Dear Nativity Community,
Two years ago, we shared the news that we would close the church to onsite activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been two years of act, react, pivot, and do it all over again. As we did, we took comfort in the words, “Come to me all you who are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”.
We are grateful that the pandemic virus has become more quiescent, allowing changes in our congregation protective plan. This communication will share the details of how we will shift from managing a pandemic to managing an endemic virus. Covid-19 will not go away entirely, but it has evolved. Scientific discovery has led to the availability of tests, vaccines, accurate monitoring, and advances in medications for treatment that now empower us to return to some pre-pandemic norms while continuing to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of all.
On February 24, the CDC issued new Covid-19 guidance, which we have been weighing thoughtfully as we determine our next steps. Nativity Council recommends the following updates. Please read this message carefully.
First, the mask mandate for the building has been lifted. Effective immediately, masks are recommended but not required in the building. We respect your decision regarding masking and ask that you respect the decisions of others. Health and safety remain a priority, and we realize that the immuno-compromised, the elderly, and the unvaccinated are at higher risk for severe illness and death. We encourage the use of N95 masks indoors and in crowded areas for their protection.
Also, we know things will change. We will not hesitate to reinstate a mask mandate if that is what CDC guidance recommends. Our medical team will continue to monitor our situation and make the necessary adjustments to policy based on CDC, Minnesota Department of Health, and Ramsey and Hennepin County health guidelines and mandates.
Second, most staff continue to work remotely. As we reinstate programs in the building, we will strive to offer hybrid options. While this pandemic has increased our acceptance of remote work, online worship, and distance learning, it has also reminded us of the power of in-person collaboration and in-person learning as well as the blessing of being in physical community with one another. We look forward to coming together for worship.
Third, food and beverages may be served in the building.
Fourth, the building will remain locked but will be open before and after events. If you come to the church and the door is locked, please use the doorbell to the right of the front door.
All of these changes are effective immediately. Nativity Council expresses its gratitude for Nativity staff and the Nativity community in demonstrating remarkable resilience throughout the pandemic. We experienced some very difficult days, but together we have encouraged one another, finding our way.
Nativity Council, Pandemic Medical Advisory Team, Pastor Glenn and Pastor Ben