The COVID-19 sub-committee met this morning to assess the threat of COVID in our church. We are happy to report that the numbers of new cases are decreasing according to the KDHE website as well as the website used by our district superintendent. The rate of infection in Pottawatomie county has gone from 48 to 24.6 per 100,000 population in the past two weeks. The number of new cases in Kansas per day has decreased by half in the same amount of time.
As you may know, the city of Wamego has implemented a mask policy for all public areas which is in effect until February 2. Our staff continues to feel safe in the workplace.
Thanks to Janet Sylvester and many volunteers working intermittently for four days, 259 carryout meals were served on Thanksgiving Day. We all wore masks and everything was done as safely as possible. It was great to have the volunteers gather and socialize in small groups during this process. What a joy!
We will continue to have in-person worship services as well as online. The COVID-19 sub-committee will monitor the situation in our community and meet as necessary as things evolve.
Our Covid-19 sub-committee is meeting every Thursday morning (except Thanksgiving) with this purpose: To help ensure that the Discipleship of Christ may continue in the most effective way possible during the pandemic.
After our first meeting, we realize that there are some gray areas that staff have, regarding usage of the church facilities. To be more clear, we are recommending (for now) that:
1. Groups limit themselves to 20 in the multi-purpose room.
2. Social distancing, hand sanitizing and masks are required.
3. Masks can be removed to eat while seated, but social distancing is to be maintained.
Several of us have received concerns from both staff and other church members regarding their discomfort when others do not wear masks while in the building. While it's true that no one intervention will prevent COVID, when you put them all together it is extremely helpful at preventing the spread. Imagine slices of Swiss cheese. All of them have some holes, but when stacked together, it makes a solid wall because the holes don't line up. No single Covid intervention is 100% effective but if every intervention that we do can further reduce the "holes" in our defense, doesn't it make sense to do so? See the illustration below.
As a committee, we respectfully ask that all who come into our church building always wear masks that cover BOTH nose and mouth and remain on until you leave (paper masks are provided if you don't have one), use hand sanitizers, and social distance to make staff and other members comfortable so that we can continue the church business and worship services.
We plan to send updates after each of our meetings. If any of you has questions or concerns, please contact one of us.
As some of you may know, our bishop sent a letter strongly encouraging all churches in our district to close due to COVID. Yesterday we had an extra Administrative Council meeting which included all of the staff and committee chairs in our church to address this issue. Only three people were unable to attend and they sent their thoughts via email.
Everyone was able to speak freely and give their opinion. After much discussion it was decided unanimously to keep our church open for worship services as well as small groups with the same guidelines that we've been implementing i.e., social distancing, wearing masks, hand sanitizing and sanitation of places used.
A committee of five was formed to monitor COVID outbreaks on a weekly basis and change recommendations as needed. The committee members are Teresa Weixelman, Dorothy McNinch, Duane Davis, Dave Mize and Kathy Douglas.
Please know that guidelines may change as the COVID situation changes. We hope to stay open and are making plans for Christmas Eve services!
Chair of Administrative Council
Tuesday, September 1
We will offer in person worship beginning Sunday, September 13! Both 8:30 and 11:00 AM worship services will be available in person and live on facebook.com/wamegoumc. For those returning to the sanctuary, we ask that you follow just five simple guidelines:
Masks required upon entering church, during the worship service and while exiting the building.
Social distancing of six feet is strongly encouraged.
Hand sanitizer before and after worship is suggested.
No singing by congregants during the service.
Please exit the building before visiting with your church family.