In the Epistle to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul lends some sage advice to Churches for persevering as Christian communities in the face of great challenges. Paul counsels them to put on the Whole Armor of God for the protection they need to continue their ministry in hostile environments. It is advice that takes on new meaning for us as we confront the challenges posed to society in general, and the Church in particular, under the prolonged shadow of the COVID pandemic. The armor we employ does not consist of shields, helmets, and breastplates, but masks, sanitizers, and safe spaces. However differently we picture the Armor of God in our situation, the constant that remains is the will that lies behind our wearing it. And that is our respect, kindness, and love for one another.
With the recent appearance of the Delta variant resulting in resurgent numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID, questions have been raised about what if any impact this might have on our planned Indoor Regathering, which is scheduled for September 12. At its most recent meeting, the COVID Response Team took these questions under consideration. The short answer is that we will stick with our planned Regathering date. However, these precautions will be in place:
Social distancing between those not of the same household and the wearing of masks will be required for indoor, in-person worship, and all indoor gatherings. Masks will be available for anyone who forgets to bring their own. If you are unable to safely wear a mask for health reasons this will not apply to you. However, since not wearing a mask could leave you vulnerable to contagion, you might consider worshipping from home instead of in person. The taped services will continue to be shown on the FCCW Facebook page on Sunday afternoons for home viewing.
- Church School teachers and students will mask, with the exception of any who are Pre-K age or under.
- Access to the sanctuary will only be available through the office-side door across from the lawn and up the stairs to the sanctuary entrance near the pulpit. Weather permitting, windows in the sanctuary will be open for better ventilation.
- There will not be any gathering downstairs following worship until further notice.
Depending on how circumstances unfold, these measures may be added to, removed, or adapted as deemed necessary. A member of the Safe Church Committee is staying in communication with the Westminster Board of Health for the most up-to-date information and guidance.
Grace and Peace,