The Safety and Wellbeing of Members, Friends and Guests of Hope United Church of Christ
The COVID 19 Task Force (Andrew Buck, Cathy Evers, Tod Walker, and Pastor Mary Beth) have met several times in order to have conversation and discussion about what the latest protocols are regarding this virus. The leadership team of Hope United Church of Christ has been monitoring the reporting of positivity rates for COVID 19 in Linn County, in our state, and in our country. Our priority remains the safety and wellbeing of members, friends, and guests of our church.
The COVID 19 virus is currently on the rise in our communities, our state and across the country. Therefore at the Council’s most recent meeting on Wednesday, October 28, the leadership team decided to continue to follow the guidance of the scientific experts and current recommendations of the United Church of Christ and continue to worship online only until such time it is safe to return to our sanctuary space and to worship.
As of now, our services for November and December will be online and available for viewing via Facebook on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m.
We will continue to offer opportunities for small group meetings and activities in our church building, such as the book club, knitting group, and committee meetings. These types of events must follow COVID 19 protocols: wearing face coverings, washing hands, using hand sanitizer, six feet distance between persons. It is hoped that we will continue to discover new ways of enjoying fellowship, participating in mission and providing meaningful worship while staying as safe as possible.
Watch for details about how we will be hosting this year’s annual meeting, scheduled for Sunday, December 6, in a new and safe way. We are hoping that we might be able to offer special services such a Blue Christmas service during the upcoming holiday season. It is also our desire to host a different, yet meaningful, Christmas Eve services, if possible.
We recognize that this pandemic is taking its toll on many communities. It continues to be a difficult year on so many levels as individuals and families continue to recover from the Derecho storm in August, tend to the challenges work and school, along with the weariness that has settled in because of this ongoing pandemic. We must continue to work to stay connected to one another: reach out by making a phone call, sending a card, sharing a text message.
The season of Advent will be coming in a few weeks. Advent is the season of waiting in expectation and in hope for the incarnation of God – Emmanuel – God with us. And even in this year and in this time when we can feel tired and disillusioned with the challenges that are around us, let us not forget that God is already with us.
Stay well and safe.
~ Pastor Mary Beth