February 22, 2021 Update on Returning to Church—
“I believe that I shall see the goodness of God in the land of the living. Wait for God; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for God!”
Since needing to discontinue in-person worship and many in-person ministries last March, we have been blessed to have a small group of our church leaders meeting virtually on a regular basis to help guide and make decisions. We called this group the Pandemic Management Team. We are now moving toward our return to more in-person ministries and worship and have formed another team that includes a cross-section of our church membership.
This team includes Pastor Jenny Arneson; Amanda Hinthorn, Director of Christian Education for pre-school-5th grade; Jme Willey, Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministries; Jack Malone, Leadership Board; Sarah Bolen, Finance/Stewardship Chair; Sherry Schultz, healthcare; Alex Benedict, science field; and Dee Heller, SPRC and works in the infectious disease field.
This team is planning when and how we safely return to in-person worship and ministry gatherings. Covid-19 numbers are decreasing and people are being vaccinated, but we still have a ways to go before a return to large gatherings can happen. But, those days will come and we want to have the best and safest return plan we can have.
We continue to follow guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Dane Co. executive orders, our Wisconsin Conference and the Wisconsin Council of Churches. All the guidance from these sources continues to tell us that gathering in large numbers indoors is not yet recommended.
Our church staff continues to creatively and faithfully plan worship and ministry experiences virtually, indoors in small numbers and safely outdoors. We continue to be grateful for the technology we have to do what we are doing and grateful for the continued support and affirmation as we work toward the day of returning to in person worship and ministries.
May we take courage, be strong, wait for God and give thanks for all that is ours as we continue to wear a mask, keep a social distance and wash our hands. Stay well!
Pastor Jenny Arneson