The following reflects current guidelines for worship as determined by Bethel's Board of Administrators.

  • We will meet outside as a default. Move inside if it is going to rain or the heat index temperature will be 88 or above by 11 AM.

  • If we are outside, wear masks if there are children present – unless the child(ren)’s parent/guardian indicates they are comfortable with us being unmasked. If so, only those fully vaccinated can unmask. 

  • Those NOT fully vaccinated should always wear masks and physically distance at least 6 feet from others outside their family/pods.

  • If we are inside, all must wear masks and physically distance from other families/pods.

  • Please continue to use hand sanitizer and behave in the safest ways possible.

  • The kitchen is open as of June 27 at 9 AM. Anyone cooking or preparing any food or beverage for a group of people larger than 5 must wear masks while working. This is mostly in response to the requests from our two Casa congregations.

  • Bethel will not have any official fellowship time that includes food or beverages until further notice.

Our process and rationale.

We surveyed our elected leaders, as well as our families with youth and children to find out our comfort level as a group. This way everyone was represented in the survey. We created the above guidelines based on those survey results, other feedback we have heard from members, CDC guidelines, and advice from Dr. Osterholm of the University of MN.

  • Meeting outside remains the safest option since less than 75% of our state is fully vaccinated. We recognize that it can get very hot in our backyard, therefore we put a cap on the heat index for decisions to move inside or stay outside. We will also be rearranging our worship set-up to provide more shade at logical places for attending worship.

  • Wearing masks still protects others, especially our children who are not yet eligible for vaccinations. Parents/guardians can choose to give more permissions, but we default to them so that we can keep our children as safe as possible. 

  • As we move inside, because we still want to sing during worship as a congregation, masks and physical distancing will be required for everyone’s safety. Our sanctuary air exchange does not allow us to replace the air in the suggested manner to keep one another safe without masks, so we choose to require masks. Again, we also do this to keep our children as safe as possible.

  • Not serving food and beverages still remains the safest option

Bethel Lutheran Church is continually reviewing procedures and practices for use of the church building. These procedures and practices will follow the rules and guidelines set forth by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), and the Minnesota Department of Public Health with support from the Minneapolis Synod of the ELCA. Please contact the church with any concerns, questions or comments.

For more information regarding reopening of Bethel's building and resuming of in-person services, please email: or call (612) 724-3693.


For resources and guidelines regarding COVID-19 from the ELCA, both locally in Minneapolis and nationally, see the following links.