The worship experience for the weeks of Social Distancing can be found here.
Announcement for Remote Worship, November 22, 2020
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ. As promised, I have been in thought, prayer, and meditation over the last few days, asking for guidance from God as to whether or not we should return to remote worship via video or continue to worship in person. Over the last month, we have seen an increase in numbers throughout the state of Kansas, as well as in Johnson and Miami counties. There is good reason to suspect that this is a result of the cold weather we had a few weeks ago, which causes significant concern for the next few months. As was mentioned on Sunday, in an abundance of caution, the Bishop strongly encouraged the return to remote worship experiences for the current time for all counties with “critical or dangerous statuses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Further clarification has shown that he meant most of Kansas, including Johnson and Miami county. In addition, the COVID situation has begun to hit close to home, and a few people affiliated with the church and building are in quarantine as close contacts, although none in worship.
After deep thought and prayerful meditation, I am going to return to remote worship for the time being. I will reevaluate in mid-January.
Over the last few weeks I have heard several people closely affiliated with the church report going into quarantine due to being close contacts with people who have tested positive. I also have heard from professionals that informing close contacts is becoming harder and harder to do with the sheer number of positive cases they are having. To my knowledge, no one who was positive has walked into our worship services, although twice it was close. I’d like to keep it that way.
And I want to be clear. This decision is not made out of fear, but out of love. We love each other as ourselves, and our neighbors around us, both around the building and around each of your homes, by staying home for now. And I recognize that this will be through the Advent and Christmas seasons. But remember this: Christ did not come to a fancy church building; Christ came to a manger. To a home. Wherever you are this Advent and Christmas season, recognize that Christ will still be there. We talk every year about remembering the Reason for the Season. The Reason will still come. Nothing that is really at the heart of Christmas can ever be taken away. So I leave you with the encouragement to consider that maybe, just maybe, with everything stripped down to the bare essentials, with nothing left but the reason for the season, this will wind up the most meaningful Christmas of your lives.
May God bless you all. May you stay safe. And may God be with you till we meet again.