guidelines for Worship

1. Worship will be at 9:00 am, both inside the Sanctuary and a portion of the parking lot will be reserved for those attending Drive-in Worship.

2. We will ask that you seat yourselves and observe appropriate social distancing (6 feet apart from anyone other than your immediate family). Please ask an Usher for direction.

3. If you have any other special needs or considerations, please contact the Office and we will try to accommodate your needs.

4. We will be observing the Lord’s Supper using the normal schedule on  Sunday mornings. If you have the need, and do not feel comfortable with these options, please contact Pastor during regular business hours and private Communion can be scheduled.

5. For the safety of all members & visitors, we will be implementing the following changes, until further notice, in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 20-99:

A. All people are directed to wear their mask at all times while in the Church building, with the exception of receiving the Lord’s Supper.

B. If you enter the building without a mask, you will be offered one.

C. If for any reason you cannot comply with the Governors mandate, you will be asked to return to your vehicle and listen on the radio, or watch the service online later.

6. Those choosing to worship in their vehicles, are asked to wear a mask anytime their window is rolled down and they are interacting with others.


COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for   

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (Good Shepherd) is committed to providing a safe and healthy campus for all our Staff, volunteers, members, and visitors. To ensure we have a safe and healthy campus, we have developed the following COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff, volunteers, members, and visitors are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 on our campus and in our communities, and that requires full cooperation of everyone. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of those frequenting Good Shepherd.

Staff, volunteers, members, and visitors are responsible for implementing and/or complying with all aspects of this COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Good Shepherd’s Staff have full support in enforcing the provisions of this policy.  The Pastor is designated as the Plan Administrator.

At Good Shepherd, we are serious about the health and safety of all people. Staff involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. We have involved our Staff in this process by soliciting their concerns and feedback and incorporating their feedback into this plan. Our COVID-19 Preparedness Plan follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines, Federal OSHA standards related to COVID-19, and Executive Order 20-48 & 20-99 (and amendments) and addresses:

  • •      hygiene and respiratory etiquette;
  • •      engineering and administrative controls for social distancing;
  • •      cleaning, disinfecting, decontamination and ventilation;
  • •      prompt identification and isolation of sick persons;
  • •      communications and training that will be provided to staff, volunteers, members, and visitors;  and
  • •      management and supervision necessary to ensure effective implementation of the plan.

Screening and policies for staff and volunteers exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19

Staff, volunteers and members have been informed of and encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The following policies and procedures are being implemented to assess their health status prior to entering Good Shepherd and have them report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms. All Staff, volunteers and members:

  • 1.    Will stay home and notify Good Shepherd’s Pastor if they are experiencing any suspected COVID-19 symptoms or if a family member is experiencing any suspected COVID-19 symptoms.
  • 2.    Will stay home if they are “at risk” for higher susceptibility to becoming infected from or experiencing any adverse effects from COVID-19.
  • 3.    While at Good Shepherd, if any Staff member develops or experiences COVID-19 symptoms, they will immediately go home and/or seek medical attention.  Once off the premises, they will contact the Pastor who will immediately take measures to clean and disinfect affected work areas.

“At risk” is defined by Executive Order 20-55 as people who are: 65 years and older; living in a nursing home or a long term care facility; and any age with underlying medical conditions, including, but not limited to, chronic lung disease, severe asthma, serious heart conditions, immunocompromised, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis and liver disease.  

Good Shepherd has implemented a procedure for informing workers if they have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 at their workplace, requiring them to be tested for COVID-19, and  requiring them to quarantine for the required amount of time if they test positive. These exposures will be documented. Staff members and any affected volunteers and/or members will be notified by the Pastor if another Staff member or volunteer has experienced COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive.  Staff members, volunteers and members exposed to anyone who has tested positive will self-quarantine for a period of two weeks.  Staff members have the ability to, and will be expected to, work from home.

All health information and the health status of all volunteers and Staff members will be protected.


