Important Annoucement about Worship for January 2022
January 6, 2022, 9:48 PM
It is incredibly frustrating that just as we had the capability to return to hybrid in person worship the omicron surge has once again made gathering in person as a congregation to be a risky situation. Where once we had considered whether to return to in person worship while Covid transmission was mild or substantial, we are now looking at a very high transmission rate, the highest it's ever been during the pandemic. As a result the Church Council has decided to suspend in person worship during the month of January. We will continue with all Zoom worship through at least January 30th. At that time we will reassess the situation and depending on both transmission numbers and hospitalization status we may return to in person hybrid worship but with limited in person capacity and other additional precautions for the month of February. It is our hope and prayer that we can return to in person hybrid worship (as we experienced it in December) on Ash Wednesday, March 2nd and be back in the sanctuary and nursery/Sunday School for Lent.  Again, this is highly dependent on the situation in our local and wider community, but it is our intention to return to the sanctuary for hybrid worship as soon as conditions allow. This also means that all in person activities in the building including choir and other small groups are either canceled or moved online for January. However, the office will continue to be open and staffed as usual on Monday afternoons and most of the day on Wednesday (with masks required for all visitors).
While this is disheartening, our overall ethic during this pandemic has always been a focus on loving our neighbor (by not getting them sick) and caring for those who are especially vulnerable to this disease. This decision is in keeping with that ethic. During the time that we remain online we hope to plan and prepare for a safe return to the building in a variety of ways and we'll continue to encourage and facilitate community building and spiritual practices online for all ages. As always we highly encourage anyone who can be vaccinated and boosted to do so as soon as possible.
While this might feel as if we are backsliding, it is important to remember that we have so much more capacity and knowledge than we did back in 2020. We have done this before and so we know what to do and how to do it. I remain open to hearing your questions, concerns, feedback, and offers of help as we continue to sort this all out. Please pray for our church leadership, those who are ill, our healthcare workers, and our local and national leaders. Pray for wisdom and strength and resilience. Pray that the light at the end of this tunnel continues to grow and that we can all walk out together.