To the people of Flemington UMC,
Grace and peace to you all! I hope that every one of you had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Is it just me, or is it hard to believe it’s already 2022?!?
As I’m sure all of you know, COVID-19 cases have unfortunately surged in our state due to the Omicron variant. Just today, we recorded 25,000 new cases, and it looks likely that cases will continue to rise and peak sometime in the next few weeks.
Currently, there are no plans to suspend in-person worship services. However, I am calling all of us to renewed levels of vigilance. We must do everything we can to keep the people of our church and the wider community safe. Here are a few important ways that you can do that.
1. Do not come to church if you, or anyone who you live with, display symptoms of any kind (sore throat, headache, fever, runny nose, loss of taste, etc.) Do not assume that it’s just the “common cold.” Err on the side of caution for the sake of others. Also, do not come to church if you have recently been exposed to someone else with COVID-19. Instead, you can enjoy our services from the comfort of your home on our Facebook page.
2. Please feel empowered to enjoy our worship services from home if you have health concerns. As a Pastor, I can’t stress this enough: You are not a bad Christian if you prefer to err on the side of caution and not come to services or in-person gatherings.
3. If you worship with us in person, please be mindful of the type of mask you are wearing. Not all masks offer the same level of protection. Scientists and doctors know that disposable surgical masks, N95’s, and KN95’s offer much better protection than cloth masks. Also, masks offer you and others no protection if they are not covering your nose and your mouth.
4. If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 and recently joined us for service, please let our SPRC chair Peter Espeut or myself know. We will notify any people you might have had close contact with within the church while keeping complete medical confidentiality (people will know they were exposed without knowing who specifically exposed them). In short, knowing if there have been positive cases in our church will help us keep people safe. If you need either of our contact information, please email Gretchen at email@example.com.
Friends, the good news is that scientists project that this surge will only be temporary and that we’ll be in a much better place in a few weeks. But, in the meantime, let’s do what we can to love our neighbors as ourselves by practicing wise precautions as individuals and as a community of faith.