Dear Plymouth Family,
It has been some time since I wrote to you with an update on the unfolding dimensions of the pandemic and how they affect us at Plymouth. As you've seen, there is a lot going on with changes afoot in our worship life with prerecorded services on Sundays at 10:00 and the return of our 6:00 p.m. Sunday service, now available by Zoom.
The Pandemic Team met two weeks ago, and as our moderator Bruce Ronda reported in the Overview, their counsel is to go slowly. You may also have noticed that the Larimer Country Health Department has moved its Risk Dial Level to Yellow (Concern) this month, but the data as reported in the New York Times (captured above on 2/27/21) don't seem to support that move unless economic vitality, rather than public health data, is considered. The NY Times data suggest that we are in the red zone with "Very High Risk."
I can tell you that the Pandemic Team is taking hard data into account in our decision-making. As part of our go-slow approach, our building will remain closed, and starting tomorrow, March 1, we are going to open the building occasionally to our youth groups for gatherings of ten or fewer students in the Fellowship Hall only, with masks, social distancing, and open windows. (There are protocol sheets, cleaning supplies, and plenty of hand gel in the Fellowship Hall.) If that step goes smoothly, and if the numbers of new cases in Larimer County declines, our next step will be to open the Fellowship Hall to Plymouth groups of 10 or fewer people, such as our spirituality and fellowship small groups. Boards, Committees, and Ministry Teams will continue to meet via Zoom for the time being. Staff are still working primarily from home, except when we need to be in the building. And you are welcome to come walk the labyrinth and to add prayers to the Lenten prayer tree outside the North Wing doors!
I know that many of our older members are receiving vaccine, which is great! But there are still many of us who are not yet eligible. And unfortunately, faith leaders' eligibility was reclassified by the state government Friday, so we are now in group 1.B.4, which is no longer the next group in line. (Some staff are getting vaccinated by virtue of their age.) I want to acknowledge that it is difficult not to let our newfound enthusiasm lead us to conclude that we should be back together in person soon. When we do come back, please don't expect things to be the same. Until we're all vaccinated, things like singing, coffee hour, children, young families, young adults are all likely to be missing from our remembered Sunday experiences. I'm not trying to be a downer...just trying to manage expectations.
I ask for your patience and understanding that our first concern is your safety. As always, your clergy are available for online, telephone, and outdoor pastoral counseling. And please do let us know of any emergencies and hospitalizations!
As we continue to exercise patience and good judgment, I give thanks to God for you, and my prayer is for your good health, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Blessings!