TLC Updates March 2020 to Date - Transfiguration Lutheran Church - Bloomington, Minnesota

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February 25, 2021
Latest update from the COVID-19 Response Team
Here’s the latest from the team on how Covid-19 is impacting TLC ministries (2/25/21 Current Case Count/10,000 people: 18.1)

In-Person Worship at TLC is possible on Sunday, March 14, 2021
      
The TLC Covid Response Team will be doing a regular update of both the case counts in Hennepin County as well as the impacts on ministry and programming at TLC. Here is the latest from the team:

-Case count/10,000 people is currently 18.1 in Hennepin Count.
-We just entered Phase 4 of our response plan - the Covid Response Team will be addressing Program implications
-Youth Ministry  is open for hybrid activities with plans being made for phase 4
-Children’s Ministry will also be starting work on a hybrid schedule. It will be some monthly events and a monthly “Sunday School” potentially starting in April
-In-person worship will be scheduled when case count drops below 30 for two consecutive weeks. The tentative date for in-person worship is March 14.

[Editor’s note: You may view the daily case count at the following website.
(it takes several seconds to display all the data)
  
TLC COVID  Response Team
Brown, Jeanine
Erickson, Pete
Jorschumb, Steve
Millford, Janice
Murray, Arthur
Olson, Louise
Reber, Michelle
Reid, Rob
Wenge, Karen
February 19, 2021
Latest update from the COVID-19 Response Team
Here’s the latest from the team on how Covid-19 is impacting TLC ministries (Current Case Count/10,000 people: 20.6)

In-Person Worship at TLC is possible on Sunday, March 14, 2021
      
The TLC Covid Response Team will be doing a regular update of both the case counts in Hennepin County as well as the impacts on ministry and programming at TLC. Here is the latest from the team:

-Case count/10,000 people is currently 20.6 in Hennepin County
-We are in Phase 2 of our response plan
-Youth Ministry is opening for hybrid activities
-Children’s Ministry will also be starting work on a hybrid schedule. It will be some monthly events and a monthly “Sunday School” potentially starting in April
-In-person worship will be scheduled when case count drops below 30 for two consecutive weeks. Next possible date for in-person worship is March 14.

[Editor’s note: You may view the daily case count at the following website.
(it takes several seconds to display all the data)
  
TLC COVID  Response Team
Brown, Jeanine
Erickson, Pete
Jorschumb, Steve
Millford, Janice
Murray, Arthur
Olson, Louise
Reber, Michelle
Reid, Rob
Wenge, Karen
February 12, 2021
Latest update from the COVID-19 Response Team
Here’s the latest from the team on how Covid-19 is impacting TLC ministries (Current Case Count/10,000 people: 22.5)  
         
The TLC Covid Response Team will be doing a regular update of both the case counts in Hennepin County as well as the impacts on ministry and programming at TLC. Here is the latest from the team:

-Case count/10,000 people is currently 22.5 in Hennepin County
-We are in Phase 2 of our response plan
-Youth Ministry is opening for hybrid activities on February 10th
-In-person worship will be scheduled when case count drops below 30 for two consecutive weeks. Next possible date for in-person worship is March 14.

[Editor’s note: You may view the daily case count at the following website.
(it takes several seconds to display all the data)
  
TLC COVID  Response Team
Brown, Jeanine
Erickson, Pete
Jorschumb, Steve
Millford, Janice
Murray, Arthur
Olson, Louise
Reber, Michelle
Reid, Rob
Wenge, Karen
February 3, 2021
Latest update from the COVID-19 Response Team
Here’s the latest from the team on how Covid-19 is impacting TLC ministries (Current Case Count/10,000 people: 39)  
         
The TLC Covid Response Team will be doing a regular update of both the case counts in Hennepin County as well as the impacts on ministry and programming at TLC. Here is the latest from the team:

-Case count/10,000 people is currently 30.9 in Hennepin County
-We are in Phase 2 of our response plan(See the full response plan at tlcmn.com/covid19)
-Youth Ministry is opening for hybrid activities on February 10th
-In-person worship will be scheduled when case count drops below 30 for two consecutive weeks. Next possible date for in-person worship is March 14.

[Editor’s note: You may view the daily case count at the following website.
(it takes several seconds to display all the data)
  
TLC COVID  Response Team
Brown, Jeanine
Erickson, Pete
Jorschumb, Steve
Millford, Janice
Murray, Arthur
Olson, Louise
Reber, Michelle
Reid, Rob
Wenge, Karen
January 13, 2021
Latest update from the Church Council and COVID-19 Response Team
Here’s the latest from the team on how Covid-19 is impacting TLC ministries (Current Case Count/10,000 people: 39)  
         

QUESTION:
When is TLC opening for program activities?

