Greetings Bethany Family!
This week the state announced Tier 3 Mitigation requirements to help address the recent surge of COVID-19 across the state. These new restrictions are intended to help suppress the spread of the virus and ensure that our hospitals do not become overrun. The state health department will be tracking positivity rates and hospital capacity metrics over a 14-day period to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigation should remain in place. As before, these mitigation efforts are not required for places of worship and providers of religious services, but guidance is provided to support a safer environment.
The elders met Thursday night and reaffirmed our decision to continue Sunday worship services as they are currently structured. Please know that we encourage and respect each individual’s decision on the precautionary steps that you take. For those at greatest risk or with greatest concern, we will continue to offer the online streaming of our services each Sunday. If you would like to meet together in an elevated precaution manner; we have designated the time between 7:00am and 9:45am each Sunday as an Elevated Precaution time. (Masks and distancing required except when seated and not singing.) Starting at 9:45am Sunday, and running throughout the week, the building is under Mild Precaution levels, with masks and distancing encouraged, but at the discretion of the individual.
As shared last week, we would continue to encourage you to take the precautions that you think best for your circumstances. This virus does not impact everyone equally. Some are in greater danger than others. For those members who participate with your church family online, we affirm your choice! You are making a God-honoring decision as you seek the Lord for His wisdom about this. If you have been attending in person and decide during this time of increased COVID-19 to stay home until after the spike has declined, we affirm your decision!
We will temporarily be stopping all group sport/exercise activities that use the gym. We are also reminding all groups to encourage masks and distancing when meeting. In addition, we are asking Bethany related groups of greater than 10 people to arrange for space at the church building – instead of private homes. This should provide greater space for people to spread out and maintain social distancing.
Finally, we again are very thankful that there has not been any evidence that our meeting together has caused the spread of this disease. Yet we realize that this could change, especially during this spike in COVID-19. If we discover evidence that our meeting together has caused members to become sick, or we learn that the local hospitals are in a critical position, we will take additional actions. Please continue to pray for God’s grace and protection.
– Ritch & Jon for the Bethany Leadership Team