Important Pandemic Announcement: Suspending In-Person Large Gatherings for Two Weeks
From Dr. Michael Roberts,
In response to the pandemic crisis in our community, we will be online only for worship and Sunday School, for the next two Sundays, Jan. 23 and 30. Our staff will continue to work and be available. Our Food Pantry, and some small group gatherings, will continue with special attention to our protocols. All of you are encouraged to participate in “Sermon and Song” for the next two Sundays. This online worship experience premieres at 9:30 am each Sunday on the church Facebook page and our website.
This decision flows from our calling to “love one another with mutual affection and outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10). As a congregation, may we be among those who lead the way and lead with love.
Motivated by Data:
First of all, we also have members of our staff and their families, along with members of our choirs, bands, and Sunday School leaders, who have been directly affected and are self-isolating right now. This certainly factors into our decision. Secondly, the number of new daily cases in Faulkner County are at an all-time high, with reported cases at 340 per 100K, up dramatically from last week, which was also a record-breaking number. With the latest variants, and with continually improving treatments, the risk of severe illness is reported to be lower, but the high number of cases is leading to increased pressure on our health-care system. As of today, ICU beds in Faulkner County are at 99 percent capacity, with 36 of 37 available beds filled and with 20 of those beds filled with Covid patients. This is alarming, especially for those in need of urgent care. And while I do not know the exact numbers about vaccination status, more general statements from officials would suggest that most, if not all, of these Covid patients are unvaccinated.
Motivated by a Calling:
This week I was challenged by the short verse that calls us to “love one another with mutual affection and to outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10). I invite you to reflect upon this calling. In terms of the pandemic, this calling can lead us to give special attention to vaccines, masks, physical distancing, and by avoiding large group gatherings when the numbers are at this crisis level. This is how we can do our part to help us all move from a pandemic to having a virus that is endemic. As a congregation, may we be among those who lead the way and lead with love. Let us “outdo one another in showing honor.”
My friends, I hope you will join us for online worship these next two Sundays. As we gather in this way, may love grow in us and through us!