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Updates – COVID-19

September 3, 2020

Update from Pastor Mark and Church Chair Karla Walker

The main office phone number will be staffed from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Watch our Facebook page, YouTube channel, and website for exciting and meaningful ways that we will continue ministry this fall.

 


 

August 7, 2020

Update from Pastor Mark and Church Chair Karla Walker

Letter emailed to the congregation and available online.

 


 

July 1, 2020

Stage 2 Plan for Moving Toward Re-Opening the Church Building for Ministry Activities

Salem’s Preparedness Plan – updated 07.22.2020

 


 

June 7, 2020

Update from Pastor Mark – Mission || Safety || Stages

Letter emailed to the congregation and available online.

The church building remains closed at this time.
Online ministry resources continue to be developed and will be ongoing.

The main office phone number will be staffed from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Watch our Facebook page, YouTube channel, and website for exciting and meaningful ways
that we will continue ministry during this time of social distancing.

 


 

May 22, 2020

Update from Pastor Mark

Congregational Letter – May 21, 2020
Link to online survey for Salem’s congregation

 

May 1, 2020
With the extension of stay-at-home orders and following a meeting of the Leadership Team, we have made the decision to continue to have the building closed through at least May 31. The situation will be continually monitored and we will keep you posted on any changes to this plan.

 

March 26, 2020
A letter from Senior Pastor Mark and Church Chairperson Karla Walker was mailed to the congregation this week. This letter shared many exciting updates on how Salem has been able to continue meaningful ministry during this time of social distancing. If you did not receive the letter, please click HERE for a copy.

 

March 17, 2020
All in-person activities are canceled until May 11, 2020. Online ministry resources are being developed and will be ongoing (see below). In consideration of public health concerns and updates to the recommendations from the MN Dept. of Health, CDC and the Governor related to COVID-19, we have decided to cancel all in-person activities for the next eight weeks (through May 11). The church building will be closed during this time. The main office phone number will be staffed from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Watch our Facebook page and website (see more below the video link) for exciting and meaningful ways that we will continue ministry during this time of social distancing. Please watch the video below for a message from Pastor Mark.

 

Meaningful ministry will continue during this time. Check back for updates.

 

March 16, 2020
All activities are canceled until May 11, 2020.

In consideration of public health concerns and updates to the recommendations from the MN Dept. of Health, CDC and the Governor related to COVID-19, we have decided to cancel all activities for the next eight weeks (through May 11). The church building will be closed during this time. The main office phone number will be staffed from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Watch our Facebook page and website for exciting and fun ways that we will continue ministry during this time of social distancing.

 

March 13, 2020
No Services or other activities from Saturday, March 14 through Sunday, March 22. 

Dear Salem family,

The Governor and Minnesota Department of Health have requested that the public do their part in containing the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus. Their official recommendation is to cancel group gatherings of 250 or more, meetings of less than 250 people where six feet of space between people is not possible, and groups where the majority of people are at highest risk of contracting the virus. In light of these recommendations, we have made the decision to cancel all worship services and ministry activities from Saturday, March 14 through Sunday, March 22. Please know this decision was not made lightly or from a place of fear or panic but in prayer and out of care for those who are most vulnerable to this virus.

While we will not have in-person gatherings, the ministry will continue. Please be in prayer for those impacted by the virus, government officials, medical professionals, and the church. Check-in with friends who might be alone or who are most vulnerable to this virus. And if you are able, we encourage you to continue giving financially to Salem by mailing your offering to the church or giving electronically (https://salem-covenant.church/give-serve/financial-gifts/). If you have a specific need during this time, please contact Pastor Dan Bergstom, Congregational Care Pastor, or me. We want to stay connected, caring for and supporting one another.

The situation is changing rapidly. We will do our best to keep you updated through our website, social media, email newsletter, and Salem app. The Salem Staff will be talking Monday morning regarding office hours and ministry plans moving forward. Any updates can be found on the above-listed sites.

Let us remember: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.”

In Christ,

Alice Johnson
Executive Pastor
ajohnson@salem-covenant.church

 


 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is dominating the news and we continue to learn more about its impact each day. We are concerned about how this affects those who participate in ministries at Salem as well as our staff. We are consulting with medical professionals as well as other informed individuals in our community on an ongoing basis to determine the necessary adjustments we need to make to best protect everyone’s health.

We are closely following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Health Department guidelines, recommendations, and requirements to discern steps we can take to help prevent the spread of the virus. Be assured that our Facilities Staff are taking additional measures to ensure that we are regularly disinfecting all surfaces, doorknobs, and handles. We are asking our greeters to smile and welcome you but not to shake hands. We have eliminated the greeting time in Contemporary Worship services and are taking extra precautions when serving food.

We are listening to what local and national authorities advise as we determine any necessary response as a church. At this point, no guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Minnesota Health Department are mandating that we alter normal operations or ministries. As you may have heard, many educational institutions, businesses, and other organizations have placed limits on large gatherings and/or non-essential travel. If we need to limit activities at church, we will communicate these changes through the Salem app, website, and email. The coronavirus is now considered a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO); please understand that new recommendations for the alteration of activities could change more rapidly than many of us are accustomed to. Unfortunately, there is no clear guideline on when the current situation will substantially subside.

We, of course, encourage everyone to use their own discretion in taking necessary precautions especially recognizing that older adults (predominantly those age > 60) and those with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and lung disease may be at higher risk of getting sick from this disease. If you need to miss church for any reason including illness, sermons are available at www.Salem-Covenant.Church and a recording of our entire Traditional Service can be requested through the Church Office. Requests may be made with Janice Zdrazil (jzdrazil@salem-covenant.church or 651-633-9615).

The Health Department says that the steps you normally take to prevent the spread of flu and the common cold are the same steps to help prevent Coronavirus:

  • Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Please stay home if you are experiencing any upper respiratory symptoms, have run a fever in the last 24 hours, or are sick. The 3 most common symptoms of coronavirus are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
  • When handwashing is not possible, hand sanitizers are recommended. You will find these located throughout the church.
  • Avoid touching your face.

If you have any questions or additional concerns, please directly contact Executive Pastor Alice Johnson (ajohnson@salem-covenant.church).

Let us be in prayer together for those impacted by this virus and for God’s protection for all of us.

 


 

Below are links that you may follow for the most up to date information that is being provided.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/guidance-community-faith-organizations.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcommunity%2Fguidance-community-faith-organizations.html

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/prevention.html

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