News from the Pastor

January 23, 2022

While You Were Away – Part Two

As I noted in last week’s Vision column, even when we were not meeting as a congregation because of exposure to COVID-19, we had to give attention to a variety of pressing issues. Chief among those was coming up with a workable approach to handling the ubiquitous and highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19. The Pandemic Task Force has set forth several recommendations which have been adopted by the church council. These recommendations include:

1) Encouraging church members to discuss with their physician about vaccines and boosters, including the flu vaccine, since flu is also rampant in our area.
2) Encouraging all Vineville members to assess their own comfort level as to whether or not they feel safe attending worship in person, and also to assess whether to be masked or unmasked.
3) Encouraging ALL children’s workers, including youth, to wear a mask regardless of vaccine status. The committee recommends that these masks be medical grade rather than cloth.
4) Encouraging the church to continue its vigilance about our sanitation plan and air filtration plan.
5) Encouraging the church to maintain hand sanitation stations and soap in all bathrooms and access points.
6) Encouraging the church to have masks available for those who desire to wear one and forgot to bring their own.
7) Encouraging the choir to distance itself again, with at least a foot of space between chairs.
8) To maintain the policy of demanding that food service workers and servers be vaccinated and masked while serving and preparing food, especially at a time when the omicron variant of COVID-19 is so widespread.

I would add that while the church was vacant last week, the good folks from ServPro came and sanitized the entire church facility. Many thanks to the ServPro folks for rendering this service to us.

Also, during our service last Sunday, the congregation approved the formation of the Search Committee for the Part-Time Youth Minister position. The three people elected to this position of service were John Kelly, chair, Chuck Whitehead, and Kay DeFore. They covet your prayers as they undertake this important task.

Meanwhile, future church activities loom on the horizon. Next Sunday, January 30, the church will host a Fifth Sunday breakfast at 9:15 a.m., with Wil Platt leading the adult Sunday School lesson. The adults and youth will enjoy breakfast in the gym; the children will dine in the preschool children’s area. Also, on the following Sunday, there will be a First Sunday fellowship in the gym, starting 9:15 a.m., too. I fully understand those of you who are leery of attending events where people are eating and drinking without masks, and I point you to the Ad Hoc Committee’s advice listed above – each one of us has to assess our own comfort level concerning our interaction with others during a time when this pandemic is so widespread.

Don’t forget that the Spring Consignment Sale is scheduled for Friday, February 25, and Saturday, February 26. That means we will receive items for the sale on Saturday, February 19 and Sunday, February 20. This is always a labor-intensive enterprise, and if you can participate in any way, please contact Donna Wood or Jennifer Kelly immediately. Those who work in the sale will have opportunity to shop ahead of the other shoppers, on Thursday, February 24.

I remind those of you who don’t feel comfortable worshipping with us in-person, or who simply cannot get out to attend our services, our technology team continues to make our service available to you via our livestream capabilities. Many thanks go to Charles Schaible, Gene Welch, and all of our dedicated audio-visual group who work hard to make our worship services available to the wider world. It is amazing to me how often I hear from people around the country who watch our services faithfully.

Finally, the U.S. government is making home COVID-19 tests available to the public for free. Should you desire to order such tests, you can do so at covidtests.gov.

A word from your pastor,
Dr. Richard Kremer