Fred Hulting and Rev. Lisa Friedman
In May, we shared an update on the phased reopening of the church during summer and fall. At that time we were full of optimism given increasing vaccinations, lower infection rates, and a loosening of restrictions in Minnesota. In July, we moved into Phase 2 and began allowing small groups to use the church with fewer restrictions. It has been fun to see people gather in the church and to reconnect after such a long time. Now, as September approaches, we continue to work towards Phase 3, which would allow us to return to regular building use, including Sunday worship.
At the end of our May update, we wrote “Current trends with the pandemic are encouraging, but forecasting the path forward is difficult and we will adapt as needed.” And so here we are, trying to navigate a difficult path forward as the Delta variant creates new challenges for our community.
For now, our Phase 2 protocols remain in effect, and small groups and priority events (e.g. memorial services) may continue in the building. However, the Board has given Rev. Lisa authority to enact additional restrictions – such as requiring masks for all persons in the building – whenever she feels it is necessary for the safety of the congregation and our staff. For example, at memorial services we are asking all those attending to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. So, if you are coming to the building, thank you in advance for adhering to the posted policies and guidelines. To request event space, please fill out this form.
The Board will meet with Rev. Lisa in mid-August to discuss the situation in Hennepin County and review the necessary steps that will allow up to move to Phase 3 and begin to hold in-person services in September. But even as we welcome you into the building, we will continue to offer virtual options for Sunday services and for many church events. The successful fundraising for our new audio and video system in the Sanctuary is making that possible.