I am writing to report on the progress of our COVID-19 committee charged with determining best practices for life at FCC Tacoma. This week, as we discussed all of the protocols we are currently following, the many considerations to be taken of things like access to vaccine and respecting each person's agency and comfort level, the subject that was most notable and of importance on each of our minds was Communion. Of course, thanks to the abiding presence of God who is there anytime we share of the bread and cup, be that all in one room, or scattered about on screens at home, it was noted that the symbolism of sharing the one bread and the sensory-memory of such an experience was a ritual that many of us have come to miss in these pandemic days. I'm delighted to share that now is the time for us to transition back to the sharing of the one bread and cup (with some slight alterations to keep things as sanitary as possible). It will take our leaders a few weeks to organize this new way of doing things, but we are looking forward to offering bread and grape juice in two stations at the front of the sanctuary in the next month. Below is a brief list of protocols we plan to either keep or alter:
Masks will still required indoors unless you're actively eating or drinking
Social distance partitions will be removed from sanctuary pews
Traditional communion will be organized and served each Sunday in worship, along with individual grape juice cups for those who prefer them, plus individually packed communion "Lunchables" for those who prefer to continue using them.
I invite you to lift a prayer of gratitude for the ongoing work of our COVID-19 Team, and gratitude for progress as we see the fruits of science and recognize our part as a community in the effort to care for the most vulnerable among us.
With love and blessing,
This week's Joys and Concerns
Among our Joys:
We give thanks for the turning of the season, reminded of God's way of life as new green buds take form.
Among our Concerns, we pray for:
Savannah Alvarado, Betty Alvarado's granddaughter in pediatric ICU with some emergent medical concerns
Steve Johnson, recovering from surgery
Charlene Housman, who continues recovery at home
Zamari Alvarado, Betty Alvarado's grandson, recovering from COVID
Mereidene Moore, Charlene's mother, for peace and comfort in her final days of life
Daniel Davis, friend of Susan Pearson
Rachel Morford, daughter of Mary Morford
For our homebound friends, Helen Bosley, Elaine Jonson, Harry and Margaret Lobberegt, Jane Nelson and Jim and Kay Thompson
Among our local and global community prayer concerns:
We continue to pray for those in harm's way in Ukraine, and for peace to prevail in the midst of conflict and oppression as it rears its ugly head around the world. We pray also for those facing ongoing violence and oppression in nations around the world, including Yemen, Afghanistan, Palestine, Ethiopia, and Syria. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
For the Village on 6th and Orchard, for all who live there, have lived there, work, volunteer, and/or give in all kinds of other ways to support this important cause. We also pray for the courage to continue working and advocating for substantive change from the bottom up, so that all people are given the dignity and love in life that God so calls us provide for one another.
For our Global Ministry partners in The Philippines.