Friends, you may remember how quickly things changed from “almost normal” to a totally different world during a week in March of 2020 as the pandemic began.
It seems that the end of those major restrictions is coming in the same way, with little advance warning.
What you may or may not remember is that at Epiphany we had already began to make changes to our practices in the weeks before the cascade of COVID related shut-downs. We needed some time to think things through and get ready. We are going to need the same time to evaluate and make changes as restrictions end.
To that end, we are keeping our current operating procedures in place for now. We will be wearing masks this Sunday at Epiphany. We continue to have a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people at church – particularly our children – and so it is hard to make a “one size fits-all” decision, especially when major changes to CDC and state guidelines come late in the week. In the week ahead, the regathering committee (myself, Mtr. Pamela, our senior warden Lisa Baehr, former senior warden Mark Oliphant, and vestry members Bill Hoover, Carole Menzel, Pat Meyer and Margaret Stromberg) will get up to speed on all the new information we have and chart our next steps forward to the post-pandemic future. In any case, we already have plans in place to loosen some of our restrictions on Pentecost Sunday, May 23.
Here is the good news. Things are changing for the better – more quickly than seemed possible even a few days ago. We will soon be able to see each other’s faces, sing together, and go forward into a future with a lot fewer rules and restrictions then we have lived with for the past year.
Please be patient with us as we figure it out and patient with those who see our path forward differently than you might. Over the last few weeks in our Gospel readings from John, we heard Jesus pray two things for us his followers, that “all may be one,” and that we “love one another.” This is a time to practice what Jesus prayed for us.