Message About In-Person Meeting from Church Council and Worship Committee

Church Council and Worship Committee met this week to assess the public health crisis and timing of in-person worship. We decided that this fall is not the time for indoor, in-person worship. We will wait to reassess the start of in-person worship services until there is a vaccine available for children. 

Here are some of the factors in our decision: 

  • The continued rise of community transmission rates in Philadelphia and surrounding counties with the Delta variant
  • Children under 12 not being able to be vaccinated
  • A sanctuary that has little to no ventilation possibilities 
  • The start of schools and colleges in the next few weeks, creating more regular places of exposure for people
  • A commitment to be a faith community that cares for its neighbors and surrounding community, which during a public health crisis means we find ways to not increase the spread and mitigate chances of outbreaks 

We know this is discouraging, yet we feel that we have a responsibility as a faith community to protect those currently most vulnerable to the virus, not increase the community spread in our neighborhoods, and be as inclusive as we can. We also have a responsibility to find ways to connect and encourage one another during this time.

So, we will continue a 1x/month outdoor service at a park as long as we can, weather permitting. We will also be creative about providing ways of connecting with one another outdoors or in smaller groups indoors. If you have ideas you would like to offer, contact the Elders, elders@wpmf.org.

We would like to offer opportunities for vaccinated adults/youth to gather in small groups on a Sunday morning and experience Zoom worship together. HRC will be looking for a volunteer to coordinate these groups to make them most accessible to those who are interested in this option. If you might have interest in this contact HRC, hrc@wpmf.org

We encourage vaccinated people to get together in small groups with good safety protocol in mind for those most vulnerable in our community and beyond, since vaccinated people can still spread the Delta variant. We strongly encourage groups to keep in mind the spectrum of needs in the group and follow CDC and city health guidelines. Small and Large Gatherings | CDC

The attached document has values and guidelines to remember as we continue to be a faith community that values inclusion, the gifts of science, care for others and our own spiritual, mental, and physical health.