When I started taking piano lessons in the third grade, the beginner’s book that I used told us to “make haste slowly.” We didn’t learn all the theory, skills, techniques, and artistry that goes into making beautiful music all at once. It more important to “make haste slowly,” by mastering one new thing at a time.
I feel that way about our efforts to return to “normal” after spending fifteen months under the restrictions relating to COVID. It would be nice if everything could suddenly be as it was before. We are being reminded, however, that COVID still is with us and needs to be reckoned with. We need to “make haste slowly.”
SUMC has a dedicated Committee of people who have taken up the task of evaluating the steps we need to take in moving to the next phase of our life as a church. This Committee met this past Thursday and discussed the steps to be taken by SUMC in our return to normal.
The Committee has recommended that we no longer require socially distant seating in the sanctuary for fully vaccinated persons. SUMC’s administrative council has approved this recommendation. This change will take effect this Sunday, May 30, 2021.
The Committee also reaffirmed the change that was made last Sunday concerning facial masks. Fully vaccinated persons are no longer be required to wear their face masks in the sanctuary during worship. We are using the “honor system” for this. No one will ask you for your vaccination history or status.
We still encourage you to maintain social distance outside the sanctuary. I plan to continue wearing my mask outside the sanctuary for now, primarily out of hospitality for those who are not yet comfortable removing their masks.
When you arrive for worship, you no longer will be asked the series of health questions at the door. Rather, you are simply asked to review the questions for yourself before entering.
Other changes are under discussion for future weeks as we continue to “make haste, slowly” in responding to the constantly changing circumstances of this pandemic.
As we approach this Memorial Day weekend, I hope you will take the time to worship with us, whether online or in-person. We will celebrate in word and in song, including the singing of a number of your favorite hymns.
I hope you will take some time this weekend to remember the reason we celebrate Memorial Day-a day for remembering the brave women and men who gave their lives to defend our freedom.
I hope to see you this Sunday for our time of worship, singing and remembering.
Grace and peace,