First Lutheran has worked hard to make wise decisions as we navigate COVID-19, based on the latest data available and with the guidance of our advisory committee comprised of congregation members with relevant expertise.

We’re truly blessed to have had an uninterrupted streak of worship in our newly revamped Courtyard this past summer and fall, despite some humid mornings and more than a little sun glare for some.

We’re similarly blessed, and evermore grateful, that FLC has experienced zero transmission of the virus from the very start to the present day. While we prayed for those in our midst and beyond who did contract the virus, none of those very few cases were the result of any church activity.

Our gratitude extends to our committee members. Although they are not risk analysis professionals, they’ve provided their valuable professional expertise to interpret available data and have applied that to our specific circumstances: our church building, our heating and air conditioning systems, our worship style, and our attendance. These efforts to shape how we worship in person, remaining true to our Lutheran heritage and local customs to the extent possible, are not a one-size-fits-all “Here’s how churches can reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure.” Our plans are to say, “Here’s how FLC will reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure.”

As the New England weather has changed, all worship is now conducted indoors.


8:00 A.M. WORSHIP: The 8:00 Service in the Sanctuary will be a spoken Service without congregational singing. Attendance at the Service is limited to 30 congregants who are to register in advance. We’ll celebrate Holy Communion, as usual, using both the chalice and individual cups.

9:30 A.M. BIBLE STUDY: Based on the recommendation that the Sanctuary be unoccupied between Services to allow the air to recirculate, Bible Study will be held in the undercroft. To accommodate up to ten people, the approximate number that have been attending throughout the summer, we’ve opened classroom walls to expand open space. To allow others who have difficulty negotiating the stairs to attend, a small number of seats will be used in the office where they can listen in on the computer or monitor. HEPA air filters will be used in the offices. Participation on Zoom will continue.

11:00 A.M. WORSHIP: The Service is conducted with hymn-singing and chanted liturgy. Holy Communion is celebrated. 30 pre-registered people may attend.  This Service is livestreamed on our Facebook Live page at

7:00 P.M. WEDNESDAY EVENING WORSHIP: Beginning on November 11th, to provide another opportunity for in-person worship, Vespers is scheduled for Wednesday evenings at 7:00 P.M. Holy Communion will follow for those who desire to stay. The liturgy will be chanted, and hymns sung. Attendance will be by pre-registration for 30 people. (Note: Paul Edmon’s “Lutheran Essentials” class will meet immediately after worship)

Social Distancing: Beyond the usual 6-foot rule, indoor Services will also feature two pews between each family group or individual. 20 feet of distance will be kept between the pulpit/lectern and the first row of congregants.

Face Coverings: Face coverings are required for all who visit FLC for worship or to conduct business, with the following exceptions

    • Those who have a medical or disabling condition will not be required to wear a face covering, nor will they be asked to produce documentation of their condition.
    • Wearing of face coverings by children ages 2-5 is at the discretion of their parent or guardian, and children under age 2 should not wear face coverings.
    • The leaders of the Service will not wear face coverings while addressing the congregation or leading the service, as long as they maintain 20’ of distance from others.

Symptoms/Exposure: Please review the following to learn if any of these apply to you, as noted in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Phase III guidelines: persons who are feeling sick, are exhibiting any of the following symptoms (fever of 100.0 and above or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea), or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, should not attend services in-person. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic. Persons asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a public health official should also not attend.

Travel: Please know and adhere to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts travel guidelines, effective August 1st, as found here:

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