Dear Members of our Immanuel Church Family,

We have been daily monitoring the Covid-19 outbreak. In light of President Trump’s address, along with Gov. Newsome declaring a state of emergency, we feel that it is prudent to restrict activity on our campus for the health and safety of our church and school families. This letter describes the steps we are taking immediately, but first for some context.

The facts so far show that children are at very low risk of becoming ill. Indeed, there has not been a single death reported in the world of a child under the age of 10 dying from Covid-19. On the other hand, the elderly and infirm are particularly at risk. Mortality rates begin to climb after age 60, and those over 80 are at the highest risk.

While there is no current vaccine, there are measures to make sure you remain safe. 

  1. Most importantly, wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Do this regularly throughout the day.
  2. Limit non-essential travel and gatherings of large groups, especially if you are older or have health issues.
  3. If you become sick, do not leave your home and contact your doctor with your symptoms.

The following Church precautions are going into effect as of this Sunday, March 15. 

These precautions are based on our values of keeping our members safe, while continuing to serve God’s people through Word and Sacrament. These precautions will remain in effect until circumstances change for our area.  A separate set of precautions are being implemented for our school and will be available on our website.

CHURCH PRECAUTIONS

  • While our facilities are cleaned regularly by a contracted company as well as our staff, we are scheduling a deep clean as soon as possible.
  • We are canceling any extra events on campus, including Choir, JOY Group, Small Group Bible studies, Boy Scouts, and the like.
  • We are canceling Soup Supper and Midweek Services for Lent. We had a very low attendance this past Wednesday, and local health authorities are suggesting that we do not share food.
  • We will conduct our Principal Call Meeting this Sunday, but no food will be served. Chairs will be set up in rows at least 6 feet separating each row. With your help, we will conduct our call expeditiously and prayerfully.

WORSHIP PRECAUTIONS

  • We will provide limited seating in our sanctuary for both the 8:30am and 10:30am worship services. Every other pew will be closed off so that worshipers can remain a safe distance from one another.
  • All Bibles, Hymnals, Attendance Cards and Pencils will be removed from the pews.
  • Communion will be served to worshipers in the pew. Worshipers will be able to kneel using their pew kneeler in receiving Holy Communion.
  • Offerings will be taken at the door so that worshipers do not have to pass the plates.
  • We have already discontinued the Handshake of Fellowship.
  • There will be no hospitality served after the service (coffee and doughnuts). We encourage worshipers to return home after worship.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these precautions, please email our Head Elder Chip Sartorius at chip.sartorius@gmail.com President John Lundi at lundi.five@gmail.com or Pastor Steven at steven.borst@immanuelriverside.com

Finally, be greatly encouraged by these words of comfort from our Lord:

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way.” (Psalm 46:1)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

“We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)

We are His baptized children, and are dearly loved by our Heavenly Father. He has redeemed us through Jesus, and we are eternally saved. Take comfort and be of good courage!

Yours in Christ Jesus,
Rev. Steven Borst, Senior Pastor                 

John Lundi, President

Chip Sartorius, Head Elder