for a detailed description (in PDF format) of Session’s recent decisions regarding changes in our Covid policies at Immanuel starting in May. Please take a moment to read the summary below and the attachment with a spirit of grace, and join us in praying for continued discernment during these pandemic days.
While we all long for the endemic stage of Covid-19 to arrive, the policy changes included here reflect the reality that we are still in the pandemic stage. After extended deliberation, the Session adopted the attached policies, all of which are subject to re-evaluation as the changing level of risk from Covid warrants and which are summarized at the bottom of this email.
There are many differing desires in the congregation and differing levels of comfort with risk when it comes to Covid which the attached document
aims to incorporate. In making these decisions category by category, Session discussed the Covid-19 Team’s guidance that continued masking whenever singing remains a priority to minimize transmission. Session also discussed the realities helpfully articulated by the Covid-19 team: current variants are highly transmissible, long Covid possibilities are well documented, and relaxing masking in group settings carries inevitable risk, including with resuming nursery care. Most choices in our lives right now involve risk analysis and risk assessment, and many of us have different comfort levels.
During the month of May, small groups and committees are welcome to once again meet on campus at your discretion, communicating your room reservation needs to Mary Ann Vaughan at email@example.com
. We recommend that when you first begin meeting in person, that you do so with masks on until your full committee or small group is able to weigh in on preferences for continuation of masking for your group.
Some groups may wish to continue meeting over Zoom, and others may wish to figure out how to do hybrid meetings (some people remote with others in person), while still other groups may wish to consider hosting the majority of meetings over Zoom with occasionally scheduled in-person meetings. Please utilize May meetings to discuss your location/digital preferences, and whether your group wishes to advertise your small group or committee meeting as “mask required” or “mask optional.” Once those decisions find consensus, please advise Russ Carlton (firstname.lastname@example.org
) of your choices so that we may advertise each group clearly in the E-Presence and on the Immanuel website calendar. This will allow congregation members to opt in for events, committee meetings, and spirituality and learning opportunities which meet their particular needs and hopes during this time.
As we continue to weather the storms of these topsy-turvy transitional days, may we do so with the Spirit of Love at our center, that our lives would reflect the fruits of the Spirit through it all! May love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control shine in our lives, to the glory of God (Galatians 5:22-23).