calendar February 16, 2022 in Bishop, Bishop messages, Communications, Public Health

COVID Update from Bishop Davenport

Dear Beloved,

I am grateful that COVID cases and hospitalizations have been declining quickly across southeastern Pennsylvania. I pray that this trend continues. In order to protect the people we serve, I encourage you to keep finding safe ways to gather in person as well as offer complementary online access.

Our leaders and congregations have adapted and grown so much during the last two years. We have hope that this flexibility and our traditions will blend as we move forward with congregational life that is faithful and safe.

After nearly two years of protective measures, it can be tempting to let down our guard and return to “normal.” Please keep in mind that for families with children under five who cannot be vaccinated, for people on chemotherapy or with chronic illness, and for our elders, these times are not normal. I am mindful that one reason cases have fallen so quickly is we have adhered to simple steps to protect others and ourselves. We want to continue to do all we can to make it hard for the virus to mutate and spread.

With that in mind I offer the following recommendations for protective measures. I trust that our rostered ministers and church councils, who must make these difficult decisions for congregations, will do their best to keep our worshippers and communities as safe as possible.

  • Per CDC recommendation, everyone should wear a mask indoors.
  • Medical experts recommend that everyone wear a protective N95 or KN95 mask.
  • Encourage in-person attendees to be fully vaccinated and boosted.
  • Increase fresh air ventilation via a properly filtered air-handling system and opening windows and doors to increase circulation.
  • Use technology to connect with persons unable to attend in-person.
  • Maintain physical distancing indoors.
  • Consider outdoor and online options when appropriate.

This virus continues to challenge and surprise us, and we must all be prepared to respond differently if circumstances change.

I and the entire Synod staff are holding you in prayer as we move through this new abnormal. We appreciate your prayers for us as well.

Be safe!

In Christ,

Rev. Patricia A. Davenport, bishop