Updates Regarding Coronavirus Pandemic
A COVID-19 Conversation With Dr. Tom Hodge
Since the beginning of March, we have been checking in regularly with health care professionals in our congregation to get their input on what activities they think are and are not safe for the church to be doing as this pandemic has progressed. One of those people is Dr. Tom Hodge. Tom is an immunovirologist who has spent his career in academia as well as 20+ years at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta studying viruses such as Ebola, SARS, Zika, and others. Despite technically being retired, he is now actively involved in research and consulting with pharmaceutical companies pursuing a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. In July 2020, Alan & Tom sat down on the playground veranda to talk about all things coronavirus.
A Note to Congregation
As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, all worship and regularly scheduled on-campus activities have been canceled until further notice. This action includes canceling Sunday worship, Wednesday night dinners, children and youth programming, on-campus Bible studies, and other church sponsored gatherings of roughly ten or more people.
Please know that this is a step we do not take lightly. Church is supposed to be the place where we come together in times such as these, not a place we stay away from. But after conversation with several experts including a member of our congregation who is a retired CDC researcher, we have concluded that we have a responsibility to help protect our community - especially the most vulnerable in our community - by taking steps that will aid in mitigating the spread of the virus. One way to do this is by temporarily halting all large group gatherings where germs are most easily spread.
Most staff are working remotely during this time. All staff are available via email and phone. Voicemails left with staff on their office phones will be forwarded to them via email and they will return messages as soon as they are able. Updates to the congregation will also continue to be communicated via the Web site, email, and social media.
Please continue praying for all of those already impacted by this virus and for the many, many others in our community and beyond who are actively working to bring about healing. May we each seek to be agents of Christ's peace in these anxious times, trusting and knowing that God goes with us regardless of when and where we gather.
Rev. Alan Dyer