Dear Church Family,
I wanted to write to you about the developing situation with the Markham Woods’ response to the pandemic crisis caused by COVID-19. This disease continues to hit closer and closer to home for me. My parents ended up getting COVID last week in Nebraska even though they had been extremely cautious. My father went to help a neighbor who had fallen and couldn’t get up; unfortunately, in that 10+ minute Good Samaritan act he contracted the virus and subsequently passed it to my mother. I think they will be fine, but my mom has gotten worse in the last few days and her last words to me when we got off the phone last night were, “Be careful. You don’t want to get this.” Fortunately, it looks like they will pull through it. My pastor friend in Armenia was not so fortunate – he lost his 40-something old brother and father in a period of a month to COVID. Another one of my friends with whom I worked in Azerbaijan has a 20-something year old daughter who is fighting for her life at the moment. I know many of you have similar stories of people that you know and love that you have lost because of this killer disease.
We are taking this virus seriously as your board and the re-opening subcommittee and this is what we have come up with:
- We want to remind everyone to continue to take precautions when coming to church – washing hands, not coming if you have any flu-like symptoms, social distancing and wearing a mask (fully over nose). We will continue to be vigilant in enforcing these measures.
- There will be no Sabbath Schools in the building this week, January 16, until further notice. All of them will be held online (with the exception of newborn-3 years old which will not be held at all). You can find the information on how to connect with all of the Sabbath Schools on our website: https://markhamwoodschurch.org. Children’s Sabbath School will be held only for 20-30 minutes because of the limited activities that can be done online. Here is the information for the children’s Sabbath Schools:
Sabbath School Ages 4-K— https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89733966611
Sabbath School Grades 1-3—https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85362410397
Sabbath School Grades 4-5— https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89746375792
Sabbath School Grades 6-8— https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87928246656
- Because the board didn’t have time at our emergency meeting last week to decide which ministries, other than the worship services, would be safe to re-open, it tasked the subcommittee with this decision. The subcommittee has decided to re-open our Tier 3 ministries (due to the fact they are vetted and using mitigation guidelines) as of next week. These are the small group Bible studies, music group practices, quilting ministry, etc. Due to their small size the committee felt it was safe to re-open them immediately.
- The subcommittee also came up with new indicators that would determine when the surge was in decline enough to reopen all of our Tier 1 and Tier 2 ministries (Sabbath Schools, other indoor larger group ministries, etc.). They will be keeping a close eye on the numbers in the next few weeks.
We will continue to keep you updated on what the subcommittee and board decide in this regard.
May God continue to bless you and we pray that He will keep you all in good health.