Hello, everyone. This has been a week of turmoil for our city and country. For our church community, we are continuing work on our plans for the reopening of the campus. This week’s Board of Stewards meeting again focused on the variety of issues that are involved in successfully opening in this pandemic climate. I cannot begin to express the pride that I have in the members of the Board, the church staff, the Building Reopening Task Force, and all others involved. This has been a very deliberate process to ensure the safety of all who enter.
The finance report at the meeting continues to show that you care. You have generously supported the church through your giving; as of today, we have collected 96 percent of the originally budgeted income for the month of May. Your gifts have helped us keep on track with the current conditions. We have controlled the expenses to a minimum. The payroll protection has prevented significant staff changes. We are now focusing on managing costs for programs as we begin to slowly add them to the church calendar.
The building reopening has begun. A few small groups have begun to meet. Staff is returning at a measured pace. We are focusing on the resumption of Sunday School classes on June 14. I ask everyone to check out the website. The procedures to confirm classroom locations, etc. will be posted there in the next few days. These are necessary to control traffic. Our emphasis is still on social distancing and other protocols as the COVID-19 virus is still with us. Many church members are in the “high risk” category. As you know, the hallways in the East and West wings are somewhat narrow, which makes passing one another challenging. Bathrooms are small and may have lines. All of these conditions can make social distancing more difficult. Class leaders do need to contact Leah Jayne at the church office to confirm your class time and location.
The target is still June 28 for the in-person worship. Those listening to the Sanctuary service this past Sunday may have noticed an echo. This is the impact of removing the pew cushions which can’t be easily sanitized. This is just one of the changes being made to make the environments safe. Another is that childcare will not be available for Sunday mornings. Reminder: The online services, either through the website, Facebook, or YouTube, will still be the primary source for Sunday worship.
A tremendous amount of work has been accomplished to get us to this point. We thank you for your support as we have faced these challenges. Our careful approach to closing the campus and now it’s slow reopening have been accomplished because of that support. This has been a total team effort. As we enter this new phase, I ask for your continued support.
Not only are we dealing with a pandemic and its severe economic impact to our community, we are also confronting yet again the cultural issue of racism. Our church identity is that we are a community of love, hope, and belonging for all. Each of us, individually and collectively, brings value to our community. Our ability to spread beyond our physical walls is our legacy. This is needed now more than ever. As we open the building, help us look for ways to reach out beyond.
Kathryn “Kitty” Meyers