The Regathering Committee is continuing to meet regularly to assess the continually changing COVID situation and determine what is the best balance for worship and gathering that allows us to come together and yet keep ourselves and one another safe. We have, from the first, navigated these difficult and unknown waters with 1 Corinthians 12 as the basis for recommendations and decisions: “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body … and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.”
While we wish we could meet and interact with one another and worship God just as we did before COVID, we cannot do so without seriously harming different parts of the body that we form together as those baptized by the Spirit – so that the body cannot be healthy and do well. This approach has resulted in a slower return to earlier practices but, as a result, we do not have to turn back to stricter practices, despite the advance of the COVID Delta Variant. So, for now, we will continue with the same protocols and worship schedule we have followed this summer.
This includes wearing masks during worship, and singing only outdoors. Given the Delta variant’s contagiousness, we encourage you to remain socially distanced when gathered in person, and especially to ask permission before hugging someone or standing too near them.
We will begin modified forms of youth group and children’s ministry in September and can see what else can come back as our situation (disease, weather, air quality) progresses, remembering that “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”
In particular, if the air quality is over 150 (Unhealthy for General Population), we will move the 10 am service indoors to the Newton Room or cancel it, depending on the circumstances. An email will be sent out Saturday night or early Sunday morning if that occurs. We will always have a livestream, available live at 8 am on our website, or any time afterward on Facebook, Youtube, or Vimeo. We are still one community, now with many tools to gather, in a wide variety of circumstances!