Church Services are Live!
Update for Salem May 22, 2020
Dear brothers and sisters in God’s Family at Salem,
I continue to pray you are all doing well. Every day I pray the Lord keeps each and every one of you safe and healthy. Please continue to pray for each other.
Once again we will have our streaming service at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 24th. Please check our website, www.salemescanaba.org for a link to the streaming.
Good news! Our church council decided we will be resuming public worship on Sunday, May 31st at 8 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. to begin with. We will consider having Monday, if enough people contact me and say they would be attending if we resume Monday evening worship. But for now, it will only be Sunday worship. Also there will be no Bible Class for a while. L
We will be having a number of changes for worship, compared to what we consider normal at this time due to COVID-19. This means we will need all people to be flexible. We all as brothers and sisters also need to show love and respect. I understand that means that we may not all agree with every precaution. Some may think it goes too far and some may think it doesn’t go far enough. The recommendations and encouragements for precautions from different sources continue to be in constant flux. Some have changed, others contradict each other. For example the CDC began by saying this virus could be transmitted easily by touching a surface where the virus had landed. This week the CDC said it was very difficult to contract the virus from surface contact.
Since God’s Word doesn’t spell out the exact precautions we would need to take in such a situation, it is important that we don’t make judgments about what a fellow brother or sister in the faith is doing in respect to this virus, whether in our congregation or a sister congregation. We each will need to do what we think is best considering our health situation, our family’s situation and our conscience. With that being said, we do have some guidelines and recommendations for all who would like to come public worship.
These are temporary, and I pray sooner, rather than later, we will be able to take more steps toward what would be considered our “normal” worship.
1) If you are not comfortable coming for any health or conscience reason, due to the virus, please be at peace and don’t come. I still offer private communion, and Lord willing, we will continue to stream the service from now on.
2) Please don’t come if you are sick or have symptoms of sickness of any kind.
(This does not include allergies)
3) We will use every other pew to keep social distancing. So that means not everyone will be able to sit in their usual spot. We also want to keep distance from other households in the pew.
4) We will not be using the coat racks. Please wear your coat/jacket into the sanctuary or place it next to you in the pew. This will help from people being congested there.
5) We recommend that people wear a mask or a face shield. If you don’t have one, we plan on providing them on a table near the door, along with hand sanitizer if you need. If you take a face shield, they are reusable. Please keep it and take it with you. It can be wiped off and used again for another service or when you need to go somewhere else. If you take a face shield, please write your name on it and consider it yours. Thanks.
Some people have privately expressed some of the personal difficulties they have with wearing a mask. This is one reason we also have face shield (Lord willing they arrive in time). If neither works for someone, we will all want to refrain from judgment and be understanding.
6) We will print the whole service in the bulletin. Please wait for an usher, who will be wearing gloves, to give you one. We don’t want a bunch of people touching other bulletins. When you leave, please take the bulletin with you, or put it in the recycle box.
7) Please check your mailbox quickly and get any printed materials quickly. Please refrain from visiting in the hallway or congregating in the hallway, as this will make social distancing difficult. Please have an usher lead you to a seat.
8) On the way out of worship. It is important that we usher EVERYONE out. No rushing out the side door on the pulpit side. The ushers will start at the back of church and work forward. They will also usher out slowly so that people don’t get too close. If you want to talk to me for more than a greeting, please wait in the fellowship hall until everyone has been ushered out, or tell me to meet you outside after everyone is out, or call me at a later time.
9) We will not be shaking hands or having hugs in the hallway. If you would like to greet people and visit, please go into the fellowship hall away from the door way and visit with social distancing, or visit outside if the weather is good.
10) For Holy Communion we will only stand. There will not be any common cup during this time. The wafer will be dropped by me into your hand. The individual cups will be separated so that it is easy to pick them up and not touch another. At dismissal all cups are to be dropped into the baskets that will be set out. And people will need to return to their seats at the outside aisle or wait to the side until those coming up have come to the Communion rail and then they can return to their pew. We will only have three (family/couple/single) groups at a time to maintain proper distancing. Right, left and center. The ushers will monitor this.
11) At this time, there will not be any singing. I know this is not something many want, including me. There seems to be a lot of evidence that when people sing, not only do they inhale more air, but project more air and that increases the chance of droplets traveling beyond the social distance space. I know this is a downer for those of us who love the singing. But it is temporary. We will have some piano/organ music, but no congregational singing for a time.
– Finally I know it’s hard to do these things that are opposite to how a family of God operates normally. It’s hard on me. The council and I are looking at a possible solution that would reduce the time we would have to do these things, but we are not there yet. We will give the congregation more information as soon as possible on how we can safely take many of these precautions out of our worship time and still be protected.
Thank you for your understanding in these unusual times. Your love and patience is very helpful. I think of the early Christians who often gathered without music but rejoiced in the spoken Word of God.
More good news! Holy Cross and St. Mark congregations were assigned a graduate from our Seminary. Charlie Crass will be ordained this summer as their new pastor. We give thanks to the Lord of the Church for this great gift to them and indirectly us!
If you would like to still receive the sermon in the mail because you will not be making worship for a while and can’t get the stream, please let me know and we will continue to mail you a sermon weekly along with church announcements.
Please continue to set aside your offerings to the Lord and either mail them to the church as many have done, give online, or keep them ready for when you return to the Lord’s house in worship.
During these uncertain times the Word of our God remains constant and true. The promises of our God will be our strength and hope. The Lord will continue to be our Good Shepherd. We continue to share this good news with any and all. The Lord bless and keep you all!
– Your shepherd, under the Good Shepherd,
Pastor Paul Doletzky
Pastor Doletzky welcomes you to come and hear and learn and grow. Do you have questions about God, life, eternity, what your purpose is, where is there strength and help for each day? Pastor Doletzky would be happy to meet with you and encourage you and equip you to face life with confidence and peace. You are always welcome to set up an appointment, join a Bible Class, attend a worship service, or just give him a phone call. His contact information is below. You are always welcome to grow here at Salem.
A Little Bit Of History on our Church
Though it’s roots are from a German background that served primarily German speaking immigrants settling in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As English became the language of the nation and the area, English officially was adopted in 1922 in worship and instructions. The name of the congregation was changed also to its current name, Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church. Salem comes from the Hebrew word for peace.
For many years Salem was located at 502 S. 12th St. and the intersection of 4th Ave. South. They broke ground for a new facility at 615 S. 30th St. on September 9th, 1980. This is where we are currently located. Our current facility is much larger than the old facility and all areas of the building are handicap accessible.