Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Here’s a brief reflection from our friend, Greg Thompson, on how MLK, Jr. was all about love.
As we wind down on our time at Spirit of Joy and prepare for our new season in the chapel at Broadway UMC, we wanted to take some time to articulate how we’re seeking to live with faith and wisdom as we approach the 2-year mark for Covid.
1) We will continue to meet in-person on Sundays for worship (with masks) for the foreseeable future. For those not comfortable or unable to meet in person we will continue live streaming our service as well.
2) Things are very different from two years ago. The availability of vaccines and booster shots + masking (see this for more on different kinds of masks and their strengths/uses) has changed the calculus for whether and how we gather in-person from the first few surges of the pandemic. In summary: most of the people who want to be vaccinated (and are eligible for it) have taken the opportunity to do so. Not all of course, but a vast majority.
3) Those who have received both shots and the booster are in great shape statistically. This sort of protection and relative safety was not possible before the vaccine.
4) There is some question about how best to interpret the data on current Covid hospitalizations (see here for one example of the questions on this). The Delta variant still seems to be going strong, Omicron has different symptoms than past variants, deaths of vaccinated and boosted people are statistically extremely low.
5) We will continue to monitor infection spikes and surges, new variants, and efficacy of current and future vaccines.
6) As the pandemic approaches year 2 we are perhaps more sensitive to the values that live in tension during a time like Covid: for instance, our need for in-person interaction and how that relates to distancing to slow the spread. We have postponed Table Groups for now because eating together (without masks) in close proximity to each other seems unwise as a church practice.
7) But while we are on hiatus with Table Groups, we invite you to discern with others in our community about how and when to meet in-person (assessing your physical, mental, and spiritual health). You may feel more comfortable about meeting and gathering in-person; the freedom and trust exists in our community to discern these things together.
8) As always we appreciate your thoughts and perspective on this as we seek to discern faithfulness in a time of global pandemic. As we’ve said regularly: this is our first time leading in the midst of one!
We are overjoyed at the gracious, patient, careful approach you have embodied during Covid over the last two years. Join us in praying for an end to this pandemic, and for continued courage and wisdom to lead in love for the sake of others.
With love and appreciation,