Returning to in-person worship

February 24, 2021

Good day siblings in Christ,

There has been a slight uptick in questions about re-opening the church for services again and I believe it is because more people in the congregation are getting the vaccine. I have had my first dose and will gladly share with anyone what the process was like at the Javits Center in Manhattan. I do want to remind everyone that even if you get the vaccine, it takes 3 weeks to kick in fully and it might still be possible for your to get Covid without symptoms and pass it on to others. This is why I plan on wearing a mask for a while.

With that written, I wanted to give Phill a week to recover from his vacation, so we will still be digital this Sunday, but will begin moving to in-person and digital on March 7. This will allow my first vaccine dose to kick in fully as I prepare for the second dose later that week. This re-opening will be around the one year mark of closure. We closed the 3rd week of Lent in March, so it may be symbolic re-opening on the 3rd week of Lent. We will continue to require masks in the congregation and still sit 6’ away from one another as we are able, but will begin that transition back. Like last time, doors will be open the entire time and I will open the hallway windows to allow for air circulation, so be mindful a coat may be in order depending on the weather. Communion service will resume and will stay in the form of the single unit, while inviting families at home to commune along with us.

Having run a number of marathons, I keep using the marathon as our current analogy. We are at mile 21 of our 26 mile run. We are tired of waiting for it to be over, we want to go back to normal, we want things to resume as they once were, so there is a desire to start sprinting. Let’s not sprint quite yet because it will only have us fall behind. I keep reminding people NY had more Covid cases than all of Canada last week. Our numbers are approximately where we were during the second shut down. There are also new strains. This is not to instill fear, but to remind us that we are still at mile 21 and there are 5 more miles to go, so let’s continue to be safe, do safe practices, and we will get through this together.

One more note. Some have asked about Bible study. Yes, we are still doing Bible study on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. We are in Genesis right at the Jacob and Esau narrative, where Jacob is about to trick his father Isaac. If you want to join in, just use the Zoom link for worship. We are using the same link to make it easy. You will need a Bible and the NRSV is translation we use. If you do not have an NRSV, but have a tablet or phone, you can get a free version on the Bible app or online. I hope to see you.

Be love,
Pastor Johnson