Dear Grace family—
The members of the Pandemic Safety Task Force thank all of you for your patience during this trying time. In our recommendations to the Session, we have tried to meet the sense of urgency we all have to resume worshipping together as usual while taking the necessary steps to safeguard the health of the congregation and the community. We have intentionally stayed within the bounds of state and local regulations because we want to be good citizens and also because those regulations reflect genuine concern about public health during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Thanks to a great team effort by staff and volunteers, we have successfully re-opened the church facility for public worship since June 7. Through the good work of Kathy Hoisington and Dan Grant, we have developed a system in which households ready to attend in person can come two out of three Sundays on average. We are expanding our system this week to the July 12 evening service to accommodate those who are ready to attend on-site. Through the creative engineering of Zac Yarashus, we are also able to host a monthly communion service in the Grace parking lot via FM radio for those not yet able to join the on-site worship service. Grace fellowship groups can now begin meeting according to the recommendations of the Virginia Phase 3 guidelines. And we are also studying how to resume children’s and adult Sunday school at Grace, but that is not likely to happen until the fall at the soonest.
Trustee Bruce Stahl has ably serviced on the task force since May, but he must now rotate off because of increased work commitments. Taking his place will be Trustee Mitch Nozka. Please feel free to approach me, Deacon Eric McFarland, or Mitch if you have any questions or suggestions about church safety or re-opening procedures.
Finally, please pray for the work of the task force and for the Session, which considers our recommendations in making its final decisions. Please pray for our local, state, and national leaders as they exercise their rightful authority to protect pubic health and safety. And please pray that the Lord, in His perfect judgment and timing, would lift the specter of this virus from our land.
In Christ’s service,
On behalf of the Pandemic Safety Task Force