How long O Lord?
Many of you I am sure are asking this question after fourteen months of
isolation, wearing masks, staying socially distant, avoiding crowds, and of course, not
being able to meet in person for worship.

I wish I knew the answer.

Since March of 2020, I have been meeting with church leaders regularly to
review the current conditions surrounding the pandemic and to make decisions for
the safety of the congregation. We agreed to follow a protocol based on the county
alert level, which allowed for phased return to worship based on the status of
Cuyahoga County.

Based on that protocol, we were able to return to worship for several weeks
last fall when the parameters were met. We allowed up to 25 persons in the
sanctuary for worship, masked and distanced. No singing was allowed. We had
between 16 and 21 people for the four Sundays we were able to meet.
Then the numbers went up again, and we returned to online only worship.
Since that time, our county has been in the red status, with a high incidence of cases.
As far as I can understand, this increase is due to new, more contagious variants of
the virus, as well as a simple fact – people have gotten tired of the restrictions and
have begun meeting in groups, going out to dinner, and not wearing masks.
Our leadership team will meet again on May 2 after worship, and will continue
regular meetings until the pandemic is passed and we have reached a “new normal”
for our gatherings. If you wish to provide input to the team, please contact one of
the team members below, who will bring your concerns to the meeting. Please note
that concerns will not be raised anonymously, so that we may address them
personally if needed.

I join you, friends in Christ, in crying out to God, praying that the time for us to
gather again will be soon, in safety, as I hope you will also join me in remembering to

Fear Not
Pastor Dianne

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