ANSWER:
Here is the latest recommendation from the team to the Church Council about in-person programming. The Covid Response Team recommends starting the clock on observing case trends over the next two weeks. If the number stays below 50 over the next two weeks, the team recommends opening for hybrid ministry for confirmation and peer ministers. The current number for cases/10,000 people in Hennepin County: 39. Here’s how this recommendation impacts planning at church.

This would entail small groups meeting in four designated spaces at church, with social distancing, masks, and procedures for building/space use. Small group leaders would be trained in processes before moving to the hybrid model. This model would be inclusive of students who decide to stay in a distance model. NOTE: The case/10,000 people number must remain below 50 in order to make this change. If the number jumps to 50 or above, we would wait until the number sits below 50 in order to restart the clock. The numbers and science will guide us. The team will also implement a short survey for families to get more updated feedback about this potential shift in programming.

[Editor’s note: A point of reference… as of January 15, Hennepin County has 35.6 cases per 10,000.  
Source (give it a few moments to load on your browser): https://www.hennepin.us/residents/emergencies/covid-public-dashboard
  
TLC COVID  Response Team
Brown, Jeanine
Erickson, Pete
Jorschumb, Steve
Millford, Janice
Murray, Arthur
Olson, Louise
Reber, Michelle
Reid, Rob
Wenge, Karen
December 10, 2020
Latest update from the Church Council and COVID-19 Response Team
         
Dear   Beloved Church,
  
This   is the latest update from the Church Council and COVID-19 Response Team for   December 2020.

The   TLC Church Council, at the recommendation of the TLC COVID Response Team, and   after consulting the  recommendations and established guidelines by the   State of Minnesota, Center for Disease Control and Bloomington Public   Health, have decided to continue to keep the church building closed   (except the ELC) and continue online programming for worship and program   ministries through the end of December. We will continue to monitor the   case numbers and revisit our approach to worship and programming in   January.

In the meantime, we encourage you to participate in the online worship, resources, and programming that Transfiguration Lutheran Church is providing during the Advent Season. Here’s what that looks like:

- WORSHIP: Online Worship on Sundays at 10:00AM. “Holden Evening Prayer” with guest preachers and musicians, Wednesdays at 6:30PM.
- CHILDREN: “Songs & Stories” Sundays at 9:30AM, “Wandering Nativity” during the “Time for Children” at Sunday Worship, and “Weekly Storytime with Pastor Melanie” on FB Live, Wednesdays at 6:00 PM.
- COMMUNITY: Family Nativity (December 24 at 2PM) is a video which will be the ONLINE Christmas Eve Service at 2:00PM. Connect with Pete Erickson (perickson@tlcmn.org) to get involved. [Editor's note: There will be other services throughout the day and evening]
- MISSION/OUTREACH: Support VEAP the weeks of December 7 and December 14. Please bring your items and place them in the bins just inside the west doors.

FOR YOUR REFERENCE: The Covid-19 Response Team put together an at-a-glance resource that will guide our decisions about worship, programming and building use based on established guidelines and data. Here’s a quick look at the worship and program implications based on cases/10,000 people:
  
  
Worship: Will resume in-person 8:30AM with   restrictions when cases are 20-29/10,000 people.
Confirmation/Sunday School: Will resume in-person (w/online   option) with restrictions when cases are 11-19/10,000 people.
Youth Ministry: Will resume in-person (w/online   option) with restrictions when cases are 11-19/10,000 people.
Small Groups: Will resume with restriction when   cases are 11-19/10,000 people.
Events/Building Use: Will resume with restriction when   cases are 11-19/10,000 people.
  
[Editor’s note: A point of reference… as of November 30, 2020,   Hennepin County has 114.4 cases per 10,000.  
  
To view the full resource and the most updated information about the status of programming and building use, please refer to the below pdf display or call the church office. We pray that you stay safe and well.
  
  
TLC COVID  Response Team
Brown, Jeanine
Erickson, Pete
Jorschumb, Steve
Millford, Janice
Murray, Arthur
Olson, Louise
Reber, Michelle
Reid, Rob
Wenge, Karen
COVID Plan as of December 2020
November 19, 2020
Latest COVID Recommendations & Guidelines:
The Church Building Remains Closed
 
 
Dear Beloved Church,
The TLC Church Council, at the recommendation of the TLC Covid Response Team, and after consulting the  recommendations and established guidelines by the State of Minnesota, Center for Disease Control and Bloomington Public Health, have decided to continue to keep the church building closed (except the ELC) and continue online programming for worship and program ministries through the end of December. This decision is consistent with the Bloomington School district. We will continue to monitor the case numbers and revisit our approach to worship and programming in January.
In the meantime, we encourage you to participate in the online worship, resources, and programming that Transfiguration Lutheran Church is providing. We hope that they are providing support and encouragement for you in these days. Pastor Arthur and the TLC Staff continue to be available by phone, email and video conference for pastoral support and other needs as they arise.
As we consider how to be the church in these unusual times, we are guided not just by public health directives, but also by the multiple commitments of our faith. These can be in tension with each other at times. For example:

1. Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Therefore, out of love for one another and concern for the well-being (particularly of the most vulnerable) we will take every precaution and follow state recommendations to ensure the health and safety of all.

