On August 13th Pastor Matthias wrote:
Dear CPUC Community,
A recent Pew Research survey showed that 2 out of 3 Americans who are regular church-goers believe it is safe to return to worship in person at churches. These results suggest just how ready we all are to “get back to normal,” even as they are frightening in how contrary to guidance from health experts they are. (Notably, white respondents felt much safer about returning to in-person worship than Black and Latinx respondents, who have been much harder hit by COVID-19 than white communities).
It is disheartening and hard to be meeting only virtually or in small, physically distanced groups outside. Even as we have had months to get used to virtual worship and zoom, we long for face to face contact.
Yet, we are following the health data and the Spirit’s counsel. So the CPUC Council voted unanimously to continue our suspension of in-person worship and large gatherings through the end of 2020. In the event that circumstances improve, we can revisit this decision. And in the meantime, a small task force will consider whether any avenues for meeting in-person will be possible, what safety precautions would be needed, and under what circumstances.
Out of love for each other and our neighbor, this choice is the compassionate one. We, as a congregation, take this decision as a faithful response to our faith in the God of justice, who desires fullness of life for all people and all creation. This is the fast we choose, in solidarity with Christ and those suffering intense hardship and loss due to broken systems and COVID-19.
We are reminded that God walked with the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years. God went with God’s people into exile for several generations. God still goes this road with us. We are still called to follow and be the Church.
I am grateful for the many ways we live our faith out together.
In grace and gratitude,