By Pastor Peter Hanson
For the past sixteen months, so much of our life has been defined by, limited to, and organized around the realities of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We’ve endured shutdown and quarantine, confinement to our homes, and cancelled travel plans. We’ve been working from home, going to school on zoom, and worshipping on YouTube. We’ve adopted new phrases into our everyday speech—from “stop the spread” and “flatten the curve” to “Delta variant” and “phased re-opening plan.” As we begin to emerge from this global health crisis, many of us are understandably eager to put it all completely behind us: to simultaneously skip forward to the “finish line,” and back to some sense of past normalcy.
From our initial and immediate shutdown in March 2020, through each of the found phases of reopening, we’ve trusted science and taken our cues from the experts at the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health. We’ve been blessed to have had our own local health experts in our three Faith Community Nurses, who along with the Executive Committee and lead staff have met regularly as the CtK COVID Response Team. Erring on the side of caution, we’ve no doubt made some missteps along the way. There are situations in which we have likely moved more slowly that others in the community around us. There have certainly been times in the past year that we have unintentionally sent mixed or conflicting messages. We have greatly appreciated your continued flexibility, patience, and understanding as we navigated this untrodden path together. As one colleague likes to remind us, “this is our first pandemic,” and we did not have a good roadmap for every twist and turn along the way.
With all that as background, here are some late-breaking announcements:
- Beginning on July 1, 2021, people who are vaccinated will be encouraged, but no longer required, to wear masks in the CtK building.
- Many of us will continue to wear masks in solidarity with those who cannot yet be vaccinated (children under 12, as well as those of all ages with compromised immune systems).
- Those who are not yet vaccinated will be asked to wear masks in the CtK building, whether for worship, a class, or a meeting. (And we strongly recommend that those who can get vaccinated do so as soon as possible.)
- Also beginning July 1, the church building will be open more regularly, with office hours set on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 am to 3 pm, as well as by appointment.