Special Message from Pastor Valerie
When I was a young person, there were always posters around the school. These posters had uplifting sayings and were inspirational. As I write to you this Thursday evening, one of them comes to mind: ‘make a plan and work the plan.’ I think that’s where we are today. Having a plan and working the plan, and making changes as we need to.
Like most of you, I listened to the CDC updates throughout the day and also the comments Governor Walz made this evening. So, I would assume many of you are wondering: ‘what is the plan?’
For the most part, things will continue as they have with a few changes. The first change is that after this Sunday, I will take the sign-up-genius down. This means all can attend worship without going to the website to sign up and everyone can come back to worship Sunday mornings at 10:00am without registering beginning May 23. Given that, and also given the fact that people sitting near each other (like on buses and planes) will still mask, we too, will continue to mask.
You are now asking, ‘why, since the Governor said we don’t have a mandate anymore?’ This is true and a good thing as we move forward as a community. In worship, as we continue to open, we would appreciate you graciously continue wearing your mask for the time being. As we move through our re-opening process, we want to maintain the safety of the community, especially for those who are unvaccinated and for those in our community who cannot, for health reasons receive a vaccine. With this, we maintain accessibility for all of our members, and no one will come and feel out of place. Another reason, using the bus and plane example, is that our Sanctuary is not ventilated in such a way as to support singing and participation without masks. This week, those who are 12-15 are now able to receive the vaccine, and that is very exciting. Even so, I think we need to keep in mind our families with young children, knowing how much we want them to be able to return. It is a safe option for masking to continue for just this next while.
We will not need to mask forever. Please don’t let that be a take-a-way. We continue to be responsive to the facts on the ground, and the changes that come so quickly. We have come this far so it won’t hurt us to mask for a while longer, and let the number of vaccinated in Minnesota reach a higher percentage.
The guidance for Peace Lutheran is to strongly encourage masking for the time being. If you come to worship and decide you will not mask, you will not be excluded or rebuffed in anyway. As your Pastor, I kindly ask you to bear with the mask and with our process.
I have been praying for all of you throughout this COVID season; and I covet your prayers as well. Every person is important in the life of our congregation. I truly believe what I am asking fits with the call to care for the neighbor. We don’t know everyone’s story, we don’t know who is vaccinated and who has yet to have a vaccine, and those who, for health reasons, cannot be vaccinated.
Throughout the weeks of the summer, you will continue to receive the plans for re-opening and the plans for this fall. One thing I can communicate to you is that on Rally Day when we come back together, when we have our two services and our Sunday School start up, we will return to the practice of Holy Communion as it was before COVID. Throughout the summer we will continue the Communion practices which include our use of the Communion pods.
Summer is our time to put things back in place, to make the changes that will be the church ‘post covid.’ We have learned a great deal these last many months and in the wisdom of what we have learned together, we will move forward.
Thank you for your kindness, your prayers for all, and your work together as the people of God at Peace Lutheran. Be safe…Take care…
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