November 20, 2020
I have two important announcements to share. The first concerns the Lucas County Stay-At-Home Advisory. The wardens and I have decided to close in-person worship. We will continue to offer a livestream worship service on Sundays at 10AM. Our liturgy team, including lectors and prayer leaders, are dedicated to providing the best possible livestream experience. However, worship is closed for in-person gathering.
The Ohio Department of Health identifies Lucas County as Red with high case incidence. The COVID case incidences continue to rise, with no inclination of decline. This means we have no plan to reopen in-person worship until we can evaluate a change in the metrics. Bishop Hollingsworth advises us to prepare for the likely scenario Christmas services will not be available for in-person gathering across the diocese.
The second announcement is equally consequential. Dr. Jennifer Vasquez has resigned her position as Director of Formation. This comes after a period of prayer and reflection for her ministry and role as a Lutheran deacon. For my part, I am deeply saddened by Jennifer’s decision, but I am dedicated to supporting her and blessing her in new adventures and ministries. I ask you to bless her as well. Jennifer has been a wonderful colleague for five years. I will miss her partnership and creative zest for ministry. Jennifer’s last day will be December 1.
It is too early for me to announce next steps. Like you, I pray for the pandemic to end as quickly as possible. We know how to mitigate the spread of the virus, yet our community and nation struggle with life-saving best practices and behaviors. As Christians, we need to model good leadership. While some of you are understandably disappointed with the closure of in-person gathering at church, I ask all of you to be good leaders. Exercise prayer and patience. Wear your masks. Stay home as much as possible. Our goal is to maintain our faith, retain our health, and protect our neighbor.
Peace, Paul +