Last week, I wrote in my weekly email that I had a déjà vu feeling, and I had really hoped that I would not have write this, but, we have decided to once again suspend in person worship, effective immediately. We will move to online services only, beginning with the Christmas Eve service which will be livestreamed at 7 pm and available anytime afterwards for viewing. All of the services are available here.
Knowing that this possibility existed, I have already arranged for Margaret and Barb to join me on Christmas Eve so that they can offer the wonderful music that is so much a part of Christmas. I will still be at the church on Christmas Day from 10 am to 11 am for in-person prayer, and serve Christmas communion for anyone who wishes to receive.
This was not an easy decision or one we take lightly, especially when it comes to Christmas Eve services. As we face rapidly rising case counts, knowing that the number we are seeing today are the tests that were done a few days ago, meaning the actual cases are probably much higher. The Omicron variant is spreading at high speed, even among people with two doses of the vaccine. We know that cloth masks are not sufficient to fully protect us from this variant, and booster shots are still in the early stages. Gathering in larger numbers, even with the windows open is still too much of a risk given the current situation.
As much as I want to celebrate Christmas with you in person, and to continue to offer in person worship, choosing to suspend in-person worship is one way I can live out the love of God that we celebrate at this time. In the early days of the pandemic, we stayed home to protect one another, then we wore masks, then we got vaccinated. Once again, the way we protect each other is to limit our contacts, and to get the booster shot as soon as possible.
I know this is disappointing to many of you – it certainly is disappointing to me. But I have been reminded that Christmas has not been cancelled, Jesus is still coming. Christmas is all about God being with us in the messiness of life, which we need more this year than ever. May God’s hope, peace, joy and love be with you this Christmas Season.
Blessing and Peace,