We have good news which we announced during online worship yesterday: We are returning to in-person worship this Sunday, February 6. If you are unable to attend at this time, rest assured that our online streaming will continue on Sundays.
We do have some protocols for returning to the building once again.
Worship, Sunday School, and other gatherings
We strongly recommend that everyone wear a mask and practice the no longer new practice of social distancing. This will be needed until further notice. You may have heard that the omicron BA.1 variant of the coronavirus had been the most contagious yet. You may have also heard that the omicron BA.2 variant may be even more contagious. We are thankful that infection numbers are once again trending down in our area, but we still need to practice caution when we gather so that we do not contribute to another spike in infections among our neighbors and exacerbate the straining of hospitals that has been going on for almost two years. Our caution remains necessary.
We also ask that we do not gather in the hallways before or after to socialize. We understand we are in the winter months, but we ask that you step outside to socialize rather than creating a logjam in our hallways.
All previous protocols related to children’s and youth ministries concerning masks, social distancing, and vaccinations for our paid and volunteer workers remain in place.
Holy Communion will continue to be offered on First Sundays. We will continue to offer it with the bread pre-broken using tongs and by placing the juice in individual cups. We will also make empty trays available for you to place your used cups into when you are finished. For those who need to exercise additional caution, we will make pre-packaged communion elements available which you may receive in your seats when directed to do so. We will ask that everyone wear a mask and practice social distancing when you come forward to receive Holy Communion and practice social distancing between households when you kneel at the prayer rail.
Melissa will arrange the start of choir rehearsals. Please note we are asking that all choir members wear N95 masks when the choir rehearses or sings in worship.
As we return to the building, we encourage everyone to maintain their vaccinations, including booster shots when you are eligible. Please also note that free at-home testing kits are available by mail by using this link:
Also, free N95 are or will be available soon at many of our local pharmacies.
We know this continues to be a difficult time for us all and we are growing weary of this “new normal.” However, we appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we continue to navigate this era together.
Grace and peace,
Rev. J.D. Allen