Here’s the update: You may attend worship and church activities without a mask if you are fully vaccinated. With the Iowa Bishop’s permission, we are aligning our mask policy with the new CDC guidelines that were announced last Thursday. Going forward, you may experience the mix of people continuing to mask and people who choose not to mask in the same worship space or at meetings. This decision is to be implemented this coming weekend on Saturday, May 22.
I thank you for extending the “umbrella of mercy” towards those who are making these important, but difficult decisions. Team members discussed the feedback received in the 6 days since the CDC changes were announced. Families with children and teenagers are encouraged to participate as they are comfortable. Your patience at these times is most appreciated since it often takes a few days to respond to changing circumstances with the pandemic. The process of updating our COVID policy will be ongoing through the summer months and into the fall.
For now the church will continue the following safety steps:
- The filtration system at the front of the sanctuary runs 24/7: this provides 3 layers of protection, the HEPA filter catches mold, allergens and bacteria; the Charcoal filter takes out odors; the UV light ray takes out virus particles such as COVID.
- The 6-foot distance will continue with every other pew roped off
- No fellowship time after worship for the foreseeable future
- Offering plates will continue to be located at the door
- Communion will only be available with the individual cups
With the falling infection rates in Scott County, and lower number of hospitalizations, it seems to be a responsible time to update our policy. We also want you to know that there have been no infections or spread of COVID traced to our church since the pandemic started. Depending on personal comfort levels, individuals may wish to continue masking in worship or choose to worship online for a while longer. We recognize comfort levels vary widely within this congregation, some having higher risk levels in relation to COVID, and we therefore urge you to be respectful of the choices of your neighbor.
Further details will be in the next newsletter going out the end of May. We will also include responses to questions that have been received between the initial update and the publication deadline.
Pastor Jeff Dadisman
PS: The (11:00) Contemporary service will be open for in-person worship on Sunday, May 30. The online option will continue as well.