WORSHIP UPDATE (7/29/21)
In a special called Council meeting tonight, we have made the decision to be proactive and make the following changes to our current worship:
Beginning, Sunday, August 1 we will require masks for worship and any other indoor activity at Bethel for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. We will also be moving worship back to our Discipleship Hall where we can get better ventilation. Worship will be more limited but will still include songs and Holy Communion. This will be our standard worship for the foreseeable future, until our county and our nation has a better grasp on the Covid-19 Delta variant.
The reason for these changes is that just this week Frederick County has been named one of six counties in Virginia that is currently experiencing a high rate of infection for the Covid-19 Delta variant. The CDC has recommended that counties with such a high rate of new infection ask everyone to mask while indoors and we will follow these guidelines.
Throughout this pandemic, we have done the “next right thing.” At this point, the next right thing is to take a step back so as best to control the environment for worship and any other activities we offer at Bethel. We pray that this will not be an extended period, but as we have been doing all along, we will faithfully follow CDC guidelines for our county, state, and nation.
Please pray for those who are currently suffering with the new variant of Covid-19 and please encourage everyone you know to get vaccinated!
Prayer and Peace,
WORSHIP UPDATE (6/2/21)
As we continue to move forward doing the “next right thing” I wanted to share with you how we are handling masks at Bethel for worship on Sunday mornings.
1) If you are FULLY VACCINATED you do not have to wear a mask.
2) If you are NOT fully vaccinated, you are expected to wear a mask. This applies to youth who are not yet vaccinated.
* If you have chosen NOT to receive the vaccine, we expect that you will show respect for those who are unable to be vaccinated yet (i.e. children, those with underlying issues) and wear a mask out of Christian love and generosity toward others, especially the most vulnerable.
3) Children over the age of 2 are expected to wear masks at all times, even in the nursery.
We recognize that this is a “fluid” situation. We also recognize that not everyone will have the same comfort level as others. Therefore, we are offering a weekly OUTDOOR Worship Service on Wednesday at 6:00pm for those who may not yet be comfortable worshiping indoors. This service will not require masks since we are outside, but each person will be encouraged to do what makes them feel most comfortable.
We trust that everyone will be generous with each other, recognizing that while some are ready to “get back to normal”, others will not be so inclined, at least not yet. We want everyone to be as comfortable as possible as we make decisions to “open up” at Bethel and this is our way to best allow various options for worship that will hopefully, in total, meet everyone’s needs and concerns.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Valley Health will begin filling vaccine clinic appointments using the pre-registration list from the Virginia Department of Health. This will allow them to more fairly work from the wait list and will largely eliminate the need to post links.
If you have not yet pre-registered for the COVID-19 vaccine through the VDH, please do so by visiting vaccinate.virginia.gov.
Those without internet should call 1-877-Vax-In-VA (877-829-4682) to pre-register.
If you’re interested in volunteering at Covid 19 vaccine clinics, Valley Health has non-medical volunteer opportunities available here:
To get on the vaccine waiting list (they’ll call you when they have a shot ready for you):
For more Covid 19 vaccination information:
At our November council meeting held this past Thursday, November 12, our council made the decision to allow in person worship beginning with the first Sunday in Advent (November 29).
HOWEVER, the following day, Governor Northam announced that our state has moved back into restriction of no more than 25 people indoor or outdoor for the foreseeable future.
This impacts our decision in the following ways:
1) We will honor this restriction and WILL NOT RETURN to in-person worship indoors until this restriction is lifted. While religious organizations are technically “exempt” from this restriction, honoring the restriction is both judicious in terms of being safe and an act of solidarity with those legally required to obey these restrictions, i.e. “love your neighbors as yourself.”
2) In lieu of in-person gatherings for Advent, we will be offering pre-recorded worship on Sundays as we have been. Additionally, we will offer a pre-recorded Holden Evening Prayer worship each week followed by a Zoom gathering and reflection on the message of the evening.
Finally, look for information regarding our Advent Traditions plan for making Advent wreathes as we will share that information ASAP.
3) There are plans underway for a pre-recorded Christmas in a Barn (from Cloverdale Barn) that will be released on Christmas Eve at 3pm.
Unless the restrictions are lifted, we will offer a pre-recorded worship on Christmas Eve at 7PM, followed by a Zoom gathering to say Merry Christmas to each other. However, if the restrictions are lifted, we may look to offer something in person on Christmas Eve.
Friends, I am acutely aware that this is NOT ideal!
Like you, I long to be with my Bethel friends in worship and fellowship.
However, as we seek to be faithful to our responsibility to remain safe as a community of faith, we are making tough decisions that we do not want to make, but feel are necessary.
I ask for your prayers even as you should know that you remain daily in my own.
I ask you to reach out to one another so that we can continue to foster the bonds of friendship that have been such a life-giving part of our Bethel experience.
It will take ALL OF US being mindful of one another.
So, pick up a phone and call someone you know from Bethel who has been on your mind.
Text someone or send a quick email.
Let us organically support each other as the CHURCH!
I love you and miss you all so much. God’s got this and in confidence I am convinced that we will all make it through this crazy and unique time TOGETHER!
Blessings and Peace,