***Updated COVID-19 Safety Precautions***
Coffee County At High Risk Level
Updated: August 13th, 2021
As much as we are all weary of living with COVID-19, we are facing the reality of a fierce fourth wave of new infections and hospitalizations. The result of a virus allowed to continually spread in a population is seeing new mutations that are more contagious and resilient, like the Delta variant now driving the current surge. For most people the odds of recovering from an infection without life threatening or life inhibiting health impacts remain most likely. The odds of recovery are even higher for those who are fully vaccinated. Yet it is also true, we have vulnerable persons in our congregation and local community who remain susceptible to serious illness, hospitalization, and death if exposed to an infection.
With this reality in mind, we must renew our pandemic response as a community of faith. We are called in scripture to not grow weary in doing well (Gal. 6:9). We will not give up because the way ahead is hard or quit trying because we are tired. Our focus is on adapting to meet the moment, not “getting back to normal.”
· Our guiding values will be: safety, predictability, and connection.
· We oppose responding out of fear, political influences, or misinformation.
· We resist the extremes of panic or complacency. We seek a balance from these extremes through the wisdom of scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. Because all truth is God’s truth knowledge gained through science serves to inform our faith not to threaten our faith.
· We believe the authority of scripture speaks practically to our situation. We believe the pandemic of COVID-19 to be a Galatians 5:13-14 moment.
o 13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. 14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Gal 5:13-14 NRSV)
o We are living in a season that calls for the temporary sacrifice of denying personal freedom for the sake of serving one another as our witness of Jesus Christ to the world. We must do things that are personally uncomfortable for the sake of the common good and life we share together. Loving one other as oneself is our motivation.
· We strongly encourage all eligible persons to be vaccinated and direct individuals to seek advice from their doctor, the TN Dept. of Health, and the CDC as trustworthy sources of information.
We covenant Together:
· It is our hope to continue safely offering in person worship and gatherings without interruption. In order for this hope to be realized we enter this covenant:
o Do not attend in person gatherings if showing sick symptoms of fever, cough, chills, sore throat, or headache.
o Do not attend in person gatherings if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or if you know or suspect you have been exposed to someone positive with COVID-19 within the last 10 days.
o After testing positive for COVID or recovering from a COVID infection, do not return to in person worship until receiving a negative test and are symptom free for 24-48 hours.
o It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that everyone attending indoor gatherings wear a face mask or face covering. This recommendation includes persons who are fully vaccinated and will remain in place as long as the local risk level remains substantial or high.
§ This is a respectful request and courtesy to others. We will not engage in policing one another or shaming one another into compliance.
§ The church will continue to provide an abundant supply of disposable face masks available at each entrance.
o Practice frequent hand sanitizing. Hand sanitizer is provided at both entrances. A hands-free hand sanitizer is available along the back wall near the restrooms.
· If you test positive for COVID-19 within 10 days of attending an in-person worship service or other church gathering, please notify our pastor at 931-450-3422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
· In the event of a potential exposure the pastor will notify the congregation by phone or email. Unless permission is given, confidentiality will be kept out of respect for individual privacy.