Dear Colleagues,

As we all navigate the ever-changing landscapes in our world right now, we do so together as the body of Christ. Every day, we are learning more about the effects of the Delta variant of COVID-19, and so we are encouraging congregations to continue to pay attention to the guidance provided by our partners at the Wisconsin Council of Churches, and the guidance provided by the CDC.

In the past week, we have heard about “breakthrough” cases among vaccinated individuals in GMS congregations. This reminds us of the importance of COVID safety protocol conversations and decisions, as we all continue to care for the needs of those around us. We realize that many of our congregations have plans in place for fall gatherings and programming such as anniversary celebrations, church picnics, rally day, etc. After all the decision-making we have done over the past 18 months relative to COVID-19, it might feel overwhelming to reconsider these plans, but we encourage you to follow your congregation’s decision-taking processes and look at what adjustments you can make to maximize the safety and wellness of the people in your community. Masking, physical distancing, and outdoor venues all contribute to this goal.

In all of these considerations, we hold fast to our call to care for the needs of others, as echoed in Galatians 5:13: “For you were called to freedom, siblings; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become servants to one another.”

We know you are tired, yet we lift up this encouragement from Galatians 6.9: “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.”

Blessings to you as you continue to faithfully engage your congregations in these important and potentially life-saving conversations and decisions. We are grateful for you, and to you, as together we are the body of Christ in the GMS and the world!

Rev. Jennifer Arnold
Rev. Kristin Nielsen
Rev. Matthew Short

© 2017 Greater Milwaukee Synod

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