COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Response

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Geneva is following the direction of local authorities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see the 27May2020 update concerning in-person worship, posted below; no events are taking place at the church building until further notice. As a Christian community, we nonetheless continue to offer support and care during this time. Worship is being offered via live-stream, and many other church-related groups and classes are meeting online as well.

Here are some resources you may find helpful:

Information on our live-streamed Sunday worship services

A new podcast featuring prayers led by a number of members of the congregation

A reflection on facing COVID-19 during the season of Lent

The website of the Plateforme Interreligieuse de Genève, including a hotline for spiritual support.

The website of the Canton of Geneva dedicated to COVID-19 information and updates

With questions or pastoral concerns, you can still contact the church by email or phone:
office@genevalutheran.ch
022 310 50 89

pastor@genevalutheran.ch
079 544 70 12


Update on In-Person Worship Services

27 May 2020

Dear members and friends of the English-Speaking Congregation,

As you probably know, restrictions on religious services have now been eased in Switzerland. It’s possible for communities to start gathering for worship again, and some churches in Geneva are already making plans to resume services this coming Sunday. I’m writing today to share how our church has been approaching this question.

Over the past weeks, the topic of resuming in-person worship services has been raised in the Church Council, the English-Speaking Congregation Council, the worship committee, and in staff meetings. While we are all longing to be back together for worship, our first priority has been and continues to be the safety of those who attend.

Significant changes would need to be made in order to bring our worship services in line with widely accepted guidelines: we would need to be spread far from one another in the sanctuary, the balcony would need to be closed, and there could be no singing, communion, sharing of food or drink, or physical contact of any kind. With these guidelines in mind, we imagine no more than 20 or 25 persons could be present in the sanctuary at once. So it’s clear that the service we could potentially offer at the moment would be very different from what we are accustomed to.

And even with safety measures like these in place, the risk of spreading infection remains. You may have seen the news this past weekend that scores of new infections were recently traced to a worship service in Frankfurt, Germany, where similar precautions were being taken.

So the Church Council made the decision late last week that for the time being, no in-person worship services will take place at the Lutheran Church. This decision holds for both the German- and English-Speaking Congregations, as well as for other worshipping communities who use the building. The consensus is that the risk of spreading infection in a space like ours simply remains too great at the moment.

We will continue to reevaluate the situation over the coming weeks and months. Livestreamed worship services will continue for the foreseeable future, and the Congregation Council is exploring possibilities for organizing gatherings outdoors this summer, where the risk of spreading infection is much lower.

I have been so impressed by our congregation’s resilience and faithfulness over these past months. Through a time of great uncertainty, you have shown up for one another and for our neighbors in need in such wonderful ways. We continue in that spirit now, exploring ways to stay connected and to accompany one another even when we can’t gather in person.

With Christ by our side, we will get through this together. Peace be with you,
Andy