|June 10, 2020|
Dear CtL friends,
The purpose of this communication is to prepare you for our first step towards in-person worship in the midst of a pandemic. Details of what you can expect are on the front page of our website, (https://ctlcarefree.org/) in a video which has been prepared to demonstrate the precautions necessary for such a gathering. You will receive a separate email with essentially a transcript of the video attached from our regular CtL account.
If you are planning to attend, please make sure you review this beforehand so you know the necessary precautions on how to prepare before coming and what to do when you arrive. It’s all new!
We will continue to produce a full online worship experience with liturgy and special music for the foreseeable future regardless of the status of in-person worship.
The news with respect to COVD-19 in Arizona is not good. . . alarming, really. This morning the Arizona Republic reported: “During the last two weeks, the state has reported higher daily increases in cases, deaths and hospitalization rates than any time previously. Some experts warn that Arizona is experiencing a spike in community spread, pointing to the increases in the numbers of positive cases, the percent of positive tests out of total tests, and hospitalizations.”
The majority of the church council members believe it is too soon for in-person worship, but as your Council, they are responding to your direction provided in the survey that a majority of you want to have in-person worship influenced by your sense that “other churches are opening.”
We will continue to monitor the recommendations of the state’s health officials and Governor’s office and will certainly not offer in person worship if a new “shelter in place” order is in effect.
Tentatively, we will offer a significantly modified in-person worship experience on June 21, 9:00 a.m. as described in the video on our website and the transcript you will receive later today. Steps are being taken to make this first in-person worship as safe as we can make it following the guidelines for safety as set forth by the CDC. We simply must do this for a raft of reasons, the most important of which is the health and welfare of CtL members and the community. But, please know, despite our best efforts, we cannot guarantee this will be 100% safe.
Importantly, I will repeat here, what you will see/read in both of those communications: No one is under any obligation to come just because it is available. This is not something you should do just because the church is doing it. If you feel you are at risk for any of the reasons you’ve heard 100 times or in the risk categories we’ve all learned about, DON’T COME!
The truth is, in this congregation, we’re nearly all in a high risk category including Joy and me. If you are still sheltering in place and taking minimal risks, DON’T COME. If you are caring for someone in a high risk category, DON’T COME. And most especially, if you have been exposed or are in any way symptomatic, DON’T COME.
Your safety and welfare and that of your friends at CtL and the friends and family with whom you will come in contact after such a worship experience need to be a higher priority than the act of worship in a church building. God is fully present with and among us wherever we are, whether gathered together or scattered in the world. In fact, we are called to be scattered, and it is scattered where our witness for Jesus, the Christ is most profoundly felt.
|Peace and blessings,|