Building Re-entry Update #1


Building Re-entry Planning Update

This article is to update the congregation on the initial discussions for ILC Building Re-Entry Planning.

  1. Building Re-entry Planning Committee

The recently established committee met April 10 to consider and complete the preparations needed to get ready to safely reenter the building for Sunday services and other activities. Research and recommendations will be provided by the committee as well as options that may be needed as things change over the next months. The committee consists of Karin Holt, Paul Algeo, Breanna Bry-Fairchild, Sherianne Caldwell, Jan Faull, Cindy Jackson, Lori Roehl, Kathy Obermeyer, Sam Pederson, MaryLou Pederson, and Pastor Priscilla Austin.

The committee discussed available articles with guidance and ideas for building re-entry, preparation activities ILC already has in-process, various options and decisions to address the ongoing safety considerations for re-entry, defining the sequence for moving activities back into the building and our criteria proceeding with increased use of the building

  1. Re-entry Philosophy

In preparing recommendations for initiating various church activities in the building, the committee will consider the following:

  • Follow CDC and state guidelines for best practices
  • Take advantage of the experience of ICS over the past year, and the excellent articles from the ELCA, Synod, and other churches
  • Develop a multi-step process for re-entry
  • Base the speed that we move forward with re-entry on the scientific infection rate data
  • Watch and see – learn from others – consider the various individual risk levels and risk tolerances of our members
  • Plan for flexibility and make changes/updates as we and other churches learn more
  • Provide regular communications with the congregation that set expectations, but do not give false hopes.
  1. Progress to Date

A significant amount of research and preparation has already begun that will provide the level of understanding needed to make the re-entry decisions that face us including:

  • Established the Building Re-entry Planning Committee
  • Discussed with ICS the facility, process and safety equipment and procedures they have put in place for their programs over the last year
  • All ILC and ICS staff have been recently vaccinated as have the men in the recovery shelter and many of the ICS hygiene and food bank clients
  • Initiated discussions with our insurance carrier about what they expect
  • Investigated sanctuary ventilation options
  • Identified a number of other issues that will require study and decisions as re-entry planning moves forward (see list of some of these issues below)
  • Pastor is currently writing the required “Exposure Control, Mitigation and Recovery Plan.”
  1. Re-entry Considerations/Decisions

The following are examples of some of the needed considerations and decisions that have been discussed that will be addressed by the Building Re-entry Committee, staff and Church Council as they develop the implementation details for moving toward full use of the building again:

  • Maintain worship options, such as continuing online services to address the range of risk tolerance and vulnerability in our congregation, some of whom will delay attending in-person services.
  • Maintain worship service attendance records for use in contact tracing should that be required
  • Options for moving to in-person communion in stages (e.g. drive through, etc.)
  • Choir singing options and location
  • Entry/Exit options to maintain safety protocols
  • Signage to remind attendees of the current safety protocols while in the building
  • Options for small group gatherings in the church – initially likely to be in the sanctuary only
  • Options/safety considerations for Joan’s retirement celebration
  • Facilities upgrades that may be needed for improved ventilation, filters, etc.
  • Determine when congregation will safely have access to the downstairs bathrooms and fellowship hall
  • Since regular education/communications to the congregation will be key to a smooth transition of activities back into the building, the Building Re-entry Committee will provide Newsletter reports and regular updates in the weekly Immanuel emails
  1. What is Next?

Each future Newsletter update will report on Progress, New Considerations/Decisions being evaluated, and more detail as to the changes that are planned for the Next Month.

  1. Questions/Suggestions

If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please contact the Building Reentry Committee through the contact form,

Committee members are Paul Algeo, Breanna Bry-Fairchild, Sherianne Caldwell, Jan Faull, Cindy Jackson, Karin Holt, Kathy Obermyer, Pastor Priscilla Paris-Austin, MaryLou and Sam Pederson, and Lori Roehl