On the first Sunday after Christmas the parking lot was full of ice and snow, the roads had not yet been plowed, and we were already seeing a huge surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the new Omicron variant, so we were pleased to have even 5 people in our worship service.
On Sunday, a week later, many of the roads were plowed but Omicron was continuing to grow faster than anything we have seen yet, so I was thrilled to have 17 people in the service, all masked, all vaccinated, all social distancing.
On Monday, Susanna and I agreed that the rise in COVID-19 transmission makes it necessary to pause our in-person Choir rehearsals. We decided to “pause” rather than “stop” in the hopes that the crisis will pass in time for us to sing some of the music we have been learning, but that may just be wishful thinking.
On Tuesday, as we were preparing the Community Dinner, we decided to close the gates to the main parking lot because the compacted snow was so icy and slick that it was dangerous to walk or drive. We directed people to the lower parking lot, which was almost clear of snow, and even then, we gave away all the meals we cooked in the first hour.
This is a busy time of year for our congregation and our vestry is working to make sure we stay safe. We are watching the key indicators of COVID-19 activity in King County and will make decisions about what can be done safely in-person, what we need to do online-only, and what we should just reschedule.
On Thursday we will celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord. Even with Omicron and Ice, God shows up. Even with Pandemics and closures, God is present, in us and among us, and for us, and through us for others. We are not waiting for this to pass. We are living in faith and love here and now. Stay safe, my dear ones.