We continue to try to exercise wisdom as we navigate the uncharted trails of the COVID pandemic. We
want to balance the desire to meet together once again with the reality that doing so puts some people at
risk. Numerous factors are influencing our recommendation:
• Over the past two weeks in Lebanon county, a little more than one person out of every one hundred
has contracted COVID. “The curve” showing the number of new cases in the county seems to be
plateauing but has not yet shown a significant downward trend, and the number of new cases over
the past month is the highest it has ever been.
• A new COVID variant (coming from the United Kingdom) is more contagious than the COVID strain
we have been dealing with, though thankfully not more lethal. It is becoming more frequently seen
in the US and, because it is more contagious, it is expected to be the most common strain in the US
by March. Fortunately, the vaccines do seem to be effective against this strain.
On the positive side, there are now two very effective vaccines available to prevent COVID, and some
within our congregation have begun to receive it. They are about 95% effective, and dangerous side effects
are very rare. Also, about fifteen persons in our church have already contracted COVID and have natural
immunity (although we don’t yet know how long that will last).
Considering all the above, we do not yet feel it is wise to return to meeting together. We will plan to
continue meeting by Zoom for the month of February. Because of the rapid changes going on at this time,
we will plan to revisit this decision on a monthly basis. We are sensing that it will be safe to resume
meeting together for Sunday services as either one of the following criteria are met:
1. The number of new cases in the county drops low enough that the chance of contracting the virus
from each other is minimal.
2. The vaccine becomes more readily available for the general population.
Our January Vision Team meeting was postponed till February 20 due to the high risk of spreading COVID
after the holidays. We plan to begin our process in February and seek your prayers in this journey. We plan
to keep the congregation regularly updated as we move through this process together. If anyone is
interested in supplying either the morning snack or lunchtime meal for our team, please contact the church
office or email the church at email@example.com.
After our annual member’s meeting, Pastor Amanda and some members of the Elder Team provided more
opportunity for discussion with others in the church surrounding the hiring of our next staff position. From
this feedback, the Elder Team has decided to begin pursuing a full-time pastoral position rather than two
part-time positions. This position will focus on the next generation from birth to young adult. They will
provide leadership to the various volunteers and ministry teams that these ages represent. We will start
posting this position in late spring. We encourage the church to start praying and fasting for this position
and the search committee as they seek God’s guidance in who He is calling to this position.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of the Elder Team.
The Elder Team
Myron Miller, Carol Hershey, Tom Turley, and Pastor Amanda Rohrer