Dear Church Family,

What a splendid time together we enjoyed on Christmas Eve! Children costumed as shepherds, angels, and "wise ones" packed the lawn for our pageant with the nativity, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and Huggies Diapers for families in need. Not only did we luck out with fine weather, we all enjoyed a stunning sunset over the church as we sang together Away in a Manger. Later in the evening, we celebrated Christ's birth by candlelight as the congregation gathered on the portico with the Chancel Choir.

Please accept my sincere thanks for your flexibility as we adapted our worship plans on Christmas Eve. It was an evening of worship with you that I will never forget.

As we approach the month of January in light of news about the Omicron variant, I wanted to share with you information about what to expect at church. On Sunday, January 2, we will offer worship in person in our sanctuary as well as worship online. We expect Omicron case numbers will continue to rise and remain elevated for several weeks, so we encourage families to join us for worship online. We have begun beefing up our weekly worship videos with additional segments for prayers and music so that those joining us online will have a more complete experience of worship in the weeks ahead.

We will also offer worship in person, trusting that households in our church family have the information they need to make informed choices about how to participate in public activities. Because our community is so conscious of public health concerns, we expect that worship attendance will be low in the weeks ahead. For those joining us in person, please expect a return to social distancing measures in our pews, and we encourage the use of N-95 or KN-94 face masks. We are fortunate that the weeks after Christmas usually involve a brief adjournment in our programming, so we will be waiting for more information later in January before scheduling additional activities or other programs.

I know that the daily news of Omicron growth is very troubling. Let us pray that the season of Christmastide will bring us peace. As you make plans to attend worship, I hope that you will consider our online service as an option.

In faith, hope, and love -

Rev. Cameron Barr