Thank you all for so graciously complying with the request to access our Sunday services from home online for the last several weeks. As you will recall, we initially made this request in early January when the Winter surging of Covid-19 cases was peaking. Additionally, several families in our own community were impacted.
I'm pleased to report that all families in our congregation are now healthy, and Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations nationwide are down (see here and here). For this reason, we feel it is reasonable to invite whoever is healthy (no symptoms, however mild) and comfortable (if you still feel it best to remain home for now, we understand! We'll continue to provide online access to our Sunday services) to return to worship in person beginning this Sunday, February 6th.
As joyful as this is, we're still mindful that even though cases and hospitalizations are down, death rates (largely among the unvaccinated population) are still high. For this reason, we need to continue to do all we can to keep one another safe as the pandemic idles on. Here is what you can expect if you plan to come to church this Sunday:
1. We implore each of you to get up to date on your vaccinations and boosters if you haven't already done so! It is also strongly recommended that anyone who is planning to attend in person worship to be fully vaccinated with the booster if possible. We know from a wealth of data that people who are fully vaccinated and boosted are more than 20 times more protected against severe illness.
2. We ask that each and every person commits to wearing a good, quality and well fitting mask. Public health officials have described here the breakdown on what makes masks different, and which ones provide the most protection. In light of this, we are asking that you either double mask (cloth and surgical or 2 surgical masks), or wear a kn95 or N95 mask. These options offer the most protection. *Hillcrest has generously donated more kn95s to the church, and we'll make them available to those who need them.
3. We will continue to temporarily suspend hospitality through the end of February, with the possibility of re-evaluation as things unfold.
4. We will continue to suspend congregational singing (please follow the instructions in the bulletin) through the end of February with the possibility of re-evaluation as things unfold.
5. Sunday School and Youth Group will continue to meet outdoors, masked for now.
6. If you are feeling unwell in any way, we ask that you join us online, rather than in person, until you are feeling better.