Noticings – November 11, 2021


November 11, 2021 

Let me be clear. There is really no debate about this. The scientific consensus is powerful and persuasive. The BEST science is unequivocal in support of this idea: being double vaccinated against Covid-19 is the single best way to both protect ourselves and protect one another in this pandemic time. Full stop. This is the science that persuades us, and guides us. And as an act of love, and care, and compassion we at Faith United will do THE most loving thing we can in this regard. Our Faith United Council has decided: We will insist that every single person (12 and over – eligible for vaccination) who crosses the threshold of our church building is double vaccinated.

We are now ready to say that, yes, on November 21st we will be reopening our church for in-person worship! There are two core requirements for that to happen:

  1. Every person entering Faith United will be double vaccinated for Covid-19
  2. Every person entering Faith United will wear a mask
    1. (small groups may choose to unmask if the choice is unanimous, large groups may not)

While it may cause some pain to enact these rules, these are the requirements. If that means a beloved member (or brand new visitor) needs to be told “No, you cannot enter” because they’ve chosen not to be double vaccinated, that will be hard, but it is loving. Love protects the vulnerable. Loves ensures that those with respiratory worries are protected. Love says that those who refuse to comply with basic science can be offered an alternative experience online.

The government has suggested that by January such restrictions will not be necessary. We live in hope, and we will listen carefully to the best science when those times come.
In the meantime, simply put, double vaccination is the key to renewed life as our church.

Here’s what to expect if you choose to try in-person worship:

  1. You’ll need your vaccine QR code, or bring your proof of vaccination receipt.
  2. There will be a line up to get in while information is checked. Plan to arrive earlier than 10:25!
    1. (In subsequent weeks the process will speed up because we’ll already know who has shown proof of vaccination previously.)
  3. Quiet singing is allowed, but for now we’ll remain seated throughout the service.
  4. Physical distancing is not required during worship time, but it is encouraged.
  5. Offering plates will be stationary on a table, not passed.
  6. There will be activity bags for children, but not a formal Joyful Noise class for now.

We know that many people will still not be comfortable gathering in-person yet, so we are ensuring that the online livestream experience will remain excellent.
Oh, and if you’ve become accustomed to worshipping in your jammies, well, you are very welcome to come to church dressed however you wish!

This will be a weird and wonderful time of transition. Some things will feel great – other things will feel odd. We’ll need some grace as we try to adjust to hybrid worship and hope that you’ll be patient as we find our way together.
One thing is for sure – we are finally seeing the end of this trying season drawing near. For that I am truly thankful.

Rev. Larry