Pastor's Letter: Covid-19 Restrictions

“Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. Joshua 1:9

Greetings Church,

I have to share some disappointing news today. St. Peter’s UMC Church Council met recently to pray, discern, discuss, and decide about how we will move forward in worship, ministry, and mission this Autumn while Covid-19 still rages and threatens in so many communities across the nation and world. Effective immediately, masks and social distancing will be required for all worship, ministry, and mission activities at St. Peter’s UMC. This will also include employees in the course of their work and outside groups using our facilities.

The leaders of the church have not taken this step lightly.

  • CDC currently recommends that ALL people (even those who are fully vaccinated) aged 2 or older should wear a mask indoors in public in areas of substantial or high transmission. Cape May County NJ (as with all of New Jersey and most of the nation) is currently designated as a substantial or high transmission area due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta Variant of Covid-19.

  • We have active children’s and youth ministries happening weekly at St. Peter’s UMC, especially on Sunday mornings. Currently, there is no vaccine available for children under 12 years old. We need to protect our children (again, who are UNVACCINATED) in worship, Junior Worship, Sunday School, Youth Group, and ALL other times children’s ministries are in the building. Nothing short of indoor masking for all people in the building affords adequate protection for our children.

  • There is much concern from those who have received vaccines, from those who are vulnerable to contracting Covid-19, and from those who are immunocompromised, about ‘breakthrough transmissions’ whereby fully vaccinated people contract and/or spread Covid-19. There are still significant unknowns concerning the efficacy the vaccines over time. Medical experts are still determining if, when, and how to administer ‘booster shots’. We desire to create an environment of least restriction but that affords the most safety and comfort for the largest number of our congregation and community.

No doubt this news is disappointing for all of us. For some this may be frustrating as well. The Church Council asks for all St. Peter’s UMC members, friends, guests, visitors and staff to PLEASE be gracious and understanding and work together to fully abide by these new rules. Together we can continue active, faithful, Christ-centered worship, fellowship, ministry, and mission here at St. Peter’s. while setting an example of Christian unity and love for all the world to see.

Grace & Peace,

Erik

8:00AM Worship & Communion
in our Sanctuary -
Masks Required

Reflective music, prayer, Scripture, an engaging Christ-centered message, and communion.

9:00AM Contemporary Worship
in the Stainton Room -
Masks Required

Uplifting praise music, prayer, Scripture, and an inspiring Christ-centered message you can take with you all week.

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11:00 AM Traditional Worship
in our Sanctuary -
Masks Required

Organ and choir music, hymns, prayer, Scripture and a faith-enriching Christ-centered message to inspire you all week long.

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