Basic infection prevention measures are being implemented at our workplaces at all times. Staff members, volunteers and members are instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of their shift, prior to any mealtimes and after visiting the bathrooms.  All visitors to the workplace will be required to sanitize their hands prior to or immediately upon entering the facility. Hand-sanitizer dispensers (that use sanitizers of greater than 60% alcohol) are at entrances and at various locations throughout Good Shepherd so they can be used for hand hygiene in place of soap and water, as long as hands are not visibly soiled. 

Respiratory etiquette:  Cover your cough or sneeze

Staff members, volunteers, members and visitors are being instructed to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and to avoid touching their face, in particular their mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. They should dispose of tissues in provided trash receptacles and wash or sanitize their hands immediately afterward. Respiratory etiquette will be posted at all entryways and supported by making tissues and trash receptacles available to all workers, customers and visitors.

Social distancing and masks

Social Distancing of six feet will be implemented and maintained between Staff members, volunteers, members and visitors at Good Shepherd.  The wearing of masks is required of anyone entering Good Shepherd.  Masks have been made available to volunteers and Staff members and Good Shepherd has a limited number of additional masks on hand.  Signage will be posted at all entrances.

Food and drinks

No shared or common food and drinks are allowed at Good Shepherd. 

Cleaning, Disinfection, and Ventilation

Regular housekeeping practices are being implemented, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment, and areas in the work environment, including restrooms, meeting rooms. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in high-touch areas, such as phones, keyboards, touch screens, controls, door handles, railings, copy machines, equipment, etc.  Cleaning Staff will continue to clean Good Shepherd weekly, concentrating on all high touch areas.  Staff members will clean and disinfect their individual work areas and any other areas that they frequent or use.  All member groups meeting at Good Shepherd will clean and disinfect all areas used to include tables, chairs and all high touch areas, such as doors, door handles and bathrooms at the beginning and end of the meeting. 

Appropriate and effective cleaning and disinfectant supplies have been purchased and are available for use in accordance with product labels, safety data sheets and manufacturer specifications and are being used with required personal protective equipment for the product.  Cleaning and disinfecting supplies are available in the office and in the kitchen area.  Cleaning must be done by someone wearing an appropriate protective mask and gloves. All areas should be sprayed down with the supplied disinfecting solution and wiped down with supplied paper towels.  

The maximum amount of fresh air is being brought into the workplace, air recirculation is being limited and ventilation systems are being properly used and maintained. Steps are also being taken to minimize air flow blowing across people.  

Small Groups/Meetings

*See Attachments

Worship Services (Including baptisms, weddings and funerals)

**See Attachments


This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan was communicated electronically to all Staff members and have been shared at Staff meetings.  The plans have also been shared with Board of Presidents, Deacons, Council, and volunteers.  A copy will be provided to any groups meeting at Good Shepherd.  Staff members are to monitor how effective the program has been implemented by observing compliance and correcting any violations.  This COVID-19 Preparedness Plan has been certified by Good Shepherd Staff and it will be updated as necessary.

Updated and Certified by:

Jon Niebuhr, Pastor           John Brinkman, Board of Presidents               

November 19, 2020

Attached: Protocols for Music, Protocols for Group Meetings, Protocols for Worship


Worship Services (Including baptisms, weddings and funerals)

Essential worship services will include regular religious services and other celebrations (e.g., baptisms, weddings, and funerals). They will not include social gatherings or public events, though small group studies and support meetings, appropriately distanced, could be allowed. The following precautionary measures will be put in place:


1.    Participants who are at risk (as previously defined) for higher susceptibility to becoming infected from or experiencing any adverse effects from COVID-19 are encouraged to stay home;

2.    Participants will stay home if they are experiencing any suspected COVID-19 symptoms or if a family member is experiencing any suspected COVID-19 symptoms;

3.    Participants will maintain a social distance of at least six feet from people not in the same household at all times;

