Sunday Worship In-person and Streamed Online at 10am

COVID Protocol Update: October 2022

Greetings Friends,

It is a joy to write this first COVID update as your new pastor. I know that many of you will receive the changes outlined below with glad hearts. I know for others, these new policies will bring some stress and worry. Please feel free to reach out to me. I would love to be in conversation with you to see how we can help you feel safer. 

The resilience of this congregation during the pandemic is amazing. You have supported each other, innovated, protected the most vulnerable, continued outreach and service to the community, weathered a staff turnover while still dealing with the pandemic, and more. I am so proud to be serving THIS congregation. I trust that the changes we are implementing will continue leading us into a faithful future.

As many of you are aware, the COVID Task Force has been considering a change in our masking policy. Thank you to all who offered input on our masking policy going forward. The majority of people who responded to our inquiries (over 95%) and the majority of the COVID Task Force believe it is time to make masking encouraged but not required at all FUMCO events. Understanding that we do have vulnerable people in our congregation, or people who live with immunocompromised people, we are making the following changes to the policy. These changes rely on the CDC Risk Level Assessments as reported through the COVID Act Now Website: https://covidactnow.org/us/washington-wa/county/thurston_county/?s=40162764 

  • Masks will be encouraged but not required when our risk level as a county is low. (Green)

We understand that many people are not comfortable in masks and find it difficult to breathe, hear, or speak while masked. We also acknowledge that masks make it more difficult for people to connect to each other. We also recognize that some people continue to be vulnerable for one reason or another. Therefore masks will be optional but we will respect people who continue to mask and will practice social distancing with those people as appropriate.

  • Masks will be encouraged for everyone and required for song leaders and choirs when our risk level as a county is medium. (Yellow) In recognition of the higher rate of transmission during singing, we will ask those who are leading songs or singing in a choir to mask. We encourage everyone to mask during singing but respect people’s individual choice when the risk level is medium.

  • Masks will be required when the risk level is high. (Red) We want to protect those who are most vulnerable among us and so we will ask that people wear masks to worship when the risk level is high. As soon as the risk level drops to yellow or green, the mask requirement will be dropped. 

  • Masks will be required if either the CDC, the Governor, or the County Health Officer recommend this. 

  • Food will be allowed in the building again! We heard from you at our Meet and Greet events that you want the ability to share fellowship with each other through eating. After over two years of not having Coffee Hour or other food related gatherings they will be allowed again. Even if we are at the High Risk Level we will continue to allow food and encourage people to only remove their masks while they are eating or drinking and to put them on again as soon as they finish eating. 

Please note: While Coffee Hour will be allowed again, we can only resume this much loved offering if we have people willing to bake (or provide store bought goods) and host. If you are interested in either of these important ministries please email the office at: fumco@fumcoly.org

Thank you for your continued support of FUMCO’s COVID policies. God has been with us throughout the pandemic and will continue to give us a future with hope!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Heather

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