Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 2/2/21

Dear Central friends,

Grace and peace to you! I continue to pray for your good health and well-being.

Our COVID-19 task force met on February 1 to discuss next steps regarding reopening for in-person worship. Our decisions are made on data that we receive from the Knox County Health Department and the Board of Health (BOH). Our policy requires an automatic shut down when the BOH benchmarks reach red for four out of five categories.

There is good news! The BOH recently lowered the number of benchmarks in the red to one. Therefore, that number, along with other data we are seeing related to new cases, gives us confidence to make the decision to reopen to in-person worship. Our tentative plan is to reopen on February 21. These three weeks will give us time to make sure we have the necessary supplies for cleaning as well as the volunteers needed to serve on Sunday mornings. It will also give us more time to watch the case numbers and the benchmarks to make sure they continue in the right direction.

If, at any point, the benchmarks return to four out of five red, we will delay the return to in-person worship until those benchmarks drop to three or fewer.
We will return with the same protocols in place as last fall:

  • Masks will be required
  • Physical distance by only sitting in pews with cushions with member of household
  • Unless you need access to the elevator, please enter and exit using 3rd Avenue doors
  • Please worship online if you are feeling sick or have any COVID-19 symptoms

As always, we encourage those who are at most risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19 to continue worshipping with us online.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or anyone on our COVID-19 task force.

Keep the faith!

Pastor Jimmy
COVID-19 Task Force: Elizabeth Thomas, Tim Gangaware, Jabette Carlson, Don Loy, Rev. Stephanie Parrott, Doug Johnson