Greetings, Church Family.
I hope you are healthy and safe in this strange season. More than that, I hope you are finding new ways to flourish in this time of pandemic. Our hearts are burdened for those who are suffering in this time: students and teachers who have had to alter their schedules; graduates who are missing out on a major milestone; healthcare professionals who are in harm’s way and sacrificing for the rest of us; those who were already vulnerable having to compound their troubles; and of course, those who are sick or have lost someone. Even while we’re overwhelmed by the needs, I have also been encouraged by the stories of people helping and reaching out.
I know the question on everyone’s mind: when do we get to come back? The short answer is “not yet.”
Church Council, which is the staff and chairs of most teams and committees, met virtually Sunday afternoon to check in and to talk about that. We understand that while many are eager to re-open businesses, recreation, and houses of worship, we also have to weigh in the effects of congregating on possible infection rates not only in our fellowship, but in our community. Because we are still not at necessary testing capacity in our community, because we have a high percentage of “at risk” populations in our congregation and community, and because we are increasing in infection rates (instead of decreasing), the Church Council agrees to remain in our current mode of virtual operation. We will meet again on the afternoon of May 17 to reevaluate and decide on what the next steps will be.
When we do decide to meet again, it won’t be the same as it was before. We’ll be spread out, not touching, and just generally limiting contact to try to benefit others. Those who are especially vulnerable to infection can and should continue to join us virtually. I know it’s not ideal, but I believe it is the best way for us to care for one another and the community that God is calling us to care for. We, the Body of Christ, the Church, we give of ourselves and sacrifice in what small ways that we can so that others might be saved.
Know that you are not far from my heart and that I do long for the day when we can gather again to share stories and praise God for what we have seen. Until that day, stay safe and stay connected.