Hello Good Samaritans:

Based on information from our Covid Team, the Wardens and Clergy have decided to pause in-person gathering; including worship, formation, fellowship, etc. starting this Sunday, Jan 9.

I didn’t think I’d be making this announcement, again. And I really hate doing it, especially as we celebrate the Epiphany, the Light of the World. But we have followed the advice of our medical professionals on our Covid Team throughout this pandemic, and that advice has served us well. The guidance we are getting is that the next month will be very difficult with respect to the spread of the Omicron variant. If there is good news, 1) folks who are vaccinated are generally having mild symptoms, and 2) we expect this to be short, probably 4-5 weeks.

As I reflect on these last 2 years, for most of 2020, I knew very few people, very few Good Samaritans, who had gotten the virus. By Thanksgiving of 2020 that began to change, more and more of us, myself and Anna included, got the virus. Early in 2021, vaccines began to be available and by summer we thought we had this thing licked. Then came the Delta variant and suddenly I knew a lot more people who were positive, including many who were vaccinated. In the past week, I have to admit to being surprised at how many of you I have heard from who are positive, and/or have family or extended family positive as a result of holiday gatherings. And we started back to school this week.

Hopefully in a few weeks we can say this was simply an abundance of caution and not really necessary. However, Knox County Positivity Rate is 35% and cases have tripled in the last week. Given the guidance we have received, we expect the next month to be difficult.

We will, of course, continue to stream our Sunday services and use Zoom for our Adult Formation and Tuesday mornings. We are looking at a couple of outside offerings, weather permitting.

Please stay safe in the weeks ahead. If you are not vaccinated, please consider it. If you are not boosted, do that. Keep your Good Sam Staff and Vestry in your prayers, this is hard on everyone.

May God Bless you and keep you safe. +