Reflection: How Safe is Church?

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We Don’t Know

Though our only security rests in God, Church was never meant to be a safe space, especially for the comfortable.  Put on your crash helmets and hear the word of the Lord.   It calls us from our comfortable spaces to pouring out ourselves for God and others.   

And then there is the physical safety.  We continue to face a stealthy killer in the form of coronavirus which causes COVID-19.   We do not know always who is sick, and no one knows how an individual body will respond to being infected.  The virus is sneaky and remains very present in the U.S.

Happy in Church

How do we protect ourselves from the virus?  The best methods are social distancing, mask wearing and lots of hand washing.  Meeting together outdoors is best practice.  We do not at all have full information on the risks indoors.  

Into this atmosphere of uncertainty we are striving to gather in person as church once the weather no longer permits us to be outdoors.  We do not know fully the best practices around ventilation or the reality of the air-borne droplets which carry disease.  

Into this atmosphere of uncertainty I long to gather with all of you to worship with scripture, song and common prayer.  My favorite image is people huddled close together so they can hear even the softest voices sing and respond.  How hard it is that being so close together, especially inside, could harm or kill. 

Into this atmosphere of uncertainty, I like some others of our community have a chronic disease which puts me at a much higher risk of death or permanent damage from COVID.  About two years ago, my heart was damaged by a virus.  Otherwise, I had fine cardio-vascular health.  But now I have heart failure which is treated by a load of pills and an ICD which runs constantly to keep my heart beat in sync.  What would another virus do?  It would be complicated is the best answer I have received along with be careful.  

We will share with you all the best information we have as we go forward.  I continue to discern how present I will be for indoor worship.  I invite each of you to discern as well.  No matter what each decides, we remain a community of prayer. We shall continue to broadcast our worship to provide options for all.  We respect all choices, but ask that all of us take care with how we behave out in the world, that we mask up, wash hands and distance for the sake of one another and ourselves.  

How safe is church?  We do not know but offer the best information we have and act upon that with a balance of precaution and connection.  Please continue with me in prayer and discernment for our worship. 

With every blessing, 

Mother Elizabeth