For Washington County Only 10-27-2020
COVID-19 Update: Deepening Cause for Concern in Minnesota from UCC Newsletter dated 10-27-2020
Last week’s meeting of judicatory leaders with the Minnesota Department of Health was a sobering one & provided several bits of information you need to know & discuss with your colleagues and congregations. That meeting, along with the October 26 update from the Governor and MDH officials, can be summarized as follows:
What does all of that data mean for us and our churches? If you have not resumed in-person, indoor worship or other in-person activities as of yet: stay the course and do not do so. If you have already resumed in-person, indoor worship and/or other activities: prayerfully consider ceasing that practice now. Meet with your congregational leadership, study your community’s data, and consider discontinuing any in-person gatherings until further notice. I’ve already received word from some of you that you have made this decision where you are, and I’m grateful for the wisdom and care you are showing.
I know we are ALL so tired of the never-ending COVID narrative. We miss seeing one another in person, we’re tired of Zoom screens and YouTube posts, we want to return to the precious routines of our personal and church lives. Unfortunately, COVID is not cooperating with our weariness. In fact, the months ahead could be very difficult as weather prevents most outdoor gatherings and as the flu also sets in, complicating the picture.
It is unlikely that the Governor would “dial back” on his executive orders and “shut us down” once again, given the enormous political and economic pressure he is under to not do so. So it is up to all of us to follow the data, practice prayerful discernment, and do our part as individuals, congregations, and the Conference to hasten this pandemic’s conclusion and keep all our neighbors healthy & safe by following the most stringent public health protocols.
Advent & Christmas will present an enormous temptation for us as churches to re-gather our people face-to-face. Especially this year, after all we have endured, we long to be together for this most special part of the year. With a heavy heart, I urge you to avoid that temptation.