Conference Minister Urges Churches to Re-Examine COVID Protocols
The Omicron COVID Wave
I had really hoped that we would get through Christmas and even Epiphany without a surge in COVID spread. Unfortunately, due to the Omicron variant, that is now a thought disappearing in the rear-view mirror.
I urge our ministers and church leaders to look at your COVID protocols as it might be time to assess whether it is prudent to continue with in-person worship or to move totally online. Like you, I hate this yo-yo pattern that we have fallen into. However, when our ethical compass is the well-being of others, we must give ourselves to paying attention and making difficult decisions.
Several churches' COVID protocols were built around reopening in-person worship: Once the weekly average for spread falls below a certain point; once this number of hospital beds are guaranteed to be open; once… once… once… as spelled out in the protocols. The same protocols can be used in reverse to help inform decisions about continuing or discontinuing (for now) in-person worship. For example: Once the weekly average for spread rises above this number; once the hospital open beds are reduced to this number, and so on.
As we continue this roller-coaster ride, God is with us and will see us through. Let us, on our part, commit ourselves, as at the beginning of this pandemic, to do what is necessary to honor the well-being of all people on these islands.