June 15, 2020
Emanuel Nine, martyrs, died 2015
Dear Friends in Christ,
+Grace and Peace
Last week you should have received an email inviting you to participate in a brief survey developed by our Covid-19 Task Force. The purpose of the survey is to gauge the congregation’s pulse in regard to resuming in-person worship. If you have already completed that survey, thank you. If you have not, I encourage you to do so at your earliest convenience. If you need assistance with this in any way, please contact Christine Cressler, Office Manager, at 717-261-1213, or [email protected]
Our Covid-19 Task Force is preparing to make a presentation to the church council at a special meeting tomorrow evening (Thursday, June 16). This presentation will include procedures for the first phase of re-opening the church building. This first phase will include opening the building for limited and coordinated use by small groups, committees, and support groups for meetings as well as limited office hours for in-person interaction. This first phase is proposed to be enacted beginning on July 6.
This first phase of re-opening does not include provisions for in-person worship services. The Covid-19 Task Force will work on plans that will introduce transitional procedures for resuming in-person worship. These plans will likely include the temporary scheduling of multiple services in order to provide necessary conditions for distant socializing and other personal protection protocols. The details of these protocols will be shared with the congregation in a timely fashion before re-opening. Please be assured that these plans will be developed in consultation with the latest scientific data and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control. The Covid-10 Task Force will also follow developing trends and will make further recommendations to the church council as needed to mitigate unnecessary risk. The health, well-being, and safety of members and friends of the congregation will remain a top priority.
In this season, I remain grateful for the understanding and maturity with which this congregation has adapted to new patterns and routines. I know change is not easy, especially when so much comes all at once. The introduction of on-line worship videos and Zoom gatherings has actually increased our ability to share God’s Word and nurture fellowship. More people are being reached and many of you now know yourselves to be better equipped to live into the Evangelical part of our name. We have become a deployed and multi-site congregation as our homes have been transformed into house-churches and mission outposts. I hope we are willing and able to continue many of these new practices when we find ourselves entering a new season of life-together as the Body of Christ even as we look forward to being able to gather again in worship, praise, and thanksgiving.
In Christ’s Love for you,