Agility is a key attribute for Olympians. I think we are all learning to appropriate it in these challenging days. I feel like a YO-YO some days with the COVID news. I give thanks for scientists who continue to learn and adapt guidelines, as they are keeping us safer, but it does get a little disappointing when we think we were going to have an almost-normal summer.
But, here we are. With the threat of the Delta virus and increasing virus positivity rates, we are making a few significant changes for worship and for parish activities. In the RSVP email this afternoon we announced changes for worship. You will find them repeated below. Here are some other similar guidelines. 
  1. All meetings held indoors on the ODEC campus will require all attendees to wear masks. As in the past, speakers may remove masks when talking so others hear well. When finished, please mask again. 
  2. Please try to keep meetings relatively brief. If lasting more than an hour, be sure to provide breaks. Distance as best you can while inside. 
  3. Use the A/C system, windows or doors for optimal ventilation.
  4. When the meeting is just as effective outdoors, remember that we have plenty of beautiful spaces and chairs that can be used. 
  5. If you are having trouble finding a vaccine, we have an online tool linked on our Facebook page. Email us if you need help.
  6. Our Youth Overnight Retreat scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday will be changed to a single day event done locally. Youth and families will receive details. Our overnight will be rescheduled to a time better suited. 
Here are the new protocols for worship. 
  1. For indoor worship, everyone will wear masks. Those leading worship, reading, and preaching will remove masks when speaking, as in the past. 
  2. Windows and doors will be open in the church during worship.Ventilation will be constant. 
  3. Outdoor worship will not require masks unless the person is not vaccinated. Per the most recent CDC guideline (July 27), fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised. Our worship outdoors provides enough spacing and limited contact time to be minimal risk according to the guideline’s recommendations. 
  4. We will continue to keep the worship services shorter in time length. 
  5. Coffee hour will continue to use prepackaged drinks and food. 
We will monitor and adjust as the conditions change. I’m saying my prayers for rapid improvement. However, most forecasts seem to expect a peak around Labor Day. In the meantime, keep safe, keep faithful, and keep saying your prayers!