THURSDAY THOUGHTS January 20th 2022

THURSDAY THOUGHTS January 20th 2022

A Full Copy of January 20th’s Thursday Thoughts can be found HERE

January 20, 2022

Dear Congregation:

ERUCC has had a COVID response plan and process in place since July of 2020.  Our protocols and precautions have served us well and has enabled us to gather in-person as well as virtually.  We have turned and pivoted and adjusted as necessary.

As you know, we returned to wearing masks inside in August due to the rise of the Delta variant of the virus.  In these past weeks and those to come, we are responding to the more transmissible Omicron variant.  Still, we have stayed the course in our Love Your Neighbor response to the coronavirus.

On behalf of the leadership of the church, I thank you for your love and care for one another.  When you have been sick or have been experiencing symptoms that could be COVID, you have stayed home and not attended in-person events at the church.  You have notified me or Kim Sexton of your illness and exposure if you had been at an in-person church event or activity.   That communication has brought great comfort and assurance to those attending ERUCC that we have done everything to mitigate risk and when we have heard of an exposure, we have notified the people who may have been in close contact with someone at church. To date, we are not aware of anyone having contracted the virus from an in-person encounter.

I thank you for your conscientious love and care for others in the church.  Please do let us know if you are will so your church family can be supportive.  Please do let us know if you are experiencing symptoms or were tested positive for the virus and had recently attended an in-person event at the church.

We have been assured by the Health Department that being vaccinated, masking, washing our hands, and maintaining distance lowers the risk of contracting the virus.  But there is a risk, and we want everyone to remember the love your neighbor response.  If you choose to come to the church for in-person events, we honor your choice and we thank you for washing your hands, masking, and refraining from hugging.  (I know it’s hard.)  If you choose to stay home, we honor that, too. We know that whether we are gathered or scattered, Christ is with us.

Just a reminder of the values that have guided us through the pandemic:

Love for Neighbor – We proceed cautiously and with social distancing measures to protect the safety and health of our community.

Access and Equity – We create opportunities to participate how you feel comfortable, online and/or in-person, and will work to ensure experiences in both spaces are in harmony.

Social Justice – We know COVID-19 disproportionately impacts people of color and other marginalized populations. We believe our plan helps protect our vulnerable neighbors.

Service to Others – We acknowledge that helping to keep our neighbors healthy is a part of our service to our community and how we can be a face of God’s love.

Radical Hospitality – We continue to welcome you no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, and we will welcome you literally wherever you are!

Connection and Relationship – We value being in community together. We commit to continuing and expanding opportunities to worship, learn, and fellowship together.

Transparency – We, as a team of ERUCC members, consulted scientifically-based documents, trusted public health officials, and ecumenical leaders to develop our plan for reopening and will continue to do so. We will regularly share information and updates to our members and friends, and we place our trust in you to make the best decisions for you and your family as we move forward together.

Rev. Dr.  Barbara Kershner Daniel

Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ

Article by Jenna Duranko