A CHANGE TO COVID POLICY AT FCUCC!

As you know, we have a Reopening Task Force (a.k.a. The Virus Reopening Committee) that keeps watch of current COVID trends, COVID numbers in El Paso County, Federal & State policy, and CDC guidance. This committee advises the Lead Minister and Church Council on the recommended way forward to keep the congregation as safe as possible in light of current COVID conditions. After reviewing recent data, the committee has found that COVID numbers in El Paso County, including hospitalizations, new cases, and deaths are going down. El Paso County is currently rated “yellow” or medium, but calculation of the numbers indicate COVID cases are much lower and El Paso County should be rated “Green,” or low risk. Based on this, and the fact that our congregation is nearly 100% vaccinated, the committee has advised and the Lead Minister and I have agreed that broad policy on COVID masking practices can change. 


 

This means in short that:

  • Masking for services and events is now optional, but affirmed. This means masks are no longer required to be worn by service attendees, but we as a congregation support and affirm those who choose to continue wearing masks if they so choose.
  • People can speak at a microphone in front of the church without a mask. (as long as speakers are vaccinated and boosted.)
  • Eating and drinking is allowed in the church once again.
  • Performers can sing and play musical instruments without masks.
  • The Chancel Choir can sing without masks.
  • The Nursery WILL reopen, but the attendants must be vaccinated, boosted, and masked while caring for the children. There will be two HEPA filters in the Nursery for the children’s protection.
  • HOWEVER: Proof of vaccination will still be required for event attendees.

 

There are more details to come on policy. But these are the main points. The change actually went into effect for the Tuesday (March 1st) Choral concert. I understand that for some of you this change may not be welcome, as you may have factors that keep you at higher risk, or you simply feel more at ease with masks. Remember, anyone can continue to wear a mask if they want. It is just not required. As we enter the third year of COVID we are learning that COVID is likely here to stay, and as such we cannot wait for a condition of zero cases of COVID to remove masks. Nor can we wait for zero risk. We must take the opportunity to relax restrictions when we can, and allow more normalcy when overall safety levels are high enough to do so. We are in that period now. No one knows how long it will last. We may have another breakout which would require masking and restrictions to be put in place again, but until then let's enjoy a bit of freedom. Making it easier to breathe, talk, sing, hear and recognize others, as well as communing with each other. For those of you for which this policy change does not work, we will continue live streaming services so that physical attendance is not required to attend worship. But for any and all of you who can attend, please do! So we can commune together in person. I hope to see you there.

 

Don’t forget that the new contemplative service beings this Sunday at 8:30AM. Give it a try! It sounds wonderful. I will try it myself.

 

As always, feel free to contact me at billfcc@joyfuljourney.net or call me at 719-659-9618 if you have any questions or concerns.


Bill Kemp
Church Council Moderator


Published: March 3, 2022

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