Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

The Omicron variant continues to spread in Houston. I ask that you join me in praying to God that it will pass swiftly. However, at the moment we are in the midst of it. We have had several vaccinated staff members test positive for COVID (they stay home to recuperate), and with most of you, I have heard of a number of friends and parishioners who have also contracted the virus. My simple request is that we all continue to not only take personal responsibility for prudent health decisions but that we also do so in consideration of others.

I offer a few simple but strong recommendations:

  • If you have any symptoms that may be associated with the coronavirus, such as fever, congestion, unusual fatigue, or breathing difficulties, please choose to worship with us online. The 9 am Church service and 11:15 am Table service are live-streamed weekly. The 10:15 am Adult Sunday School class in the Hall Life Center is live-streamed as well (Community Engagement on January 16 & 23; Gospel of Mark beginning February 6).
  • If you have been exposed to anyone with the virus, we also ask that you choose to worship with us online.
  • If you have any concerns about contracting the virus while at church at this time, please know we respect and encourage your decision to worship with us online.
  • Even if you are fully vaccinated, including with a booster, we encourage by-now-well-known safe practices. Again, we ask that you take responsibility for your own health decisions while considering those around you.
  • If you are not vaccinated, we encourage you to wear a mask in our services. We understand choosing to be vaccinated or not is a personal choice, but we thank you for your consideration of this request.
  • The East Bay will be reserved for those wearing masks who only want to be around those wearing masks.

As I have shared before, this past year has taught us that we are not living through the virus as much as having to learn to live with it, perhaps for a good while to come though hopefully in less virulent forms. If we as brothers and sisters in Christ have learned anything over the last 22 months, it is that the Spirit empowers us to carry on as people of profound hope in the midst of great challenge and legitimate concern. In spite of this unwelcome chapter in the pandemic, and with prayers for protection for each of you and your loved ones, I look forward to worshipping with you.

“Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

Yours in Christ,
Leigh
The Rev. Dr. R. Leigh Spruill, rector

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