Temporary Return to Online-only Worship

Temporary Return to Online-only Worship

…in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.

Phillipians 2:3b-5a

You may already have heard last evening’s call from Pastor Keith via DialMyCalls, but in an effort to spread the news as far as possible we’re sharing the letter from Council here as well.

January 10, 2022

Dear Church Family and Friends,

Happy New Year!  We hope you, and family and friends, were able to share time together during this past holiday season.  We pray everyone is safe and well.   We know how special it has been to have returned to in-person worship in our beautiful sanctuary, with strict social distancing and contact tracing in place.  We are so grateful this was able to occur during Advent.

Following the board re-organizational meeting held on January 9, the new church council held the first meeting of 2022.  Again, Council was faced with serious and difficult discussion about whether or not to continue to meet in person, with our many requirements in place (every other pew, wearing masks, not passing the offering plate, passing the peace from our pews, taking communion outside and from individual baggies and cups, and more) or to return to virtual services for the remainder of January 2022 in hope of returning in person in February.

According to health officials, Fairfield County is a “hot spot” in Ohio.  Many of us know family and friends who have been diagnosed with Covid, despite having been vaccinated and boosted.  Additionally, Fairfield Medical Center has once again decided that all elective procedures/surgeries are being postponed due to the stress on the system and staff.    Local business is struggling to remain open due to lack of staff. 

After much discussion by Council members and Pastor Keith, it was decided we will temporarily return to virtual worship beginning January 16, 2022.  You may join us for virtual worship via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Zoom, or the link on our website. The Council will communicate every two weeks to review local health information but are hopeful we can return to in-person worship in February 2022.  We will be communicating this via all of our social media, the all-call system, this letter, and phone calls.  Please share with friends as you speak with them to help us assure everyone has received this information. 

This decision was not taken lightly. It is with care and concern for not only those who attend in person, but for all those who have contact with those who attend in person, for those who are vaccinated and un-vaccinated, for those who are at greater risk for infection, despite vaccination status – for all.   This is a demonstration of our love for one another as Jesus loves us.  Please join us in prayer this will be short term and our communities and nation will begin to experience a rapid decline in infection as other countries have experienced. 

Don’t hesitate to contact Pastor Keith or Johanna Pearce with any questions or concerns. 

Go with Grace.

PS, here are a couple of graphs showing the current Covid situation in Fairfield County that contributed to the decision (courtesy of covidactnow.org).

covid-19 cases as of 2022-01-12 from covidactnow.org
covid icu capacity as of 2022-01-12 from covidactnow.org
covid death rate as of 2022-01-12 from covidactnow.org
covid vaccination rate as of 2022-01-12 from covidactnow.org