Friends in Christ:
We learned yesterday that the Wisconsin Council of Churches will be issuing revised guidance in the coming days, strongly recommending that churches statewide temporarily return to remote operations as COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations soar due to the highly-transmissible Omicron variant in Wisconsin. While the WCC operates in an advisory capacity and does not have authority to require closures, the ecumenical group’s recommendations are weighed heavily by many faith-based organizations. After consulting its medical advisers, the Council recommends that churches not gather in person for the next four to six weeks. The Council invites churches to shift their ministries to fully remote, or work with a small video streaming team in the church building, until a smaller proportion of the population is sick and less-burdened hospitals allow for people to be treated in a timely manner. Churches wishing to pledge such a shift can do so at bit.ly/omicroncaution or on the Council’s website. For more information on the Council’s COVID work, visit its website at wichurches.org.
I realize that these are hard conversations to have and challenging decisions to make, as we are all weary and hoping for this pandemic to end. I am hopeful that this current wave will be short-lived, and I encourage all our leaders to make the best decisions they can to promote the health and well-being of all.
Bishop Paul Erickson
UPDATE: READ THE WCC GUIDANCE HERE.