In-Person Worship at Salem!

“I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’” 

(Psalm 122:1)

During the COVID stay-at-home order, God’s people longed to gather in the same space to spiritually feast on God’s Word and sacrament, and join our voices in praise to God our Savior. While online worship is a blessing for continued spiritual nourishment, it does not and cannot replace the social aspect of worship as a community of believers gathered in place and time.

We also recognize that due to certain medical conditions and immunodeficiencies, some may not yet be ready to attend church in person. If that is you, please make us of our online messages, posted in the "media" portion of this website.

for those who attend in person, understand that the worship experience is somewhat different than it was before COVID. Furthermore, it is important to respect the varying levels of concern people have about COVID and its medical and lifestyle impact. In this unique landscape, Christian love and respect has been and will remain a guiding compass in the decisions that Salem's leaders are making. 

As you make plans to worship at Salem, please note the protocols below.

Worship Protocols during COVID-19

With input from healthcare professionals, church leaders from the area and from Salem, as well as guidance provided by the MN Department of Health (MDH), the following gathering protocols are in place for worship gatherings at Salem during COVID:

  • Upon arrival, attendees are asked to limit mingling and proceed directly to seating, and follow social distancing in sanctuary seats and pews (unless they are members of the same household). To promote social distancing, certain benches are closed to seating. Also, attendees are asked to practice social distancing (6 ft) in narthex and gathering areas.
  • Please utilize sanitizer and/or wash hands upon arrival. Sanitizer will be available upon entry and in other conspicuous locations.
  • Per the Executive Order issued by Governor Walz regarding face coverings (Executive Order 20-81), attendees age 6 and older are asked to wear face covering (unless exempt per the executive order). Face coverings are available for those who don't have one (child and adult sizes).
  • Gathering size will be limited to 50% of capacity to allow for social distancing.
  • Pews, chairs, doors, and other surfaces of common contact will be sanitized each week.
  • Offering plates will not be passed person-to-person. A basket will be available for those who wish to support Salem's ministry in this fashion.
  • Attendees are asked to greet one another without touching.
  • Attendees are asked to limit restroom occupancy to 2 people at a single time.
  • Lord’s Supper – Communion elements will be prepared using gloves and face protection. The distributing pastor and assistant will wear face protection when in close proximity to communicants. Communion distribution will be continuous flow. This will allow for distancing and minimize handling of the elements. Hand sanitizer will be available before and after reception of the Communion elements.
  • Children’s activity bags and other common use items will be removed for the time being. Families with children are encouraged to bring their own “quiet toys” from home. The Youth Room (located in church office suite) will be available as a cry room if needed.
  • To minimize commonly touched surfaces, there will be no snacks or coffee served before, during, or after the service. Attendees are welcome to bring their own coffee. Post-service social activities will be kept to a minimum, except for official congregational business (meetings, etc.). Attendees may visit briefly after the service, especially outside, as long as social distancing can be maintained.
  • If you are sick, or know you have recently been exposed to COVID, please worship privately at home. Message videos are available under the "media" tab of this website.

Salem's pastor and Church Council continue to monitor these protocols and make adjustments as appropriate. While we cannot safeguard against every germ and sickness in this sin-fallen world, we seek to conduct our lives and ministry in love for others – both soul and body. We are thankful for the opportunity to gather in person, and look forward to seeing you at Salem!