Covid Update June 11

Wow!  Who knew when we decided to not have in-person worship for the 3 remaining Sundays in March that we would be away this long!  But things like viruses have a way of affecting our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined.  Many years from now, this time will hopefully just be the subject of hallway stories:  “Do you remember the year we watched worship from home?”  “Yep, it was strange, but we made it through, and are stronger for it.”

Some of you are probably wondering how long we’re going to live the life of the church as we presently are.  Others of you are actually satisfied that you don’t have to think about it, because you have enough other stuff occupying your mind.  Either way, I wanted to give you an update on where we are. 

I have asked 12 people to be part of a COVID Task Force.  The group has met twice so far.  Their job is to have conversation about how we can move forward in the life of the church in light of this corona virus.  They are considering how we might ease back into in-person gatherings like small groups and worship.  Along with those conversations, they are considering what precautions need to be put in place to keep folks as safe as reasonably possible.  They will also advise the church’s appointed clergy (Patrick and me) on a suggested timeline for re-starting in-person worship, with related precautions.  As we have new information to announce, we will share it with the congregation. 

As I write this article, we are constructing a survey that you will be asked to respond to.  The survey is not a vote; but, the Task Force does value your voice and wants to hear what you have to say.   It should be out to the congregation the week of June 7.  Please take a few minutes to respond to the 5 questions.  Your input will help guide the group’s work. 

While our staff has been doing a great job while working from home, as a first step toward something normal, we will be returning to limited office hours (9 a.m.-1 p.m.) beginning June 15.  If you need to come by the church we will be glad to see you.  Please take usual precautions, including wearing a mask.

I want to thank everyone who has helped Patrick and me maintain the life of the church, even if in an extraordinary new way.  Marcy and Chris have done a great job keeping up with the children and youth.  Our music staff, Matt, Clay, and Laura have helped us to have great music for the worship services.  John Moran and Stephen Gable have done the technical work to make sure we can get worship online.  Our Visitation Minister, Leslie, has been keeping up with our more senior members.  The church office staff, Pamela, Tammy, and Joanna, have kept the finances and communication happening.  Jackie, Joe, and Zack have been catching up on the project list of things that needed doing in the building.  On top of all that, congregation members have done a great job of letting us know about concerns in the lives of other church members, and small group leaders have kept their groups engaged.  Thank you to everyone! 

Please continue to pray for our church as we discern the right course of action to take as we attempt to move forward.  I know many of you wish I would go ahead and give a definite time when we will resume in-person worship, and I would love to be able to say we will resume, for example, on the first Sunday in July.  However, you and I both know that this virus situation is fluid, changing weekly.  And I hesitate to put a date out there right now that will create a false expectation.  My commitment to you is this: we will watch to see if the activity of the Governor’s 2nd Phase increases the spread of the virus.  If it does not, we will set the date for resuming in-person worship – probably giving a few weeks notice – and we will communicate the precautions that the church will be taking, and those that we would hope that congregation members will follow.  We don’t want to be cavalier and rush things, and at the same time we know that a vaccine may be years away.  Our goal is a reasonable middle ground as we seek the wisdom of the Lord, and we are grateful for your patience. 

Grace and peace,
Pastor Ross


Last Published: June 10, 2020 8:30 PM
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