2. We worship a God who chose to become flesh and dwell among us. God came to us “in person.” As the Easter story reminds us, this movement of God to dwell with us was not without risk. Jesus tells us that when two or three are gathered together, he is with us. Gathering together is essential to who we are as the body of Christ. Therefore, we will establish clear plans to resume in-person gathering as soon as state guidelines permit.

For the most updated information about the status programming and building use, please visit the front page of our website and click on “Covid 19” or call the church office. We pray that you stay safe and well.

Your TLC Council & COVID Response Team


November 1, 2020
In Case You Were Wondering…
 
 
If I could attend worship services at TLC in-person, what would they be like during this time of the COVID pandemic?
 

As determined by TLC’s COVID response team, the “Stay Safe Minnesota” campaign, and the CDC, opening up TLC’s sanctuary for in-person worship services (e.g. Sunday mornings @ 10:00am) would present an experience something like this:

-Capacity of the sanctuary would be limited to approximately 50 people, including pastors, musicians, ushers, and technical staff.  Why 50 when various agencies and government state 25-50% capacity?  Because of the size of TLC’s sanctuary and the socially distance mandate of no less than 6 feet in all directions (see next item).

-Congregants would be seated in every other row of pews, be required to wear face masks and socially distance themselves from another congregant in that pew and in front and behind by 6 feet.

-Families could sit together, but be spaced on all sides 6 feet from another non-family congregant (pew lengths may differ, but you could approximate 3 individuals or one family and a single individual per every other row of pews).

-There would be no live “singing” or “brass” performances by TLC musicians because both project increased aerosol droplets at a greater distance from the person singing or blowing into an instrument. Those performances would be pre-recorded and presented via projections on the Sanctuary wall-screens during the worship service.

-Congregants are not allowed to sing.  Again, due to amplified aerosol dispersion of the virus-containing droplets from the mouth and nose of a potentially infected person.

-The worship service would basically consist of the pastor performing the welcome/announcements, liturgy, prayers, sermon and communion – where communion would be non-contact.  Congregants would be provided with a small communion “kit” of juice/wafer as previously used at the TLC drive-in services.

-There would be no fellowship inside the building before or after the service.

-Cleanup and sanitizing the sanctuary, narthex, and entrance areas post-service by TLC’s contracted cleaning service would be comprehensive; involving distinctive (and higher cost) methods of sterilization.

               
 
Source Links of COVID-19 containment:
 
Stay Safe Minnesota – Minnesota COVID-19 Response
   
 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 

UPDATE as of October 15, 2020

As previously published, October 25 was the date being considered for possible public, in-person worship services to resume at TLC. At this current time, the Minnesota Department of Health is reporting a trend of increasing cases of coronavirus in our area.  Also, in reviewing our survey data from August of 2020 [available in the pdf preview below], the majority of our respondents from TLC would prefer to wait to worship in-person until they feel safe. Therefore, our COVID Response Team, TLC church staff, along with its council members, recommend postponing in-person worship for the time being. Their current recommendation is to continue to dedicate efforts to maintain high quality online worship offerings. These groups will continue to revisit and discuss this information regularly as we move through the fall. The implementation of safe, in-person worship will be pushed out to a future date to be determined.


Melinda Chau
TLC Council

Please express your questions, comments and concerns via email to: council@tlcmn.com



COVID Response Update: Re-Opening the Church
RESULTS OF THE AUGUST 6, 2020 SURVEY (open for input 8-6-20 thru 8-10-20)

Many thanks to all who filled out the survey last week (August 6 thru August 10). It provided crucial feedback in helping the Covid Response Team make a recommendation to Council at the August meeting this past Tuesday regarding re-opening of the church building. You may read the recommendation below which was adopted unanimously by Council. The full responses to the survey follow.
 
To briefly summarize, the current recommendation is to continue to dedicate efforts to maintaining high quality online worship offerings, including regular outdoor worship. Necessary training of staff and volunteers will begin in September to prepare for eventual in-person worship. The earliest possible date being considered for public, in-person worship is October 25. This is subject to change. Sunday School, Confirmation and High School ministry is being planned in consultation with families and will begin in October, probably with a combination of online and outdoor offerings, weather permitting.
 
I am incredibly grateful to the ongoing extraordinary work of the dedicated TLC Staff, who continue to tend to their duties in very unusual circumstances and to the TLC Church Council who are highly engaged and wrestling deeply with the challenges and blessings of tending to the health of the community in these times. Also, my sincere gratitude goes to the Covid Response Team led by Pete Erickson and Jeanine Brown who will continue to work on planning and implementing our response as we move forward into the fall.
 
