So far, in this current surge of COVID, we have been trying to maintain the in person worship option. As the surge began, I urged you to wear masks during worship, and many of you have done so. I’ve also noticed you keeping good distance while seated in the sanctuary. We have temporarily stopped having the simplified coffee hour after church. We have been doing what we can to keep each other, and our community, safe and healthy.
However, the surge in COVID has continued to rise. Benton county is now in the dark red , or severe risk, category. We are currently at the highest number of cases per 100,000 this county has seen during the entire pandemic, and the positivity rate is at its second highest ever. Yakima county is doing much better, but is still in the second highest risk category.
As I said, we have done what we can. However, since the numbers are so high, and the Delta variant is infecting many more people who are vaccinated than the original coronavirus did, I feel we must go with a temporary closure of the in person worship option, beginning this Sunday, August 22, 2021. Those involved in the Sunday worship service (myself, the liturgist, the pianist, and the camera person) will still meet in the church sanctuary to record the service, and it will be posted on YouTube as before. A link will be sent out to you when it is available.
Please continue to be in prayer for those who have contracted COVID, and their families. Please contact me if you have any questions. One source of hope for the future is that the vaccination rate is starting to rise again. Let us hope that we will be able to meet again soon at church, as that will mean a much healthier community around us.