Dear Grace Covenant Family,
With recent spikes in COVID cases and hospitalizations in our area, including several members of our Grace Covenant family; and with informed projections telling us that this present spike has yet to reach its peak, the Grace Covenant Session has chosen to initiate some temporary precautionary measures. These protocols will go into effect this Sunday, January 9, and run through the end of this month. They will be reviewed again by Session at our February 1 meeting.
Chief among our temporary measures will be the postponement of the resumption of Sunday School for all ages, and the temporary suspension of nursery, Kid’s Quest (catechism), and Children’s Church on Sunday mornings. Obviously we are concerned for the health of our children, many of whom may not have yet had opportunity to receive vaccination. But our concern is also for those who teach – and for those who coordinate these activities for our children.
Second, we will encourage intentional social distancing, as well as reiterate our present policy which strongly recommends wearing masks during our worship services. Along with that, as strongly as we affirm the importance and benefits of worshipping together, we do want to encourage anyone with underlying health issues that might compound the effects of COVID to consider worshipping with us online for a few weeks.
Finally, a few other recommendations and minor adjustments will be made by various ministries. Most immediate among those adjustments will be the postponement of our annual Congregational Dinner Meeting to Sunday February 6. Ministry leaders will notify those involved of any other adjustments that will impact their respective schedules and activities.
Like many of you, I have grown weary of all these restrictions and adjustments. I long for a day – hopefully a day sometime soon – when we are back on the road to normalcy. As a Session we are not predicting anything, nor do we want to inspire fear or undue concerns. We are simply taking some temporary proactive measures intended to protect the people in our church, with as little disruption as possible. It may prove, in few weeks, that these temporary measures were un-necessary. Nothing would make us happier. But few things would cause us more regret than for us to take no preventative actions, then later realize we should have. We ask for your patience with us, and for your prayers. We are always in need of wisdom, but perhaps at this time more than almost ever before.
Speaking on behalf of all of our Elders – those presently on Session, those on sabbatical, and those who are Emeritus – I will paraphrase the Apostle Paul: We give thanks for you all, for the grace God has given you is evident, and an encouragement to us all.
Grace & Peace,
W. Dennis Griffith, Lead Pastor