Indiana-Kentucky Synod, ELCA

March 2022

The CDC issued new guidelines for COVID-19 protocols in early March 2022. The new tool(accessed via the link above) is intended to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases
in an area.
As these numbers decrease, Indiana-Kentucky Synod Staff members are increasing travel for in-person meetings and worship with intentionality and, as always, with an eye toward loving, serving, and caring for the neighbor, especially those most vulnerable among us. Staff members will use the CDC county-by-county information to determine appropriate protocols to be
observed on a case-by-case basis and in conversation with leadership of the local community or congregation to be visited. Generally, the following will apply.
  • If a local ministry is not worshipping in-person or is unable to abide by the protocols, Synod staff are willing and able to preach and lead worship live via video conferencing. For ministries that are not able to offer live video conferencing, synod staff members continue to provide pre-recorded sermons and prayers for each Sunday and may encourage congregations to use this resource. In some instances, a particular staff member may be able to pre-record a sermon for use in a particular community where they are scheduled to preach.
In GREEN (low) counties, masks are neither required nor requested, but may be worn by those who prefer or need to do so.
  • In YELLOW (medium) counties, masks are recommended, especially if there will be singing. Social distancing may also be observed.
  • In ORANGE (high) counties, masks and distancing are expected.
  • Holy Communion: Distribution by the common cup and intinction (dipping bread/wafer in the wine) are discouraged. Distribution by individual or pre-packaged elements, either received where seated or via continuous fashion as a procession near the altar are encouraged, especially in yellow and orange counties. Pre-visit consultation and mutual agreement about Holy Communion practices with the synod staff person who will lead worship is requested.
  • Visiting synod staff members may choose not to partake in events that involve food, depending on their situation.
  • Synod staff in-person participation in or leadership of meetings with groups of people will be decided in consultation with the local leaders or conveners of the meetings. Three key questions will inform that decision.
  1. How urgent is the need for this meeting?
  2. Can the meeting be done effectively via live videoconferencing, e.g., Zoom?
  3. Does the local community have the technical capacity to engage live video conferencing?
  • In instances of in-person participation or leadership of meetings on the part of synod staff, mask, distancing, and food protocols will follow those described for worship above.
Thank you for your partnership in caring for one another in the name of Jesus as we make our way through this leg of the wilderness journey!
Summary of CDC Levels and Protocols