Dear friends -
With the upcoming election and our state of pandemic, we are (tritely - now more than ever) acutely aware of our diversity of opinions. Thankfully, Presbyterians have a very big tent - in other words, we are part of a denomination that holds great diversity of belief within a fairly small slice of the church universal. That is a blessing, but it also means we hang together despite wide-ranging points of view.
We're doing that as a congregation already, but it is also part of the challenge of how to best handle responsibility and safety in the midst of what some of my fellow pastors have come to call Covidtide. You will notice below a link to a Covid-19 Guidelines and Protocols document. Your Session has been hard at work, with a special thanks to Meg, putting a lot of thought and time in this. At Session on Tuesday evening, we joked this is version 1 million and 10, because we've had many meetings and drafts before narrowing down to what we hope will guide us with a certain level of safety through these days. We know coming to church, scanning URL codes, filling out a form, and wearing a mask is not normal, but for a little while, we're going to normalize it so we can optimize contact tracing and preventing the spread of the coronavirus (paper forms will also be available, and I'm sure someone who looks like they know what they are doing with this would be happy to help you with an online form as well). We're still waiting on live-streaming equipment, so this will simply apply to smaller groups meeting at church as needed, though we continue to encourage zoom gatherings and the good ol' phone to keep connected.
I don't usually lean into authoritarian commands, but to sum up, please vote if you haven't already, wear a mask, and let's adjust together to a new normal.
Grace and peace,