Functioning as any kind of a Pastor anytime is challenging. Doing it during Covid is the Wild, Wild West. Making decisions while Covid is changing and permeating institutional normalcy is like navigating a Star Wars ship through a meteor shower. Christmas Eve was one of those times and I wanted to let you know that the decisions made were in collaboration with smart and trusted Church leadership. Please know, unequivocally, no one wanted to cancel (I like to think postpone) the FCCSJ Christmas Eve Service. I haven’t done the research but I am going bet it was a first.
A lot of hard work was put into the creation of the service by Kristin, the choir, Maryann, Cindy, the Tech Team and many others. The service was all ready to go but, at an hour and half before, when word was definite that Covid had arrived on the church doorstep and there would be restrictions to the service, we decided it was just too risky. From the perspective of the leaders, it was either take a chance that others might also have Covid or were at a high risk of exposure, or put a hold on the service which would buffer the Covid infected and non-infected. Yes, it was a last-minute decision because the news came when it came and could not have come sooner.
Our Covid Team and staff are now in the process of examining new Covid protocols and procedures. With your understanding and blessing I think we begin by once again utilizing Zoom for meetings and the Tech Team to produce the Sunday services virtually. Honestly? I don’t like this. I want to be in the sanctuary in worship live with you. After our staff meeting Wednesday morning we’ll have more information and collaboration on how to move forward, but move forward with Worship Services we most certainly will.
Deepest, personal thanks to Charles, Kristin, Cindy, Maryann and Penny for their leadership and courage. Penny did a beautiful service on Sunday, December 26th on her own (with Noel, Maryann, Mary-Ellen in the wings and me and Bella in the back) which was of deep spiritual meaning to so many. Thank you sincerely to you and anyone else whose name is not here.
One more note! Thank you for the outpouring of positive support received from people in the Congregation about our decision. FCCSJ is you and we want to protect and love you to the best of our knowledge and ability. Stay tuned for Worship to come as we move into the New Year 2022 together.