November 5, 2020

Bishop Bruce Ough, because of the rise of Covid-19 cases, recommends dialing back to ORANGE in our Covid Response Plan.  He writes,

A look at how spread has increased in Minnesota over just the past few weeks (the numbers listed are cumulative since the start of the pandemic):


For all these reasons, we are turning the dial on our phased re-gathering plan back to orange. Doing no harm, acting for the common good, and protecting the most vulnerable among us is how we love our neighbor. What this means: I’m asking you to limit your in-person gatherings to 10 people or fewer while wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Group gatherings have been the most significant source of the spread of COVID-19 in recent weeks. We have the power to help change the trajectory of this pandemic.


To read the full article please click here:

COVID Response Returns to ORANGE


What does this mean for Lake Harriet UMC?

The Leadership Council voted on 10.24.2020 to

  • Continue to live-stream worship services, with no in-person worship
  • Small groups and in-person meetings are limited to no more than ten people. Masking and social distancing required.
  • Funerals are a powerful way to remember, honor and grieve the loss of a loved one. Unfortunately, they are also occasions where the potential exists for the virus to be transmitted.  LHUMC recommends small family-only services at the church or the graveside, with a larger, public celebration of life at a later date.  Funerals to be held at the church are limited to 50 people (which includes those helping to lead the service, musicians, tech people etc.). Our Live-Stream equipment provides a safe way for family and friends to experience the funeral service from the safety of their homes.  At the recent memorial service for our beloved sister Ginny Ekstrand, many people viewed the live-stream, with several taking time to write to express their gratitude for the technology.

The Leadership Council continues to carefully monitor the situation.  Decisions about in person gatherings are revisited every 90 days. 



At Lake Harriet UMC we take the health and well-being our congregation, staff, and community very seriously. We are monitoring coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medical professionals, and local health departments. In addition to ongoing efforts to maintain a safe and healthy environment, we have temporarily implemented the following precautionary measures.



  • If you or a family member is sick, may have been directly exposed to the virus or have traveled to a high-alert area (currently South Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan), please follow the CDC guidelines and refrain from attending church services during the 14-day incubation period and instead worship with us online Sundays at 9:00 and 11:11a.
  • If at any time you are not comfortable attending worship, please join us online.
  • Follow the guidelines from the CDC to help prevent the spread of the virus. (General CDC guidelines are listed at the end of this information.)



  • Our staff and volunteers are committed to maintaining a healthy environment and will wash their hands frequently.
  • Staff who are sick or may have been exposed to the virus will stay home for the recommended quarantine period.
  • We will suspend all routine, ongoing visits to our home-bound or shut-in members to prevent the possibility of spreading germs to them. We will continue to visit people in more emergency situations.



  • In addition to regular cleaning by a professional cleaning service, we are sanitizing highly touched surfaces before and after worship and programs.
  • We have hand sanitizer available throughout our building, and we have additional hand sanitizing supplies on order. As we await delivery, you may want to carry your own hand sanitizer so you can use it as often as you wish.
  • Rather than pass the offering plate, baskets will be placed at the Sanctuary entrance to receive weekly offerings and welcome sheets.
  • We will suspend offering Holy Communion via intinction (the common cup) and now serve precut bread and grape juice in individual cups.
  • When greeting one another, we encourage you to consider options such as: smile, use sign language, a friendly wave, a fist bump, an elbow tap, a slight bow, say “shalom.” Our staff and volunteers will still greet you warmly, just not shake your hand.
  • During Sunday coffee fellowship, cookies will be individually wrapped with napkins and handed to each person by a gloved volunteer.



  • We are not canceling small groups and classes at this time, but we encourage you to use precautions appropriate for your own personal health situation.
  • If coronavirus continues to spread in our local community, we will follow the guidance of the health department and CDC.
  • As a regular practice in our Sunday children’s enrichment hour classes and the nursery, we disinfect all surfaces and toys and encourage frequent hand washing, however keeping your child home if they are symptomatic is the best way to prevent the spread of illness.




  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.