Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Grace and peace to you! It’s been some time since I’ve needed to send a letter like this, but the ongoing reality of the pandemic has hit our parish close to home once more. Over the past week, roughly a dozen new cases of COVID in our congregation have come to my attention. After testing negative before, I tested positive for it on Memorial Day – this means I likely had it at worship on Sunday, but didn’t know it yet. As such, for everyone’s safety, we’ll need to take some steps for a few days.
First, there will be no regular office hours with staff on-site this week. The phone is flipped to Ruth’s cell phone, and we still have regular access to email. Staff will be on-site during this week as needed, but if you can wait to come to the church until next week, please do so. I will be available to speak and pray with folks on the phone, but I cannot visit anyone in person until five days have passed after I test negative. If an emergency requires a pastor’s presence, I will arrange for another ELCA pastor to care for you.
Second, worship is canceled for Pentecost Sunday, June 5th. We will begin our summer worship schedule on Holy Trinity Sunday, June 12th, with summer fellowship right after worship. If I have not cleared quarantine by then, a supply pastor will be scheduled for that day.
Please continue to watch yourselves for symptoms, and consider masking in public for the time being. Over two years of this is a long time, but by the mercy of God, we’ve been brought this far. May the fires of Pentecost, which burn away divisions, rapidly spread healing among us all, and enable us to come back together safely soon. See you on the other side of quarantine!
Grace and peace,