The Session and I have been keeping a close watch on the COVID surge in our community. After prayerful consideration, we have made several decisions about how to proceed in the next few weeks. We have made these decisions following the guidance from the CDC and after consultation with medical professionals in our community.
First, we have decided to suspend Sunday church services on December 27, 2020 and January 3, 2021. We decided to do this because many people are gathering in small places for Christmas celebrations with people that they have not had regular contact with during this pandemic, which could be a recipe for covid to spread quickly. Services are not being suspended because we have been forced to do so, but only as a simple safety measure. If the spike after Thanksgiving was any indicator, we may see the same thing in the next couple of weeks, so we want to be prepared and take precautions.
Second, all Home Groups, prayer meetings, bible studies and other small groups are being moved to ZOOM for the next few weeks.
And lastly, during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, the office will be closed and the staff will be working from home. The building will continue to be open for John's Place, the Thrift Shop, the food pantry and for AA/NA meetings.
Should you need to reach someone during the office closure, you can leave a message on the machine at the church as Dorothy will be checking messages regularly, or you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The office will reopened with staff on January 4, 2021.
I fully anticipate church services to start again on 1/10/2021 (9am and 11am) and home groups, bible studies and other meetings will be able to schedule use of the building rooms starting the week of 1/17/21.
Unfortunately, suspensions could be extended IF we see a drastic spike in COVID numbers in our community or if the State of New York implements additional restrictions and closures, but this is certainly not the route that we want or plan to take. Please watch for church emails or check this page on the website for continued updates.
I hope you all have a Blessed and Wonderful Christmas and stay safe.
Let's pray for the quick end of covid in 2021!
Pat Hanly, Pastoral Associate, MPC and Head of Staff