Dear Friends,

It is good news that I am bringing you! In accordance with the state of Michigan lifting mandates for mask wearing, distancing and size of gatherings, the Session has approved lifting the restrictions we have in place while maintaining some guidelines as specified by the CDC. You are no longer mandated to wear a mask in church or sit apart. The hymnals and Bibles have been returned to the pews and we will all be singing! You can enter or exit through your door of choice, and we will have fellowship in the narthex. Initially beverages will be provided for you to enjoy with snacks coming later.

We will continue meeting at 9:30 as that hour is cooler during the summer and we will not be turning on the fans until we have resolved how to zoom and do live worship at the same time. We have a committee diligently working on that as I write this. We will continue sanitizing the sanctuary on Monday mornings.

This will help us all begin to feel a sense of normalcy as we come together to worship and again enjoy fellowship together!

However! Lifting restrictions and coming back together does not mean the pandemic is over, that there are no risks involved or that precautions are not necessary. There is a responsibility we assume as we do this.

As you know there is concern over the variants of the Covid virus that are affecting people and that are highly transmissible. There are still guidelines the CDC provides to help us stay aware and more importantly stay safe.  It is known that even when vaccinated, it is possible to contract the virus though you may not become as seriously ill.

  • The CDC recommends:

¨ “If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions i.e.  wearing a mask that covers your mouth and nose, social distancing, avoiding large groups and washing hands often.”

¨ “Unvaccinated People wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart, and wash your hands frequently”

  • The CDC states:

¨ Safety levels assume the recommended prevention measures are followed, both by the individual and the venue (if applicable).

¨ CDC cannot provide the specific risk level for every activity in every community. It is important to consider your own personal situation and the risk to you, your family, and your community before venturing out.

We are committed to following guidelines that allow you to make the best decision for yourself and your family as we seek to return to a level of normal activity. We are also committed to caring for one another as a family of God.

The Session is aware that some people have chosen not to vaccinate and we respect that decision. We also believe that as Christians, we bear responsibility toward others and we put that above personal convenience and comfort. Out of respect for every person in the congregation we are asking that if you are unvaccinated, please wear a mask to worship and while in the building. We are not singling anyone out or checking who is or who is not vaccinated. I am confident that there are those who are elderly, those whose health is compromised and those who choose to lower their risk factor who will be wearing a mask.  We ask that everyone take seriously one’s own responsibility to the community of faith. We do not underestimate the possibility of rapid transmission of new variants among the unvaccinated and the possibility of it transmitting to those who are vaccinated but are health compromised or elderly. I pray that our most vulnerable among us would not suffer at any level due to exposure to the Covid virus or any variant of it. We have always recorded attendance and will continue to do so which will be helpful in the event it’s necessary to assist with contact tracing.

As we return, as we enjoy one another’s smiles and laughter, as we listen to the joyful sounds of our voices lifted in song, let us thank God for one another and seek God’s blessing on our family of faith!

Blessings to you and yours and I look forward to seeing you!