Dear Members of St. James’,
I write to you in the name of Jesus Christ, the one who shows deep and abiding love and compassion for all.
This time last year we were all sure we’d be back to “normal”. However, we all know that is not the case. In fact, the Delta variant is more potent and more contagious than the original Covid-19 virus. Our saving grace, however, is the development of a vaccine that can prevent us from becoming severely ill or dying from the virus. That said, we cannot ignore the fact that our children are still not able to get a vaccine. We also cannot ignore that there have been break-through cases that may severely impact our elderly and more vulnerable members. Additionally, if someone vaccinated is a carrier without knowing it, passing it on to an unvaccinated person could cause serious illness or death. Simply said, a gathering of mostly vaccinated people greatly reduces the risk of infection.
Jesus calls us to community, which is one of the reasons we gather together for common worship. Jesus also calls us to love one another. One of the hallmarks of Christian community is not just that we love one another, but how we love one another. In this time of continued pandemic, the most tangible way we can care for each other is to not be at an indoor service or gathering without a vaccination.
It is for this reason that we will be requiring the wearing of masks and proof of vaccination for all eligible people. This requirement comes with the full support of the vestry and follows the strong recommendation of our diocese. It does not apply to those with a documented medical condition. In order to keep all of our children safe, we recommend all eligible children receive vaccinations and boosters whenever possible. While we are not requiring proof of boosters, we imagine that at some point in the near future, we will. Being fully vaccinated means having both the initial inoculations and a booster.
Before entering the church building, you will be asked to show proof. The following proof is acceptable:
- Your physical vaccination card
- A photocopy of your vaccination card
- A picture on your phone of your vaccination card
- A QR code obtained through the State of California
- A QR code from one of these third-parties:
Since we will not be keeping records, you will be asked to show proof every Sunday that you attend church and for other meetings and gatherings on campus. If you are a regular participant in worship, an alternative to showing your vaccination card or QR code each Sunday would be to get a wristband from an usher after showing your proof. This way, you need only wear your wristband to church as proof you are vaccinated.
I understand that this may cause some of you to not be able to attend church physically. If this is the case, please worship online with us and the rest of our virtual congregation by going to our website on Sunday mornings.
We look forward to the day when we can all be together without restriction. Until then, we remain the Body of Christ, stretched across the Tri-City area and beyond.
Blessings as we show compassion and care for each other. Please know that I am holding each of you in prayer, and ask that you hold me in prayer as well.