Dear Friends in Christ,
The omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus is proving to be very transmissible. It is not as deadly, yet it is concerning. I write to remind you of the affirmation from your rostered leaders and Congregation Council leadership: trust your own sense of wellness. We affirm your choice as you prayerfully consider if you will be in person or online for worship. The same affirmation is offered as you plan to participate in faith formation opportunities or volunteer to serve in community ministry. Nearly two years into this pandemic, and we have yet to arrive at a new normal, so once again we adapt as a faith community.
As we adapt to this surge with the omicron variant, in-person worship will continue to be offered. We are blessed with an expansive sanctuary for safe distancing. The Building Renewal Project continues to bless us with wide hallways, the great room and good air exchange. Masks are required (city mandate) and we know that vaccines are essential.
For the remainder of the month, the Wednesday evening in-person ministries will be suspended. The Choristers and the Central Choir will be on break until early February. The Wednesday night Bible study will move to Zoom only, so it will not meet in person.
All the ministry team, committee and Council meetings will move to Zoom only, as well. The Council will discuss the options for offering the open budget meeting and the Annual Meeting in both formats: in person and online.
We are watching the recommendations from the CDC for meals as we plan for the Saturday Evening Fellowship, Sunday community meal and the Monday community meal. Please watch the Friday enews for any updates for this weekend.
As of the writing of this email Empowering Conversations will meet in person, in the great room, this Sunday, January 16. I will lead a reflection to empower conversation on Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman and his impact on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the call for racial justice. It is a privilege to reflect, as a white pastor, on the legacy and impact of one of the great 20th Century mystics. Empowering Conversations meets at 12:00 p.m.
Last weekend in the Spirit and enews I shared some important reminders for us as we personally tend to the omicron variant. I share them here as a review:
Reflections at this stage of the pandemic
The omicron variant continues to raise concerns for us as we continue this pandemic journey. I remind you of the affirmation that I have shared from time to time as we travel in this pandemic. Simply, trust your own sense of wellness. The omicron variant is proving to be very contagious, even as it is not as serious. A few basic reminders:
- If you feel ill at all, with cold symptoms, the flu or any Covid symptoms, stay home.
- Get tested. This is more complicated with the lines for Covid tests. If it takes a day or two, even if you feel better the next day, get tested.
- If you have a positive test, the protocol recommended by the CDC is: five days quarantine, a negative test and then return to church. When you return, it is essential to be masked if it is within the five days after the negative test result.
- If you cannot get a negative test back because of the delay in testing, then you need to remain home for 10 days before returning.
- Family members need to remain home during the five days/negative test or the 10 days/unable to get results back time frame.
- We will continue to offer in-person worship and programming, but I ask that you trust your own sense of wellness on what you can join in person.
You can reach out to me at any time. You can email me at email@example.com with your thoughts, insights, and ponderings.
We will continue to adapt, care for one another and trust in God’s guidance through this pandemic.
Grateful for you and your faithfulness,