVID-19 pandemic has been an opportunity to spend more joy-filled time with family, roommates and other loved ones. For others, sheltering in place means not being able to get away from someone who is physically, sexually or emotionally abusing them. During this pandemic, cases of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse, including financial exploitation, are likely escalating. If you are being harmed or you are concerned about someone who may be experiencing abuse, neglect or exploitation, help is available. Most victim services organizations and social service agencies are still open, often providing support by phone, chat and videoconferencing. You can call or text local or national hotlines to explore options and discuss safety planning. For more information, contact BLC or this resource with critical information on risks and who to contact for help.

 

Links for Updated Health Information:

Colorado State Health Department COVID-19 Information:

https://covid19.colorado.gov/

Colorado State Stay-at-home Order: excepted essential needs:

https://covid19.colorado.gov/stay-home-except-essential-needs

Boulder County COVID-19 Information Updates:

https://www.bouldercounty.org/families/disease/covid-19/

Boulder County Public Health Stay at Home Order for COVID-19, 3/25/2020

https://www.bouldercounty.org/families/disease/covid-19/stay-at-home-order/#minimum-basic-operations

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

National Institutes of Health/Infectious Disease Institute:

https://www.nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus#!/detail/403327

ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod website:

https://www.rmselca.org/corona-virus

 

Bethlehem Lutheran Church Has Suspended In-Person Services and Activities

When Martin Luther and his community were faced with the Black Plague, he wrote to his contemporary John Hess, "I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God." ("Whether one may flee from a Deadly Plague," in Luther's Works Volume 43, pg 132)

After considerable discussion and evaluation which included voices from the ELCA, Rocky Mountain Synod, the CDC, Boulder County Health, and Governor Polis, the Bethlehem Lutheran Church Executive Council is implementing the following faithful plan to lessen the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We will follow this through August 31 and reevaluate at that time.

 

Worship:

In faithfulness to the physical and spiritual health of our community we are suspending public worship until August 31. We will have a small group of volunteers lead online worship on Sundays at 8:00 a.m. Check our Online Worship schedule regularly so that we can still worship together virtually.

Even when our sanctuary is empty, we incur expenses. If you are able, you are encouraged to make your regular offering via our giving link or USPS mail (Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1000 W 15th Ave, Longmont CO 80501). There are instructions on how to use the online giving and if you need any help or have questions, please contact Jenny (financialsec@bethlehem-lutheran.net).

 
Activities:

All Bethlehem sponsored activities that cannot meet using video conferencing are currently suspended. This includes (but is not limited to) the Education Hour, bible studies, fellowship, music groups, confirmation, and ministry meetings.

 

Meetings:

Meetings will be held only as absolutely necessary and will be called by the pastor, deaconess, or a member of the Executive Council. When necessary and possible, business should be done over email, phone, or a video conferencing app.

 

Visitation:

Members will not be visiting other members with communion or for official church business until further notice. If you have an emergency--such as a hospitalization or death--please, contact Pastor Katie (pastor@bethlehem-lutheran.net) for pastoral care. If we cannot visit in person, we can pray together.

Funerals: Funeral will be scheduled with care for both those grieving and our volunteers.

 

We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves even in this period of physical distancing. We are researching ways to reach out specifically to members who may find themselves in need of care or assistance. In the meantime, keep being blessings to each other. Call each other and your neighbors. If you find yourself with symptoms and/or a positive COVID-19 test, please consider letting us know so that we can assist you or, in the least, offer our prayers.

 

We will continue to update the congregation through the Weekly Email, postings on our website and on Facebook pages. Please be patient as we are navigating uncharted territory.

 

In grace and hope,

Your BLC Executive Council and Staff

 

Blessed to be a blessing.

That's the BLC motto. We believe that God has blessed us and we are called to bless others. The COVID-19 virus has thrown us into a time of uncertainty and anxiety which could challenge how we live into our motto. However, every action we take in response can be a blessing to those around us.

 

Consider that,

To be a blessing, some of our members will continue to work in essential jobs.

To be a blessing, some of our members will volunteer in the community.

To be a blessing, some of our members will have to isolate themselves.

To be a blessing, some of our members will be unable to go to work or school.

 

In an effort to continue blessing one another in this time of need, we are developing resources for worship, child care, and errand runners (for those who cannot leave home right now). Keep reading for more information and keep praying for all who are ill, anxious, or just trying to stay healthy.

 

For Worship

We're going Live! A small volunteer group will be conducting a modified worship service and streaming it via YouTube. Please join us for our Virtual Worship services Sundays at 8:00 a.m.

Just follow the link for the date, and when we turn the camera on at 8:00 a.m., you will be able to watch live.

Too Early? Don't want to get up to watch it live? No worries - the same link will allow you to watch the recording after the service when you are ready.

 

For an Errand Runner

There are a number of reasons members might be isolated now or in the near future. We do not want you to put yourself or others at-risk to get a gallon of milk or box of tissues. If you become unable to run basic errands--like grocery shopping--during this pandemic, contact Pastor Katie to get connected with an errand runner (katie@bethlehem-lutheran.net, 303-776-3290).

 

Remember that physical isolation doesn't mean we need to be socially or spiritually isolated! Pick up the phone. Email, text, Snapchat. Check on your neighbors and each other.
You are a blessing!

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