Dear Glen Mar friends,
I was away last Sunday because last weekend I developed very slight cold symptoms, so I stayed away and at-home tested for COVID on Sunday. To my surprise, I was positive for breakthrough COVID. I am glad to be able to tell you that I did not get it at Glen Mar or give it to anyone, at Glen Mar or otherwise. The onset of symptoms means that I was exposed during the time our church was closed and I was not in the office, and had no contact with church members, at all.
Eric and the kids have tested negative repeatedly and I’ve been isolated from them and from others as required for the past few days. My symptoms have been like a mild flu and lasted about 3 days. I feel a whole lot better now. However, in an abundance of caution, I will not be in church at all on Sunday. You can expect that I am reachable via email/phone/text and will be back in the office on Tuesday of next week, having been cleared for return to work by then by my doctor. Medically, I think I could return earlier, but I want to take that extra time to be sure. I am very grateful for the COVID masking protocols that have kept my family COVID negative and especially grateful for the vaccine and booster that God has provided us through medical science.
As you know, we are so blessed to be able to livestream worship for those who want or need to be home at this time, and we are planning to continue to offer in person worship also for those who are comfortable with that, with a mask mandate still in place. Our Glen Mar medical helpers have advised that if all remain masked in the service, even with the omicron variant, the risk of transmission is very low and no higher than other masked public gatherings, so we want to continue to offer that as an option. We expect there will be plenty of space for social distancing.
We will still allow masked congregational singing at both services (with piano and song leader at 9:30) but will use video for anthems/praise band, as during the current surge it’s hard to know about choir or band participation each week. We will also discontinue Sunday school for January because in this time of surge, it is hard to ensure a reliable supply of teachers and helpers.
I hope you will join us in whatever form makes sense for your family, and I appreciate your faithfulness, support and prayer in this difficult time.
Reminder: Our MLK Day of service will be “offsite” again this year with family friendly “take home and return” kits, collected the weekend before the event and returned the weekend after. It’s free. Service hours available. For all the details and to register go to https://glenmarumc.org/events/day-of-service/
See you in church, as an online worshipper this Sunday,
PS The memorial service for Margaret Lang’s father has been rescheduled for Jan. 23, time TBD, at Glen Mar. Please continue to hold her family in prayer.