Dear Members and Friends,
These last two months have been a sheer joy at the church as more and more folks have come back to in-person worship and bless us with their presence and their own personal and family stories about surviving in the pandemic. God is good! And God has been with us, our families, and our church during a uniquely difficult time in our lives.
I know we are all anxious for life to return to “normal,” including life here at the church. Unfortunately, the pandemic is clearly not over, and we will need continuing vigilance for the sake of the health of ourselves, our families, our community and our church.
- We will continue to ask everyone to mask for worship. We know it’s a sacrifice, but we hope it’s one you’ll continue to make for the health of our community, particularly for those (because of their youth or pre-existing conditions) who are not yet able to be vaccinated. This also takes on particular importance right now when infection, hospitalization and death rates are rising in every state of our nation due to the Delta variant of Covid-19. Remember that even those who are vaccinated can catch the virus and pass it on. And remember the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to be a united Body of Christ so that “when one suffers, all suffer together; when one rejoices, all rejoice together.”
- We also realize that there are members of our church and community who have been vaccinated but whose health makes masking very difficult or even impossible. We invite those so affected to join us for worship, maskless and socially distanced, in the Chapel and then join us outdoors for Fellowship after worship where we can all safely gather maskless.
- Thank you to all of you who phoned or emailed ahead to register for worship. That was vitally important as we first reopened. We now have a good idea of how many to prepare for on Sunday mornings so it is not necessary to register for worship.
- While our church doors remain locked during the week, church small groups of 15 or less are welcome to meet in the building during office hours. Of course, you can also meet after office hours if a church staff member is there to open the doors and meet with you. Please contact the church office (920-733-7393) to reserve either the Upper Lounge, Chapel or Library. We are not using the downstairs rooms due to the maintenance being done on the elevator. For the time being, the building will remain closed to outside groups.
Thank you for your understanding and for your continuing input. We have been guided through this time by our Medical Advisory Team, by the Holy Spirit, and by our collective wisdom. In mid-August, you will be receiving another church poll to help us prepare for the church’s program year. Thank you in advance for your willingness to share your thoughts through that poll.
We continue to praise God for the wonderful work of our community health care providers; praise God for the members of our church and your continuing support and involvement in our church; and praise God and for the neighborliness shown in getting vaccinated for the health and safety of all of us. We look forward to seeing you at church!
Yours in Christ,
First Congregational UCC Church Council
Rev. Steve Savides, Senior Pastor
Rev. Nick Hatch, Pastor for Youth and Family Ministries
Rev. Laurie Lyter Bright, Designated Interim Pastor for Congregational Life and Mission