Weekly Announcements from Pastor Valerie Brown-Greenly, Senior Pastor

Weekly Announcements from Pastor Valerie Brown-Greenly, Senior Pastor

Dear Friends,
Please read this email for important updates.  This coming Sunday, September 26, is Confirmation Worship at 10:00am.  We are asking that the confirmands, their family, friends, and Sunday School parents would worship in person, and that others would choose to live stream on the 26th.
Beginning on Sunday, October 3, we will return to in person worship in the Sanctuary at 10:00am.  What this means for us is that masking will continue to be required throughout the building.  There is a cake/coffee reception for Steve Gripp following worship on October 3.  As you know, Steve Gripp is relocating to Phoenix and we are bidding him farewell.  (If you won’t be able to attend, and would wish, please send your cards and greetings to the church office and we’ll see that he gets them.)  Please remain masked until you have received your refreshments and are seated at a table in the Fellowship Hall, and unmask of course to enjoy your cake/coffee.  Once you are finished, please put your mask on to move around the Fellowship Hall as you converse with others.  I know this is not ideal, but we will follow best practices to ensure the safety of our community.
Returning to in person worship is not ideal, as the infection level in our State has not trended down significantly.  Each person knows their own vaccination status, health status, and will need to act accordingly.  As far as the church is concerned, we will continue to require masking until the rate of infection decreases, and until many have had the opportunity for a booster vaccination.  It is the intent of our congregation to care for the unvaccinated, those who cannot be vaccinated and our families with children under the age of 12.  This is why when we require masking, we require the mask to be worn correctly over the nose and mouth.  If this is not possible for you, then we encourage you to continue joining us for online worship.
Maybe you are asking, if we need to take so many precautions, why are we coming back inside?  One reason is I am in constant contact with the leaders of other ELCA congregations in our area.  We are all returning to in person worship with masking.  The parking lot has been useful for the last two Sundays as we were able to have our little children come and get their prayer books and Bibles in a safe environment.  Our Sunday School children are in person with masking and precautions will continue.  Another reason I opted to bring us back inside is the number of people participating in parking lot worship is trending down.  
I hope you understand that for me, leadership throughout the COVID 19 pandemic has been a balancing act.  Please know I will always balance my decisions for the health and welfare of our members over and against what is practical for all of our members.  So, on October 3, we will come indoors for in person worship, and we can see how that goes.  I think you understand the fluid environment we all are living in.  Flexibility and patience are good tools for our journey forward.  Thank you for your prayers for our hard-working staff and for me during this time.
Office hours this week have changed just a bit.  Tonight, we have office hours from 5:00-7:00pm.  There are no office hours tomorrow (Thursday) due to the David Neumann funeral.  Next week, office hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:30am-Noon, and then the extra hours on Wednesday evening from 5:00-7:00pm.
Reminder:  Spirit Time for children ages 3 through 5th grade meets Wednesday evenings from 6:15 to 7:30pm.  It’s a fun night of music, Bible stories, crafts, and sometimes games and science.  
Looking Way Ahead: we will host Trunk or Treat on Sunday, October 31, for the community this year.  We would appreciate donations of bagged, individually wrapped candy to help restock the cars.  Please drop candy off during office hours or on Sunday mornings.  Thank you for your help!!
Take care…Be safe…
Pastor Valerie
Cell:  612-280-6493     Email:  bvalerie65@yahoo.com
Church:  763-757-4459     Email:  vbrown-greenly@peacecoonrapids.org
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