COVID-19 and Relaunch
CURRENT OPERATING STATUS
Peace Lutheran Church is currently at Phase 3 of re-opening (described below). This means that we are worshipping in the sanctuary with safety precautions and we are inviting internal and external groups to meet in person following our current safety guidelines. Groups, both internal and external, who wish to begin meeting in person again must fill out and return our Covid Safety Addendum. Groups that are new to the church should visit our Ministry Center page and fill out a space use inquiry form at the bottom of the page.
Relaunch Team Update
September 16, 2022
MASK USE FOR WORSHIP INCLUDING SINGING CAN BE OPTIONAL AT THIS TIME.
Due to the higher vaccination rate the risk of severe illness from the COVID-19 virus is low and the community levels are also low. The CDC continues to recommend: vaccinations and boosters for all that are eligible, and isolation from others if you are not feeling well by staying home and testing and wearing a mask.
We ask that you also be mindful of those around you who may continue to wear a mask, and respect their space with social distancing while worshiping, singing and speaking with them.
*Note- if transmission levels start to rise and the health and safety of others is endangered the policy may change.
We give THANKS for the care and commitment shown by the Wellness Team during the past 2.5 years! They have met regularly to share and discuss the research and CDC recommendations in an honest, thoughtful and respectful manner, always keeping the safety of others foremost in their recommendations to council.
Adopted by the Congregation Council: 16 September 2022
Relaunch Team Update
March 7, 2021
The Relaunch Team met last week to discuss decision-making points for reopening. I know that we are all eager to be together again in a physical space as a church community, but we need to keep in mind the continuing risk to our vulnerable members and God’s imperative to love our neighbors. Charles Lutz wrote in the Journal of Lutheran Ethics that we need to believe the promise that loving our neighbors in the whole of God’s creation will give life to ourselves as well. While Lutz was speaking theologically, his statement also rings true when we consider physical health in the time of Coivd-19. Loving our neighbors by continuing our current safety measures will, indeed, benefit both ourselves and our neighbors.
The Relaunch team has been closely watching the local numbers of Covid cases per 100,000 people and the positivity rate for Covid tests. Both of these numbers provide important information about Covid in our community. The current data for Charles County puts us at a moderate to high risk for transmission and community spread. In addition, there is concern about the variant strains of Covid in our community and their potential for instigating a new surge in cases.
Given the ongoing risk, Peace Lutheran will continue with virtual services at least through Easter. I know I will really be missing our Easter brunch and egg hunt, but we just can’t gather together right now when we still have such significant risk; and when we have a real opportunity to decrease Covid in our community by just hanging on a few more weeks.
The Relaunch Team will continue to watch the data and we are suggesting the following decision points as a guide for reopening:
Phase 2 – Outdoor church services [Positivity Rate below 5% AND Case Rate of 10.1 to 25]
Phase 3 – Indoor church services with safety modifications and consideration of external group access [Positivity Rate below 5% AND Case Rate of 1 to 10]
Phase 4 – Normal Operational Status [Positivity Rate below 3% AND Case Rate of less than 1]
The Relaunch Team looks forward to transitioning again to safe outdoor and in-building services as soon as conditions allow. If you have any questions, please reach out to one of the Relaunch Team members: Laura Polk, Gretta Williams, Mike Leggett, Jill Fronck, and Earle Knapp.
Respectfully submitted by Laura Polk