People of God,
After deep conversation and prayer, we have concluded that the current surge of COVID-19 cases and particularly hospitalizations requires changes to our worship life. This Sunday, Dec. 19th, everyone, including the worship leaders, will remain fully masked for the duration of worship. We will not have communion this Sunday, and we will be sure to seat everyone 6 feet apart if at all possible. Beginning Christmas Eve, we will return to remote worship for the time being, with only the pastor, music director, worship assistants, and A/V volunteers on site. Our local area’s cases per 100,000 and ICU beds are in critical status, and our test positivity rate is not far behind.
Because our congregation is highly vaccinated, and because Massachusetts and Middlesex County in particular are less vulnerable to surges and uncontrolled community spread, we believe we can reopen safely with additional precautions when the cases per 100,000, ICU beds, and positive testing rates are back below critical ranges. We will reevaluate our in-person worship practices for communal safety in the new year.
This was not an easy decision to make. We know how important it is to gather together for festivals of the church year. Our whole community has been looking forward to the ability to have in person worship at Christmas. We make this decision with sorrowful hearts. However, we take joy and hope in the coming of Christ at Christmas. Christ did not come to a world at peace, but to a community under occupation and violence. Christ came to heal and to serve the “least of these.” By meeting remotely, we are truly being the body of Christ for one another.
If you need access to the log-in information for Zoom, please sign up for our weekly newsletter or reach out to the church office. We hold all of you in prayer this Advent and Christmas season.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Emily and the Church Council