It is with concern and prayer that I must let you know that several people who attended both Christmas Eve services and two at the December 26 service have subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. This unfortunately drives home the current pandemic reality: that the new variant is highly transmissible, and people can contract the virus despite all health precautions being taken, from masks to distancing to personal vaccination choices. We have communicated with all who attended those services, urging them to seek advice regarding monitoring, isolation and testing.
Upon learning of this unfortunate occurrence, the Session held a special meeting to review our current positions on in-person activities at the church. The following items were approved by the Session with sadness, but out of great concern for the safety of our congregation:
In-person worship services are suspended immediately, at least up to January 30, 2022. We will continue to provide online worship resources each week. We intend in the future to establish a virtual Zoom coffee hour where you may meet and mingle electronically with others in the congregation on Sunday mornings — watch for more details regarding this initiative.
All in-person activities that are church-sponsored are suspended immediately until further notice. This includes Sunday School, children’s and youth programs, junior choir, senior choir, bells, chimes, craft club, men’s breakfast, committee meetings and any other church-sponsored gathering. Groups are encouraged to conduct virtual meetings where possible.
We will keep the church office closed as much as possible, and Rev. Chuck’s office hours will be by appointment only.
In these difficult times we draw strength and courage from being able to gather, and it is only out of extreme concern for the safety of all that the Session feels these actions are necessary. The Session will review all these restrictions on a regular basis, with an objective to re-open to in-person gatherings as soon as it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, please pray for those affected by COVID-19, for our minister and our Session as they lead during uncertain times, and for all in the world who need and long for God’s grace and touch. Be kind to each other and reach out to help others where you are able.
Clerk of Session
A version of this message first appeared in the Thursday, December 30, 2021, edition of Tidbits.