WORSHIP SERVICES OPEN SEPTEMBER 19 and 20
We are excited to reopen Desert Hills Lutheran Church for Worship Services. We want to provide a clean environment for everyone to feel comfortable. With that said, we understand that not everyone is going to be ready to return right away. Some have health concerns, some may be at risk, and some may just not feel comfortable meeting in large groups. We totally understand and respect your concerns and feelings.
- Worship Services will be held:
- Saturdays at 3 pm and 5 pm
- Sundays at 8 am, 9:30 am, and 11 am
- If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms of an illness, please remain at home.
- Masks must be worn when entering and exiting the church.
- We have reserved the northwest section of the Sanctuary (look for signage in the Sanctuary) for those that prefer to sit with their masks on and not be close to those singing. The most direct access to this area is through the north entrance.
- Common sense distancing is encouraged. Whatever your choice about masks, distance, and singing, please respect the choice of others.
- We stand “Level at the Foot of the Cross”, with or without masks.
- Offering baskets will not be passed during the service. Ushers will provide offering baskets at selected doors as you exit the Sanctuary.
- Doors to the Sanctuary will be closed after each service for COVID cleaning.
- Please note: Online Worship Services and Bible Fellowship classes will be available at DHLC.org and Facebook.
Church Building Open
We have created a safe and clean environment for everyone to feel comfortable. With that said, we understand that not everyone is going to be ready to return right away. Some have health concerns, some may be at risk, and some may just not feel comfortable meeting in large groups. We totally understand and respect your concerns and feelings.
- If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms of an illness, please remain at home.
- Masks must be worn when entering the church, moving around, and exiting the church.
- Everyone must enter and exit the church through the west entrance.
- Physical distancing will be in place.
- Please sit with no more than three people per table.
- The Bible Fellowship (Wednesdays at 9:30 am) and the New Member Class (Thursdays at 9:30 am) will meet in the Fellowship Hall.
- The AA Group (Wednesdays at 2 pm) will meet in the library and will enter through the library door on the west side.
- As more groups come in for meetings, the north side of the church will be used. Please contact Jan Howard for room availability.
- Signs will direct you to either the Fellowship Hall, library, assigned room or restroom.
- Other building areas will be closed during these times.
- The Fellowship Hall, library, assigned room, and restroom will be COVID cleaned before and after each group.
Message from Council President:
Since your council and church leadership made the difficult decision to stop in-person worship services, our efforts and planning have focused on when and how to reopen as safely as possible. Last month, we made a hopeful decision to start in-person services the first weekend in July based upon information and guidance available at that time. To be very truthful, we prayerfully hoped conditions regarding the coronavirus would continue to improve.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus situation has not improved and, in some areas, has worsened. Therefore, church leadership decided it is neither safe nor prudent to begin our in-person services on July 4th and 5th. We are disappointed that our hope for a July re-opening is not a reality, but the safety and health of our worshippers is of paramount importance. We are not setting a date for resumption of services. There are just too many unknowns right now. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the available guidance and information so when the time is right, we can resume our worship and fellowship in person.
Our planning was not in vain. Because we set a target date, we were able to focus on developing the very best re-opening protocols we could. To this end, the council approved the purchase of an air filtration system for the sanctuary and, with generous help from the DHLC Foundation, funded much needed technology upgrades to improve our on-line services. Church staff will continue to fine tune our re-opening protocols so that when the time is right, we will re-open for worship and fellowship with confidence in that decision.
I also want to thank you for your faithful generosity during these uncertain times. I thank you, not just for your gifts, but your prayers that sustain church leadership. Please continue to support our church in your daily prayers.
During difficult times in our lives, my wife Susan and I relied upon the promise of Philippians 4:6-7 which says,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I pray that we can all experience the peace of God despite the turmoil, strife, and uncertainty in the world around us.
June 8, 2020
From the Council President:
New Air Purification System for DHLC Sanctuary
In preparation for the return of in-person worship at DHLC, the council approved the purchase and installation of a new air purification system for our sanctuary. It is called the REME HALO-LED. This system was recommended by our HVAC service provider (Green Valley Cooling and Heating) as well as another church who has already installed it.
This system is used in conjunction with our existing HVAC system to reduce airborne and surface microbials, bacteria, viruses, and mold. It also reduces odors, allergens, dust, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulates. Many organizations are installing this equipment to help in minimizing contaminates in the air.
This system is used in the United States and international hospitals for combating infectious disease. This technology was effective against the SARS virus in China and is approved for use in USDA, FSIS and the FDA food processing plants.
Nothing is 100%, nor are we guaranteeing that this will be THE solution. However, it is a step we are taking to assure you we are doing what we can to make our space safer.
April 30, 2020
Council President Message:
What a joy it has been to see your response to our current financial challenges. As I reported to you earlier this month, your increased giving and our actions to reduce our monthly outlays got us through April in a much better financial position than we had hoped just a few weeks ago. For that and for your prayer support of Desert Hills Lutheran Church, I thank you. I also thank Pastor Martin, Pastor Ken and the small staff still working for their efforts to continue our mission of Celebrating Grace, Making Disciples, and Making a Difference. Through daily messages and devotions, weekend services via video, and daily phone calls to provide pastoral care, our mission moves us toward the future.
At this time, we do not know what that “future” will be. People talk and speculate about a “new normal” but that is just another unknown for all of us. Of paramount importance to DHLC leadership is keeping each of you healthy and doing nothing too soon that would jeopardize your health.
When the council approved the budget cuts, implemented last month, we said we would review our situation at the end of April. Our hope was to receive financial help through a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan. Unfortunately, we did not receive one during the first round of funding. The program recently received additional funding, but if and when we receive funding is unknown.
Through your generous support we survived a potential budget crisis. Many of you have already fulfilled your 2020 pledges and others, who did not pledge, stepped up with gifts as well. Thank you, over and again!
Now, however, DHLC needs to move from crisis management to a phase of sustaining our church through months of uncertainty. Based upon information from the ELCA and our synod, we must plan to sustain DHLC for five months at a minimum. Our goal is to come out of this difficult time as strong or stronger than ever.
To accomplish this goal, the council decided, after considering many scenarios, to implement additional budget cuts in May. These include deeper cuts in hours and pay for a few staff members and a lay-off of several employees. This was a most difficult decision as our employees are our friends and fellow worshipers. We made a firm commitment to those impacted by this decision to restore them to full employment as quickly as possible. Further, we provided them with information regarding unemployment benefits. We also kept in place our freeze on committee spending and the reduction in benevolence outlays. As before, we will review these actions at the end of May and adjust as warranted.
Several things can help us out of this situation. First, if we do get the PPP loan, we will immediately re-hire all who were laid off and restore full salary for all our employees. Second, if giving exceeds our projections and continues at more normal levels, we may be able to reverse some other actions. Please join us in prayer that this can happen.
Even as we make these difficult decisions, we are searching for ways to “Make A Difference” for staff, our members and our community. DHLC has been and will continue to be a great place to worship and fellowship despite our current challenges.
I urge you to stay connected with us by reading the daily messages and devotions. Worship with us through the weekend service videos. Please pray for the folks on our prayer list. And, prayerfully consider how you can help us weather these turbulent financial times.
In His Service,