Please read the letter below on the latest changes to our COVID precautions for live worship at Atonement. If you are experiencing symptoms of a new illness or have been around someone who has recently tested positive for COVID, please choose to join us on the live stream.
October 21, 2021
“…I pray that according to the riches of His glory, He may grant that you may be
strengthened in your inner being with power through His Spirit…”
--- Ephesians 3:16
Dear Members and Friends of Atonement,
Back in August, numbers of COVD cases in Pasco County were rising due to the prevalence of the Delta variant in our area. At that time, rates of infection were climbing faster than we’d seen before. With concern for the safety of all our members, we began asking everyone to wear masks in worship. After reaching a peak in early September, the number of COVID cases registered in our county began steadily declining. This week we have seen numbers return to rates we were seeing back in mid-July during the period we were allowing in-person worshipers to be unmasked in the church building.
In response, our Atonement Council has decided we will return to allowing unmasked people to worship indoors starting this Sunday, October 24. With booster shots increasingly available for those who are particularly vulnerable and the county positivity rate below 5%, we feel that conditions are safe at this time to reopen a section of seating in worship for those who prefer not to mask. We will still offer a section for those who continue to mask and social distance. The CDC recommends wearing masks indoors, particularly if you are unvaccinated or have a weakened immune system.
We expect everyone to respect the “social distancing” seating and be sure to wear a mask in that area of the sanctuary. We are still minimizing close contact in the worship space by continuing with our “contact-free” methods for passing the peace and distributing Holy Communion. The live stream will continue to be offered for the current 10am service and, starting November 28, for services at our new 9:30am and 11am worship times. You can watch on our website (www.discoveralc.com) or through Facebook or Youtube. For now, we will also continue operating fans to assist with air flow and filtration in the sanctuary, and the “Clean Team” will be sanitizing the worship space following each service.
You are invited to take part in some upcoming events that will be held in person at Atonement. The first is a four-session series called Thriving Beyond Covid, which will take place Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm-8pm in Friendship Hall. This series includes some activities, discussions, and Bible reflection focusing on healing and finding new direction in our lives and congregation. The sessions started on October 20, but if you missed the first session, we hope you will still consider joining us for the remaining three.
Also, we will be looking back over these past 2 years during an inspiring event we’re calling our Retrospectacular. Following worship on November 21, people will come together for a luncheon and time of remembering. As we reflect on the changes we have been through in this pandemic, we will be remembering and celebrating loved ones who have died, milestones and events that we were not able to celebrate fully, and ways God has brought us through this difficult season together.
We hope you are able to come be a part of some of these upcoming events, and as always we appreciate your prayers and support for your church family. God has big plans for us as together we share the love of Jesus in our community through worship, serving others, Bible study, prayer, Christian education and fellowship. I hope you can see God’s power and love working in your life and making a difference through the ministries of Atonement. As the apostle Paul prays in Ephesians, we ask that God grants you inner strength, the power of hope, and a spirit alive in the riches of his glory.
Peace and health,
Pastor Scott Lindner Council President Salli Stupp-Conover