(News: December 11, 2020)
Dear Brothers and Sisters;
Our last Covid update was October 16, 2020. At that time the summer spike in COVID cases and hospitalizations had largely passed. Hoping the trend would continue, we made plans for further re-opening. Sadly, a new spike is currently peaking. This has caused us to rethink our strategy again. We have decided not to implement any new in-person activities until the current spike, which we hope will be the last major one, declines.
We have been using hospitalization rates as a key indicator of the COVID situation. By that measure the current spike in COVID has reached the place where effective hospital care may begin to erode. We believe this warrants continued caution on our part, in order to show neighbor love to those vulnerable to COVID and to those who care for them.
One immediate impact of this caution is the cancellation of the Family Christmas Breakfast. Bob and Gail have concluded that there is no good way to do this wisely.
Longer term, we had hoped to begin a relatively complete Sunday School program in January. In light of the current situation we are reluctantly postponing this again. We hope we can move forward late in the spring or by summer at the latest.
Following the Christmas break, we plan to continue most of our current programs (worship, small groups, Bible studies and limited Sunday School). This means that we continue to highly recommend masking when not at your seats in worship, and social distancing before, during and after the service. We continue to recommend that all groups make their own careful choices about meeting in-person or by zoom, taking into account the vulnerability and the cautiousness of their participants. If any group wants to try a hybrid of zoom and in-person, we’ve figured out some ways that can be effectively done.
We do hope to continue Doug Rask’s apologetics and creation science class (hybrid) during Sunday School hour, and to offer limited by-arrangement child care for families that desire it. Other events such as prayer meetings or special programs may be planned as well, with recommended masking and continued awareness of COVID practices.
Thanks again for your continued support in this difficult time. These decisions are not fully agreeable to any of us, but we are attempting to walk prayerfully and wisely through the unique circumstances God has allowed.
We want to encourage you to keep in touch with others in the church by many means. Phone calls and texts and all kinds of zoom-like apps are great options. Keep caring and praying for each other as brothers and sisters who have one head (Christ) and are joined in one body (the church). (Colossians 1:18, Romans 12:5)
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Pastor Bob, for the elders