Sterry Memorial Evangelical Presbyterian Church
July 15, 2020
Dear Members, Friends and Neighbors of Sterry Memorial Presbyterian Church:
We are postponing our July 19 Open House Celebration. We are continuing to worship in the Courtyard at 10:30 a.m. We hope that you can join us.
The Sterry Deacons met this past Monday and they discussed their careful review of State and County stats and recommendations. The Deacons have recommended postponement of the Open House Celebration until the increase of Covid-19 cases flattens in our community. The Session has carefully considered the situation and has agreed with the Deacons.
Why are we being so careful?
1. We are trying to be good neighbors.
2. In our State and County, positive cases have significantly increased to the point that more of us actually know someone, who has tested positive.
3. As soon as we open our building to public worship, most of us will expect to continue doing so. If the State orders us to close again, then it will be difficult on us.
4. Our congregation and community includes a variety of views and opinions regarding the Pandemic. As leaders of the church, we must make decisions that are best for everyone. Worship in the Courtyard is not ideal, but preferences aside, it allows us to worship rather than completely shutting down our ministries.
5. Meetings held outside allow for the most relaxed precautions. Since few in our community have opted to wear masks, or refrain from handshakes and hugs,remaining outside appears to be the best option.
6. Shorter worship services also reduces the statistical and potential exposure.
7. We are trying to be a good role model for our larger community.
The Deacons’ Letter to the Session of Elders captures our decision so well. It follows:
July 13, 2020
To: Monique Jensen, Clerk of Session, Sterry Memorial Church
From: Deacons, Sterry Memorial Church
Subject: Letter to Session, RE: Open House and Sunday Worship Service
The Sterry Deacons met today, July 13, 2020 at a regular meeting. Under Other Business, the Deacons discussed the most current Covid 19 information from the State of Idaho, aired on local NBC Monday morning, and its impact on the scheduled Open House and Worship Service scheduled for this Sunday, July 19, 2020. The following data was the basis for the discussion:
1. On Monday, July 13, 2020 it was reported that Canyon County had the highest infection rate of all Idaho counties on Sunday July 12th.
2. Most members and friends who attended the outdoor worship did not wear face masks and many did not social distance.
3. The announcement at Sunday’s worship did not require masks and social distance for the open house and indoor worship service.
The Deacons would like to recommend to the Session that the Open House and Worship in the sanctuary be postponed until it is safer for all concerned. We all would prefer to having an open house and worship indoors, however, we feel with the current information, it is not in the best interest of our members and friends to subject them to the potential threat of exposure. We suggest that Sterry be a role model for our members and the community for appropriately protecting those attending our activities.
Pastor Nathan attended the meeting and added to the discussion: “I'm fine with us hosting Worship in the Courtyard through the summer. Kathryn Zaiss has reported today a Parma Fire staff’s spouse testing positive and so she is in quarantine for the next 14 days. We may begin to receive a trickle of such reports. If we host the open house and worship in the sanctuary, then most of us will expect such a venue to continue and it will be difficult for us to go backwards...and so we should postpone until further assessment.”
Thank you for your timely and prayerful consideration of this matter.
Sterry Memorial Church
Address: 28531 Hwy 18, PO Box 655
Parma, ID 83660
Phone: (208) 722-6201
Monday - Thursday
8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Friday - Closed
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