CHURCH as we emerge from a PANDEMIC
We are very glad, after more than two years of curtailing activities due to the pandemic, to have resumed many in-person activities. It's great to hear our choir and share fellowship and coffee after worship. We are still concerned about protecting everyone's health, however, especially that of those most vulnerable to illness, so we continue to support sensible precautions. We're making space for some physical distancing, and we encourage everyone to refrain from handshaking and the like. At the present time (winter 2022-23), we're aware of flu and other illnesses as well as a possible Covid-19 surge. For that reason, we are strongly encouraging, though not requiring, masks for worship and other large-group activities in our building. Of course, if you aren't feeling well or have had exposure to Covid-19, please worship with us virtually. Most important: stay up to date on vaccinations, including Covid booster and flu shots! We strongly encourage vaccination for everyone who is eligible and able!! Vaccination is the most important factor in keeping ourselves and each other safe and making in-person activities possible.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought many challenges and changes to our world and to the church. It was hard to give up activities that brought us connection and fulfilment. But that time allowed us to learn how beneficial live-streaming technology can be, providing a way to include those who cannot participate in person, members staying home because of weather or sickness, and folks who are travelling, as well as family and friends in other places. It's not quite the same as being together, but many of us have been pleasantly surprised at how beneficial virtual worship participation has been.
So we to continue to livestream our services, and expect to go on doing so. We hope that any time you aren't able to come in person, you'll join us virtually. You do not need to have a Facebook account to watch.
Our Pandemic Response Team continues to evaluate the situation and advise the Session about best practices. Based on local data, it's clear that some caution and care are still called for. Please know that our practices and recommendations will change from time to time, as the situation changes. We appreciate everyone's understanding and cooperation.
We have masks available at church. We will continue to run fans in the sanctuary for better air circulation. This is because we understand that indoor, large-group gatherings can be situations of greater risk. Coffee Plus will continue for now, in the narthex.
The fact that our congregation has a high vaccination/booster rate goes a long way to making everyone safer, and has enabled us to continue, with care, many of our activities. But it’s also good that we have a variety of ways to stay connected (like meetings and Adult Ed by Zoom). Please take part, in what ever way you're able! And do talk with one of your deacons or a pastor or a member of the Session if you need help.
These have been challenging times for everyone, in so many ways. But as a congregation, we have remained committed to following Jesus, worshiping God together, and to caring for one another and our neighbors. While we experienced a lot of uncertainty about both present and future, and have had to make many adjustments (sometimes feeling we didn't know what we were doing!) we have tried to trust God to lead and sustain us. We have learned a lot through this time!
We are now able hold many of our meetings, small groups, and Adult Education programs virtually via Zoom. Our very dedicated tech team has worked hard to make the sound and video for our livestreamed worship service as good as possible. Our equally dedicated music and worship team worked hard to make each service meaningful. We've made more use of email and Facebook communication. And we've saved a lot of paper!
If you have any questions, or need help connecting and getting involved, or could use some support and encouragement, please get in touch with a member of our staff, a Deacon, or a member of the Session.
Our current office hours : Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 9 am - 4:30 pm
Faith, prayer, and care for one another have seen us through many difficult months. Our sense of community remains strong, and we have learned some things about flexibility, patience, and resilience (not to mention technology!) As we go forward, some things will be different than before, and much about the future is still unknown to us, but ...
God is good. All the time.