We miss you. We miss gathering in person. We trust one another to God’s daily provision and care.
 
May the Almighty God bless and keep you this and every day,
 
Pastor Arthur

Survey DATA Answers
Survey TEXT Responses
COVID-19 Response Update for TLC - July 1, 2020 Update

  • The church building remains closed to gatherings of any size due to the ongoing essential service ministry of the Early Learning Center.
  • Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for funerals, weddings and baptisms. Contact a pastor directly to discuss.
  • Individual access to the building requires prior approval from a staff member, mandatory mask and social distancing protocols.
  • Outdoor gatherings are permitted. Please bring your own lawn chairs. Bathrooms are not available. Masks are recommended.
  • A Covid Leadership Team is being formed to consider the safe expansion of building use.
  • Prayers are highly recommended and sincerely requested as together we seek to adapt and “be the church” in new and vital ways in these ever changing times.


While in-person gatherings remain on hold, active ministry continues in a wide variety of forms. The church truly is not a building!

Small groups and ministry teams that have met or are meeting during this time include:

  • Church Council – Zoom
  • TLC Walkers - Outdoors
  • Stewardship Team – Outdoors
  • Strategy Team - Zoom
  • Racial Justice Team - Zoom
  • Men’s Golf League – Dwan Golf Course (New location)
  • TLC Staff – Zoom
  • Mission and Outreach Team – Zoom
  • Families with Small Children – in driveways and neighborhoods
  • RIC Ally Team – Zoom
  • Men’s Beer/Bible Group – Zoom
  • Stephen Ministry Team – Zoom
  • Worship Planning Team – Zoom
  • Pastoral Care Team – Zoom
  • New - Intern Pastor Grace’s Bible Study – Zoom
  • Confirmation Small Groups – Zoom
  • Peer Ministers and High Schoolers – Zoom
  • Financial Team – Zoom
  • K3P3 knitters – Parking Lot
  • Library Team – Zoom
  • Property Committee - Zoom
  • TLC Faith, Fact, and Fiction Book Club - Zoom
  • TLC Woodwinds - Google Duo
  • TLC Handbells - Zoom
  • TLC Chancel Choir - Zoom
  • New - TLC Garden Group – Outdoors (Church gardens and landscaping)
  • Addiction Awareness Team – Zoom
  • Welcoming Diversity Team – Parking Lot
  • Dad’s Support Group – Zoom
  • Women’s Café Group – Zoom, Text, Parking Lot
  • Boundary Waters Planning – Zoom
  • Pastoral Visits – Driveways by request

Please let us know if you are interested in connecting with other TLC’ers in any of the ways listed above, or let us know if you have an idea for safely gathering that we can help you put into action.
Also, if you know of an active group that is not listed above, please let us know and we will add to the list!


COVID - TLC INITIAL REACTIONS - MARCH 2020

Coronavirus Preparedness
Even as we put our faith and hope in God, we also follow the advice and recommendations of those in the medical field as follows:

Current Recommendations from TLC Staff and Council
  • If you are not feeling well and are exhibiting cold or flu symptoms, please stay home. The CDC's recommendation is to “stay home until you are fever free for 24 hours without the help of a fever reducer.” Join us online at www/tlcmn.com/live or www.tlcgo.live.  If you need help accessing the online streaming service, please contact Brad Nolte at media@tlcmn.com
  • If you do attend church, thoroughly wash your hands before and after church.
  • Avoid touching your face and do not shake hands. We will be smiling, waving and nodding when greeting one another and during the sharing of the peace.
  • At distribution of communion, only those with thoroughly sanitized hands will distribute the bread and wine. Please receive the bread with your palms open so the server does not make contact with your hands. We will be switching to communion wafers until the current situation resolves.
  • The church maintenance crew will be increasing the level and frequency of sanitation for all surfaces that come into contact with hands.

Future Plans
Should the situation require, TLC may suspend all public gatherings (worship, meetings). The church will utilize software for video conferencing and phone conferencing as needed for regular meetings and gatherings. The office phone number (952-884-2364) is answered either by staff or an automated system that will direct your call to the person to whom you wish to speak.

We anticipate that live-streaming of worship will continue even should a physical gathering not take place.

Should regular gatherings be suspended, phone and email chains will be established to maintain contact within the TLC community. Please contact Pastor Arthur if you are willing to be involved in this effort should the need arise.  amurray@tlcmn.com

We understand there are those that do not use or have access to our “digital” forms of communications and we need your help.  If you know of anyone who doesn’t use email or live-streaming, please give them a phone call and update them on the situation.

Keep one another in your prayers. We will be doing the same for all of you. None of us are in this alone. God’s peace be with you this and every day.
 
 
 
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