Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Last week we shared that Bishop Ough and the Minnesota Annual Conference dialed back to the orange phase. In the orange phase, churches are encouraged to worship online, gather virtually as much as possible, and limit small groups to less than 10 people. Grace staff and leaders met last week Tuesday and decided that we would continue to meet in person but follow the lead of the local school districts and community health officials in adjusting our in-person gatherings. We also agreed that we must be prepared to change course as needed. The need has come for Grace to return to online only worship and limit our in-person meetings.
Last week Brainerd schools made the decision to move their middle school and high school to full distance. Just yesterday the Pequot Lakes school district made the decision to move elementary through sixth grade to hybrid, and shift seventh grade through high school to full distance learning. The school administration shared that this decision was made because of staffing needs of the school and because of the following county health information:
- Crow Wing County Public Health has reported the current rate of new cases in our county at over 60 cases per 10,000 residents, showing a doubling of positive new cases since October 18.
- The Public Health Department is confident the trend will continue as unprocessed tests are completed and added to the data.
The health and safety of our congregation and greater Pequot Lakes community is of great concern. We are called to do no harm, to do all the good we can, and to stay in love with God. We believe the best way for us to live out our call is to return to online worship.