church in a time of covid
Dear St. Mark's Family,
Our journey through this season of COVID-19 continues.
Right now, there is much to be thankful for. We give thanks for the holy work of scientists and researchers! We give thanks for the gift of vaccines! This is God's work! We encourage you to get vaccinated as soon as you are able. That is the best path to safety, not only for you, but for all of us.
Because of the widespread availability of vaccines in our community, we have returned to in-person worship gatherings. Beginning Sunday, August 15, we will offer outdoor worship on the church patio each Sunday at 10am at 3651 South Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, California. We invite you to join us!
However, because children under 12 cannot be vaccinated, and because of the rise of the Delta variant, we will continue to take precautions to for COVID safety for the time being.
We will stay outside in our beautifully refurbished church courtyard.
We will ask you to remain masked throughout the worship service.
We will ask everyone to complete our "Love Thy Neighbor Covenant." You can fill this out online here: https://forms.gle/VQ9cZ6QiHK8CRdgJ9, or a paper copy will be provided for you onsite.
We will offer hand sanitizer stations and a temperature check station.
And we will continue to offer an online livestream option for those who cannot be with us in person for any reason. You can view our livestream at facebook.com/stmarkslutheranla.
Church family, we know it has been a long season of pandemic precautions. But we must remember why we are doing this. We are not doing this out of fear. We are doing this to love our neighbor.
We love our neighbor by protecting those must vulnerable to this virus. Even if we think we are young and healthy, we can be silent carriers of the virus. By taking precautions, we protect our elders and those with compromised immune systems, as well as children who cannot yet be vaccinated.
We love our neighbor by supporting the work of our doctors and nurses by flattening the curve, or keeping hospital caseloads low so that doctors and nurses can do their jobs well. By taking precautions, we support the work of our nurses and doctors.
We love our neighbor by taking precautions when we are in grocery stores, banks, and other places of essential services. We protect our sisters and brothers who work in these places by only going out when necessary and taking precautions - like wearing a mask - when we do.
We take precautions to love our neighbor. This is how we live out our faith in this season of our lives.
The situation will evolve, and we will continue to pay attention to the advice of our public health officials. Stay tuned to this page for updates.
In the meantime, our life as the Body of Christ goes on!
Jesus is alive, and still with us in so many ways.
And we can still connect with God and with each other in new ways.
Finally, should you need pastoral care for any reason, please don't hesitate to reach out. I can be reached by cell phone at any time. While child care sometimes slows my responsiveness, I try to respond to business messages by the end of the day and urgent pastoral issues as quickly as possible. Call or text anytime. If you do not have Pastor Matt's cell phone, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will respond as soon as I can.
My prayers are with you, this week and always. Blessings to all of you as we continue to journey through this season, with death and resurrection all around us.