Practices & Guidelines
Worship is central to the life of Immanuel Presbyterian Church.
As of June 6, 2021, the congregation worships in-person and virtually at 10:00 on Sunday mornings and at other times for special holy days.
The building remains closed for other church activities.
Join us for Virtual Coffee Hour following worship each Sunday morning at 11:30.
Go to the main Immanuel webpage
for all the current links for virtual worship and other church events.
Recordings of past services can be found here.
In-person worship guidelines include registration (for capacity monitoring & contact tracing), required masking, and distanced seating in the Sanctuary. Click here for a more details explanation of the current guidelines!
COVID-19 Update and steps toward fuller re-opening - October 22, 2021
Meeting this past week, both the Session and its COVID-19 Advisory Team continued to monitor area health metrics in taking steps to resume practices and programs that have been paused or modified by the pandemic. The Session has approved returning to in-person Christian education programs for children and youth in the “Peaceable Kingdom,” pending the installation of new air filters. The lower level is relatively new construction, and the HVAC system there meets current codes, providing a “safer” environment that will be further mitigated by classroom occupancy and masks.
All teachers and youth advisors are fully vaccinated, and we look forward to the soon-arriving vaccination for children under 12. Also under consideration are the eventual return of traditional sacramental practices for both Communion and Baptism and choral singing. Our careful, caring behaviors at church and everywhere else contribute to a healthier community.
Reopening Update - August 22, 2021
A gradual reopening of the church for worship began earlier this summer, with protocols for weekly pre-registration for in-person worship, required masking while in the church building, and spacing for pew seating. Livestreaming and recorded access continue for those who choose to worship from home.
The recent surge in the delta variant has delayed plans for fuller reopening. The Session and its Covid-19 Advisory Team are considering how to best move forward with the “safer” criteria we have adopted (as compared to “not safe” and “safest”).
Many factors are involved, including local health metrics, the particular geographic and age demographics of this congregation, an obedience to the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves, and a commitment to being an inclusive church.
As we move into another season shaped by the pandemic, Immanuel members and friends are invited to join those serving as elders, deacons, and trustees to hear a presentation by the executive director of the Wisconsin Council of Churches, the Rev. Kerri Parker, on ministry in the era of Covid variants. This virtual presentation will be the first part of the annual church leadership event on Tuesday, September 14 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting for church officers will follow. The WCC has provided wise and credible guidelines and resources to Wisconsin churches as well as to congregations across the Presbyterian Church (USA) https://www.wichurches.org/2021/01/14/returning-to-church/.
Returning to In-person Worship
On Thursday afternoon, May 20, Immanuel's Session (governing board) announced plans to slowly return to in-person worship beginning, Sunday, June 6, 2021.
The information below shares the guidelines that will continue to help lead this process.
Guidelines for Reopening the Church Building
The Session (church leadership board of elders and ministers) has established the COVID-19 Advisory team (CAT) to provide guidance and recommendations for reopening church facilities. Because the disease progression is imperfectly known, guidance and recommendations may need to change from time to time, and movement back and forth within the reopening plans should be accommodated for the purpose of preserving public health and safety and mitigating transmission of COVID-19 within church facilities that could be disruptive to Immanuel's mission. Criteria for resumption of activities and precautions taken will be reassessed as the COVID-19 situation evolves locally, nationally and around the world.
With these qualifications and conditions, the COVID-19 Advisory team recommended and the Session approved the following:
adoption of the Wisconsin Council of Church’s January 14, 2021 Holding Our Plans Loosely: Returning to Church 2.0 document as a guide for reopening, including the Wisconsin data for the “safest” reopening to watch for before resuming any indoor gatherings:
Vaccination rates to reach 70-85+% of the population
New COVID-19 cases to be less than 1/100k
COVID test reporting to be less than 5% positive
direct the CAT to move forward with an air quality analysis in the church building to determine if updates are needed to the HVAC system,
direct the CAT to produce occupancy diagrams incorporating best practices for socially distanced group assembly, and update the same as occupancy limits, spacing parameters, or other COVID protocols are updated by the source data (below), CDC, and the City of Milwaukee.
Wisconsin Council of Church’s Holding Our Plans Loosely: Returning to Church 2.0: https://www.wichurches.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Holding-Our-Plans-Loosely-Returning-to-Church-2-3.pdf
Vaccination data: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine-data.htm
Daily new cases: https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/
Daily positive COVID tests: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/data.htm#result
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