Frequently Asked Questions – COVID-19 edition

Updated Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Table of Contents
  • Where can I find information about COVID-19
  • What are the current directives to faith communities?
    • ” All gatherings of people for social, spiritual and recreational purposes are prohibited. This applies to both private and public gatherings which include everything from sleepovers for children to weddings and funerals. All of these types of events must be postponed for public health and safety.”
  • What Changes can I expect in our church community?
    • Central to the efforts to combat this outbreak are the elements of education with information from verified sources, proper personal care, effective cleaning and appropriate self-isolation.
    • The rapidly changing situation requires creative thinking, flexibility and adaptation.
    • You will observe these changes in;
      • how we access and care for our building
      • the ways you can connect with staff
      • how and where we do worship
      • the ways we remain connected as a community of faith
  • Is the church building open?
    • The ministry and work of Immanuel Community Services is a vital part of keeping our neighbors without homes, safe, healthy and fed. Volunteers and guests are asked to adhere to the ICS guidelines for health and safety.
    • All church business is being handled remotely. The church will be deferring to ICS guidelines about facility use.
    • Pastoral Care Emergencies remain a priority. You can reach the pastor via email, or by calling or texting the Pastoral Care number: 425-954-7293
  • Is the church building safe and clean?
    • The staff of ICS and ILC have been working diligently enacting Health Department sanitation procedures. Throughout this crisis, we are proud to say that our team has been, and continues to be, performing sanitation procedures that exceed the standard recommendation. We are confident that the building is as clean and safe as we can make it.
    • You can help in this effort by doing the following:
      • Follow Washington state directives in their most conservative interpretation. Now is not the time to look for loopholes.
      • Practice “social distancing.” Is my visit to the building part of an essential need or service that is only available by my being on site?
      • If so, then conduct a self-screening before considering entering the building
        • Have you, or anyone in your household, had a cough, fever and/or shortness of breath in the past 48 hours?
        • Have you been exposed to someone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis within the past 14 days?
        • Have you been notified that a place where you have been has put you in proximity to someone who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19?
        • If you can answer “No” to these screening questions, you are cleared to enter the building
      • Make use of sanitizer stations upon entering and exiting the building.
      • Wash your hands frequently while in the building.
      • Clean any work station or area behind you after use.
  • Is the church office open? What are the hours?
    • Church staff are working remotely from home as much as possible during regular hours of Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm.
    • Phone calls are being routed directly to voicemail. Staff are checking voicemail intermittently throughout the business day. Please know your calls are important to us and we will endeavor to respond in a timely manner. Please be aware that the home phone numbers of staff may be hidden from view on return calls.
    • Pastoral Care Emergencies remain a priority. You can reach the pastor:
      • By leaving a voicemail at the church 206-622-1930 ext. 103
      • via email,
      • or by calling/texting the Pastoral Care number: 425-954-7293
    • Deliveries and donations are still being received by appointment.
      • Donations of food can be dropped off on Saturdays and Sundays 10am-1pm.
      • For alternate times please contact ICS staff at to arrange a donation drop-off.
      • Please be advised we NEVER accept donations left outside our doors from unknown sources. We also NEVER accept donations that have been left outside after business hours.
  • Is worship happening?
    • We are working diligently with our team of leaders and volunteers to post pre-recorded worship services online for our community and to expand that access to those who are not connected to the internet.
    • Worship Service of the Word is Sundays at 10:30am
    • #40DaysMore Lenten Meditation on Facebook Live – Wednesdays at 11am
    • Holden Evening Prayer for Lent – Facebook Watch Party Wednesdays at 7pm
  • How do I access online worship?
    • Current services will be posted on YouTube on the day of service with links shared via Facebook and Instagram
      • Special services (like Holy Thursday) will be via Zoom (video/call-in conference system) contact office for call-in number and schedule
    • Videos of past worship services can be found:
    • Will we be having services during Holy Week & Easter?
      • There will be no worship on-site at Immanuel during Holy Week. In partnership with the Northwest Washington Synod of the ELCA, the following worship services will be available for our community. (Note thaime times indicate when ILC will share, post and announce worship services, in hopes of community gathering at the same time. Pre recorded videos will be available before and after posted times)
        • Palm Sunday (4/5/2020) – 10:30AM – Service of the Word – on Church YouTube, shared on Facebook
        • Holy Thursday (4/9/2020) – 6:30PM – Sacred Meal via Zoom (contact the office for info on how to join)
        • Good Friday (4/10/2020) – 6:30PM – Service of Seven Last Words – on Northwest Washington Synod ELCA YouTube
        • Easter Vigil (4/11/2020) – 6:30pm – on Church YouTube
        • Easter Sunday (4/12/2020) – 10:30am – on church YouTube
    • What about Funerals and Weddings?
      • It’s true that the governor’s order banning gatherings of 50+ persons, specifically names weddings and funerals as not allowed.
      • In times of dire need we will continue to be the church. Feel free to contact us to help you plan a small gathering (10 or less people) if the need arises.
  • Are outside groups meeting in the building?
    • Sunday By the Book AA meeting is meeting via Zoom   ( Meeting ID: 208 383 890    Password: 017506)  Dial in Number: +1 253 215 8782 US )
    • Friday Muslim Prayer has suspended its meetings
  • Are Church Committees and groups still meeting?
    • All church groups are asked to meet by phone or video conference (Zoom).
    • Contact Pastor Priscilla to set up your meeting on Zoom (a video/phone conference system)
  • Have any congregational events been rescheduled?
    • The March 15th Discernment Potluck was postponed. Rescheduling TBD
    • The March 22nd ICS Annual Meeting has been canceled/postponed.
    • Holy Week worship services will occur online, in partnership with other churches in the Syond. Stay tuned here for more information as plans develop.
HOW WILL WE Build Relationship and Nurture Community DURING THIS TIME?
  • It is important to note that no matter how we gather for worship, we continue to be the living presence of Christ beyond the walls of our building. So we encourage you to stay connected to the community.
  • Call, text, email and/or write letters to two or three people in the congregation and beyond with words of support and encouragement. Use your church directory as a starting point. One suggestion is to contact the names above and below you in the directory, in addition to at least one other person of your choosing. If you’re feeling energized by this, expand your check-ins and cards to folx beyond our congregation. Think especially of those who are most vulnerable, neighbors who live alone, nursing homes, hospitals, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, families with children at home and out of school, etc.
  • Council and Congregational Care are working to connect with everyone on our membership rolls, to assess resources and needs.
  • We invite your creative ideas for how we can Rekindle Hope and Celebrate and Share God’s Love during this time. Please send your ideas to Council.
  • Are ICS services still happening? What needs do they have?
    • ICS Food Bank, Hygiene Center and Recovery Shelter programs are all considered “essential services” and will continue to operate in some capacity as long as they are able to do so safely. Please see the Immanuel Community Services website and social media (Facebook , or on Instagram @icsseattle ) for updates.
  • Does the church have funds for Emergency Financial Assistance?
    • While there is an Emergency Assistance Fund, we are not presently distributing funds.
    • When funds are available, applicants should know the following:
      • Requests are to be made in person and needs will be verified
      • Disbursements are only in check form and cannot be written to individuals.
      • Applicants can only receive aid once every 90-days and cannot receive aid for the same matter more than once.
      • Disbursements are gifts with no expectations of return. However, volunteer service with our partner organization or donations to the fund are welcome.
    • You can donate to the Emergency Fund HERE.