A Message From the Reopening Task Force

Dear friends, 

We are aware some members of the congregation are concerned with our Session’s decision to delay reopening of in-person worship. The task force understands and appreciates the desire to be in communion with each other. So we wanted to share with you more about our decision making process. 

The task force has taken a data-driven approach in assessing the risk of meeting together for worship.  For instance, one of the primary indicators we use to assess the prevalence of COVID-19 in St. Louis County is the Positivity Rate, which measures the percent of tests which return positive results for the previous seven days.  We use the St. Louis County Department of Health (stlcorona.com) as the primary source for this information.  This rate was near 4% for much of May and June but had jumped to 6.2% by the time our proposed resumption of in-person worship on July 19 approached.  As of August 5, this rate is 8.7%.   Additionally, we monitor data from Johns Hopkins University, St. Louis University, Harvard University, and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

As faithful stewards charged with caring for the well-being of our congregation and out of genuine love for our family of faith, we have proceeded with an abundance of caution.  After much heartfelt discussion, we therefore have recommended we delay resuming in-person worship until the climbing positivity rate reverses, and has dropped below 5% for two consecutive weeks.  We adopted the 5% rate because it is the generally accepted target of most health experts for relaxing safety restrictions.

We, too, long to be together.  So we take solace in our Reformed tradition which holds fast to the belief that God is not just found in a building; that the Church is not the structure but the people; and that worship is not confined to Sunday morning but is what we do every moment of every day.  In fact, these were foundational to the Protestant Reformation.

We are the church reformed and always reforming.  Like the reformers who went ahead of us, we have faith that God is with us in all things.  And we are assured that we will have the joy of worshiping in body in our much-loved sanctuary again.  In the meantime, we trust the Spirit will lead us to new ways of being church together.  

In Christ, 

Deb Grossman, Isaac LaSalle, Debbie Miali, Carrie Rao, Betsy Wacker, Bob Weng

Friday, August 7, 2020

We seek to live Christ's love, welcome all people and joyfully serve God.