Dear WEFC family,
Thank you everyone for praying for our church and the decisions facing all of us as the pandemic has taken another turn. The news from public health officials on Friday last week, left us all troubled as we consider the significant implications to in-person church. This has already been a difficult year in the life of our church, and gathering together to celebrate our secure hope in Jesus has been a real blessing this fall and through the advent season. This is one of the reasons the news from Friday was so disappointing, and we feel that with you.
The decision facing every church under the new restrictions is to do in person services for fully vaccinated individuals, or to go back to online services only and stop meeting in person during worship services, or do small cohort services. We recognize that each option holds the potential to hurt people in our church, and will have an impact the on the effectiveness of reaching our community with God’s love. We considered the options deeply and trust that God will use our decision to further His glory.
We know that church is for everyone and the ministry of the church is most effective when provided in-person through the relationships found in church. We believe in this strongly. As a result of this reality we have come to the very difficult decision to provide both fully vaccinated, and mixed worship services to reach as many as possible, in person, within the guidelines. While our desire would be to continue only with a safe unified service, we feel at this time it is important for our church to be with each other as much as possible.
And so as we move forward in this direction we humbly ask for your continued prayers and gracious attitudes to one another to permit this temporary separation to remain physical only and not divide us relationally, or spiritually. We encourage everyone to seek out ways to be together this Christmas season and the staff and elders of WEFC will do the same through the programs and services offered by our church.
What we do know is that Christmas Eve service will go forward in person with rooms for both fully vaccinated individuals, and a mixed room following the cohorting rules set out in the public health order. We will follow the same format for regular Sunday services starting this Sunday, December 26. The 10:30 service will be streamed online and there will be in person rooms, with live worship, for both vaccinated only and mixed cohorts. We are excited that the technology upgrades are almost complete allowing for streaming between both rooms in both directions which will allow us to be as together as possible during this time.
While we sort through the logistics of directing people to the right entrances, checking vaccination status, and organizing volunteers we would recommend coming a little early to the services as we anticipate a more involved process.
As we strive to “not give up meeting together", we encourage us all to come and join a service in person or online as we worship our Lord and Saviour.
In His service,
WEFC Board of Elders and Church Leadership