You may have seen news that Fairfax County is now “recommending” a return to facemasks for all of us when inside public spaces, even if we have been vaccinated.
At this time, we have not moved to change our policy at Epiphany – facemasks are optional during worship for those who have been vaccinated. Our livestream is a great way to stay connected if that is a better option for you and your family right now. That said, if the situation changes and the county or state moves from a recommendation to a mandate, I expect we will adapt with it at Epiphany. The good news, such as it is, is that while cases have increased substantially in our area over the last few weeks, they remain much lower than at their peak in January and hospitalizations and deaths are lower still – though not a magic bullet, the vaccines work. We don’t know what the future holds, but I am praying that these trends hold up.
As I said last Sunday morning, responding to COVID remains a balancing act for us at church. On one hand, it has been so freeing and good to see each-other’s faces, to sing together, and to take a rest from remote meetings for most of this summer as the pandemic waned. We are meant to be together physically when we worship. On the other hand, the virus is real, can be deadly, and is not something we should ignore even though we are very tired from how it has upended our lives and pushed us apart.
One of the things that gives me hope is the simple fact that pandemics are not forever. This pandemic will not be forever. God has walked with his people through them before and is walking through this pandemic with us. Psalm 91 is one place Christians and Jews have turned to in times like this, and it’s worth all of us turning to at this time.
“I will say to the LORD, My refuge and my fortress,
My God in whom I trust
For he will deliver you from the snare
of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions
and under his wings you will find
Friends, we know where and in whom our refuge is, even as the pandemic wanes and waxes.
The Rev. Peter Frank, Rector