109 East Doe Run Road • Unionville, PA 19375
Tel: (610) 347-1696 • Fax: (610) 347-0148
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• At Home Communion
Holy Communion is a special meal we celebrate when we worship together. The bread and wine become for us the body and blood of Christ through the proclamation of God’s promise of mercy. While this is normally practiced in a public service of worship with the assembled congregation, in these days of the Coronavirus pandemic, such gatherings are not possible. Fasting from Holy Communion until we are able to worship together is one faithful response. Another faithful response would be to celebrate this meal at home. As Lutherans, we remember that Martin Luther provided the Small Catechism with the understanding that the home is the first church and the heads of the household also serve as a teacher of the faith. With that in mind, we believe that it would be appropriate, during this time, for families to celebrate holy communion together in their homes.
> This brief liturgy is designed for this use in the home using Zoom, where the Pastor will preside over this special meal with those who have received home communion kits. (These kits are available for pick up in the church office.) Communion in this way will continue until virus restrictions and precautions have ceased and we are able to joyfully return to our house of worship to celebrate this meal together side by side.
• Weekly Transportation to Church for Seniors
We are excited to announce that St. Michael provides transportation for seniors to Sunday Services EVERY WEEK. The bus will make stops at the Luther House and Jenner’s Pond campuses in Jennersville. The bus is an outreach ministry of the congregation and continues to grow with new riders. If you are interested in riding the bus to church from these locations, please contact the church office for a schedule of pick up times and specific locations.
• The Latest from the St. Michael Re-Opening Task Force
Back in the spring, the Church Council appointed a Re-Opening Task Force at the recommendation of the Pastors. This team would research, study, and recommend to Council a plan for safety first in dealing with the current covid-19 pandemic, the eventual safe re- opening of our facility, and the necessary guidelines for any and all “in-person” gatherings and activities.
The current Task Force members are: Pastor Rick, Janet Parks, Sue Rossi, Jessica Wilson, Dr. Vicky Mawn, Will Majarian, and Lou Minella.
The Re-Opening Task Force (TF) reviewed results of the recent survey taken by the Congregation. Upon discussion, there were no real surprises. The written comments were positive about the online services. People the use of many members for the readings, special music, and choirs. The top things people are missing, centered around Holy Communion and seeing people “in person”. The connection with others and the fellowship aspect are certainly missed. Ideas suggested were continuing parking lot gatherings like the recent tailgate events, possible outdoor service, and finding a way to offer Holy Communion.
The Task Force (TF) discussed the topic of other area churches that may be starting in-person worship. One thing to keep in mind, for the most part, many of these churches have the technology available to “live stream” a worship team leading worship from a sanctuary. Most music is done remotely, or pre-recorded choral music worked into the live stream. A huge advantage for most of these churches is their ability to use projection screens in their worship space, similar to our current setup in the fellowship hall. These churches also possess a large enough internet bandwidth to handle people using iPad’s and cell phones to download bulletins, announcements, and readings for services taking place in a sanctuary. (socially distanced, masked, no singing, no paper bulletins, and following the PA Green phase of no more than 25 indoors)
TF members shared what they are experiencing out in the field, (i.e. places of employment, etc.) Although Chester County is currently in the “Green Phase” of the Governor’s plan to re-open the State, at the time of our meeting there was the beginning of Coronavirus outbreaks around the country, especially with colleges and schools opening. Vicky shared that she continues to caution her patients (Christiana Care) to limit contact with others as much as possible, wash hands, mask, and distance. Concern is also high for the beginning of flu season and the added issues this presents for people. And in recent weeks since our meeting, Chester County is reporting a rise in population testing positive for COVID.
The Team is compiling an extremely rough draft of what a re-opening plan would entail in the future should we begin to plan for “in-person indoor gatherings.” Following further discussion of concerns from the medical and safety issues being employed by Christiana Care, Chester County Health Department, local hospital and nursing coordinators, the TF is not prepared to recommend large group indoor gatherings at this time. In addition, considering all the precautions that would be needed to maintain the safety of our members, visitors, and staff; social distancing, masking, no singing, no food or drinks; potentially no use of bathroom facilities except in emergency; limiting worship time to less than 45 minutes due to air-flow circulation and fresh- air replenishment in the space; and a contact tracing plan to be initiated, the TF believes the best opportunity for worship remains the current online worship being offered each week.
Recommendations from the Task Force … approved by Church Council
The top priority of the Task Force remains the ability for our congregation to worship together, while maintaining all safety precautions as directed by State and local healthcare professionals. The team continues to recommend the practice of “I am my brother’s keeper” at St. Michael, as we walk slowly through the process of getting back and maintaining “in-person activities”.
Current St. Michael COVID-19 Requirements …
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The Archangel Herald - Our monthly newsletter in PDF format.
At Home Communion During The Pandemic - In PDF format.
Lutherans Restoring Creation Bulletin - In PDF format.
Those Who Serve - Greeters, ushers, lectors, acolytes, communion servers, coffee hosts & altar flowers
The Simply Giving Program - Endorsed by Thrivent Financial Bank
Living Lutheran - The magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
About The ELCA - Mission, vision, history, and more
ELCA News - The latest from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
St. Michael Building Usage Policy - Please read before requesting use of any church facilities.
Facilities Usage Request - Print & complete and submit to the church office.
Kitchen Usage Request - Print & complete and submit to the church office.
Kitchen Clean-Up Checklist - Print & complete and submit to the church office.
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Enjoy Reading Good News?
If you enjoy reading good news, browsing the Web, or taking in a little history and humor while doing so, we think you’ll enjoy browsing these additional sections of our St. Michael Daily. They are updated EVERY day. We particularly enjoy reading the everyday hero stories in the PassItOn.com link at the top of our OTHER NEWS page.