We were the first congregation in the city to gather for worship on the 24th of May. A week earlier, the church committee had test run a worship under Corona restrictions. At the time, indoor religious gatherings were allowed with up to 10 people. As we do not know yet for how long these regulations will apply, we want to inform you about how we deal with them in the meantime. We explain how we meet distance and hygiene rules within our services: We have set up hand sanitizers everywhere and are asking everyone to use these diligently. Everyone needs to sign in their names and contact details at the entrance. This is obligatory for the case that a possible infection can be traced back. After four weeks, this list will be destroyed. We copy song sheets and use these to mark the seats. When you arrive at church, you can immediately see the distances between each seat: more than 2 meters to the right and left, 1.5 meters to the front and back. These spaced seats give us the reassurance that we can also sing within the service.
Until the 21st of June a maximum of 20 people can gather inside our church, after that 50 people. Due to the relax of restrictions we were able to place the postponed AGM on the last statutory date at the end of June. The AGM will be held inside the church this year. 50 attending members will be close to our maximum density of people in an enclosed room. However, we can assume that some participants live in one household and can sit together. Therefore, we can meet the necessary distancing rules.
During the month of June our “Kirchenkaffee” has been taking place outside. It is getting colder and we will find ways of using the heated church hall again. Though the usual self-service will probably not exist for a while yet. Attending church, you can feel mixed emotions of caution and joy. We greet each other differently, wave to one another. At the church entrance it is difficult to keep the required distance – we might have to make room to pass each other. Everything is a bit strange and different in these times. But we also laugh a lot, about our own and shared insecurity – and thus enjoy the joy of finally being back together.
We celebrate worship with contradictions as we recommend those who belong to a risk group to stay at home. We do not want to have someone become infected in our church, but at the same time we cordially invite you.