4.    Occupancy for worship services will be limited to a maximum of 240 people.  This number is inclusive of congregants, staff, singers, musicians, elders, greeters, ushers and any volunteers. Including another 75 people in the fellowship hall for overflow;

5.    Pews will be roped off so that people cannot sit closer than 6 feet (unless they are members of the same household living together);

6.    The space will be thoroughly sanitized after each service, including all entryways and doors, if another service is scheduled for less than 72 hours time between services. Hand sanitizer will be available at all entryways;

7.    Interior doors will be propped open and traffic patterns will be introduced where possible to ensure Social Distancing. Ushers will assist when necessary to help maintain physical distancing;

8.    Signs will be posted concerning Social Distancing and sanitation requirements and reminders will be offered;

9.    Collection plates and other items will not be passed person to person;

10.The wearing of facemasks will be required coming into and leaving the Sanctuary.  Participants will be encouraged to bring their own protective wear including facemasks.

11.People will be instructed not to greet each other with touching;

12.Signs and other instructions will encourage normal safe practices necessary to stop the spread (e.g. cough or sneeze into a shirtsleeve, handkerchief, or tissue; avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth to help slow the spread of germs);

13.Hymnals, Bibles and informational cards have been removed from the pews;

14.Ventilation will be increased as much as possible, opening windows and doors, as weather permits;

15.Restroom use will be limited to no more than two people at a time.  Signs will be placed on the restroom doors limiting restroom use;


Communion Practice

  • 1.     We will have cups ready to serve overflow and parking lot attendees.
  • 2.    Sanctuary
  • a.     Need one usher to direct people forward. 
  • b.    We will do one side at a time. 
  • c.     It will be served as walk through on the one side for all.
  • 3.    Wear a mask while ushering.
  • 4.    Set up of Communion
  • a.     Individual cups only.
  • b.    Set only one wafer bowl, and the chalice, at the altar.
  • c.     Those serving will sanitize their hands before and after serving.

Small Groups/Meetings

A copy of this Preparedness Plan and training will be provided to all small groups meeting at Good Shepherd.

  • 1.     We have two larger areas that are marked off for safe gatherings. 
  • a.     You can use the smaller classrooms, if you are a small enough group to do Social Distancing.
  • 2.    We would ask that you wear a mask at all times.
  • 3.    We will disinfect areas on a regular basis.
  • 4.    We ask that if you use our facilities, at the end of the meeting you designate someone to disinfect the area/s you used. There is a disinfectant station by the kitchen, and in the Office, with instructions and supplies to use.  A representative from Good Shepherd will show you where and instruct you on what to do.
  • 5.    Please communicate with everyone that if they do not feel well, to please stay home. 
  • 6.    If you have someone who was at your meeting and became sick.
  • a.     Please notify Pastor.
  • b.    We will then make sure we clean all areas where that person may have been.
  • c.     It will be the responsibility of the leader of the meeting to contact those in attendance that might have been exposed. Good Shepherd is not responsible for any of their tests, or other medical or leave costs they may have.
  • 7.    There will be hand sanitizer at each door, if you see that one is out of sanitizer please let the office know.
  • 8.    Practice Social Distancing at all times.

Nov. 2020


Appendix A – Guidance for developing a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan


Centers for Disease Controal and Prevention (CDC):  Coronavirus (COVID-19) –

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH):  Coronavirus –

State of Minnesota:  COVID-19 response –


CDC:  Resources for businesses and employers –

CDC:  General business frequently asked questions –

CDC:  Building/business ventilation –

MDH:  Businesses and employers:  COVID-19 –

MDH:  Health screening checklist –

MDH:  Materials for businesses and employers –

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED):  COVID-19 information and resources –

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI):  Updates related to COVID-19 –

Federal OSHA –


MDH:  Handwashing video translated into multiple languages –

Respiratory etiquette:  Cover your cough or sneeze




Social distancing







Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

Employees exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19





State of Minnesota –  



Federal OSHA: