Re-Entry Team Message, October 8, 2021
Friends, We are not where we thought we would be right now in terms of the pandemic. We had high hopes this summer when Covid infections were heading in a positive direction and people were getting vaccinated. We communicated several things with you in July at the Town Hall on our Covid response, including:
- This whole thing is hard. We are tired and we wish this was over. This is still true.
- It is sometimes difficult to know what to do because not everyone approaches the pandemic in the same way, and there is no governing authority telling all PC(USA) congregations what to do.
- The Delta variant was relatively new and was a concern.
All of the recommendations by the Re-Entry Team, and decisions made by Session have been driven by the latest medical and scientific data available, our values of inclusion and care for one another, and the greatest commandment to love God by loving our neighbor. In the last update in September, we noted it was clear we were in another wave as most of the metrics we monitor were either in “high” or “critical” categories. In addition, we expected with the start of school we would see an increase in those numbers. This has been born out and we continue to see a rise in case numbers and ICU’s in the metro area are almost at capacity.
A recent post on social media provides a “parable” for our times. “When you’re on a plane for takeoff, the seatbelt sign is on. Once you reach about 10,000 feet the seatbelt sign goes off and the pilot tells you that you may move freely about the cabin until the descent begins. But sometimes you hit turbulence. When that happens, the seatbelt sign goes back on. The pilot did not flip-flop. The pilot did not change her mind. The pilot ran into an unexpected turbulence and recognized that it is no longer safe not to wear a seatbelt. The circumstances have changed, and now the pilot advises everyone to wear their seatbelts for their safety and the safety of others.”
It is clear we are still in a period of turbulence, and we have to continue to wear our seatbelts. We will continue with current practices. We know this is frustrating, but please be patient. Please be generous. Please look out for one another and practice extravagant kindness. We love one another by getting vaccinated if we are able, wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and sacrificing some “normal” things as we continue to care for the most vulnerable among us.
It’s time to break out the earmuffs and mittens! Many have commented how wonderful it has been to worship outdoors and we are committed to continue this practice at 9:00 am on Sundays for as long as the weather permits. We will also continue to livestream worship at 10:15 am. We recognize this impacts plans made by the Children’s Ministry team, and they will be working to adapt those plans and provide meaningful formation for our littlest ones.We will arrive at our destination if we remember we belong to God and in belonging to God, we belong to one another. We are in this together, and we will get through these challenging times together.
If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to any member of the Re-Entry Team: Bev Heise, Karen Gerdes, Al Greimel, Anne Klueh, Jane Propsom, Pastor Mary or Pastor Bart.