Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I am still reveling in the afterglow of our Easter worship gathering. It was wonderful to see so many of you (masked) face-to-(masked) face, and to commune together with the resurrected Christ.
This past Wednesday the Vestry met, as we do each month, to discern and discuss how God is at work among us, and how we can most faithfully respond. One of our main topics of discussion was how to gather for worship, community, and mission as we enter into what feels like an unknown “in between” season, where vaccination rates are growing, but Covid is still active and dangerously present among us. How do we gather as the Body of Christ faithfully, seeking sustenance from the presence of Christ in one another while seeking to preserve life and love our neighbors as ourselves?
It seems that we will know more this summer about “where we’re at” as it regards the pandemic, but right now it’s very difficult to make any determinative judgments about what’s responsible and feasible. So from now until at least Pentecost (May 23), we plan to continue with protocols we’ve had in place over the winter. As a reminder, here’s our rubric for making decisions about worship gatherings (Sundays at 11:15am):
- When the weather permits, we will meet outdoors for worship, with an online option.
- When the weather does not permit, we check the 7-Day Overall All Tests Positivity Rate for Marion County… (on this site… scroll down to the map and hover over Marion County to get this official number).
- When it is below 5%, we will meet indoors for worship, with an online option.
- When it is at or above 5%, we will meet online only for worship.
Using that rubric for tomorrow (April 11), since 1) it looks like rain, and 2) the positivity rate is still below 5%, we will meet indoors for worship, with an online option.
Additionally, if you or a member in your immediate family test positive for Covid-19 we ask that you inform a member of our staff or Vestry so that we can work with you to identify others in our community who might have been exposed. It’s important for us to know this information so that we can work together to keep our community safe.
During this season, we will be monitoring the situation, including positivity rates, daily new cases per 100k, infection rate, and vaccination rate (Covid ActNow is an excellent resource that tracks all of these numbers). After Pentecost, we will reevaluate and discern again how to move forward as a community.
We want to communicate clearly and often about what we are sensing God leading us toward, and of course we invite your participation in discussing these things. Please feel free to reach out to me or a Vestry member (details listed below) if you have any questions or concerns.
This pandemic has lasted longer than any of us anticipated, and has been deeply painful and difficult for all of us, in diverse ways that we are only beginning to understand. I am praying that God will continue to grant us grace to deeply sense and feel our unity in the Spirit, and continue to support and uphold one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Yours in Christ,
(on behalf of the Vestry)