Merry Christmas! I look forward to celebrating with you all the nativity of our Lord.
As we do so, my priority is to keep us as safe as possible. All around the diocese, churches are changing their plans for Christmas because of the highly contagious nature of the omicron variant–some churches are moving outdoors only; some moving online only. At St. Thomas, we will keep the plan to have a hybrid service, indoor with mask on and online. Please choose the option that keeps you and others safe. If you have not been vaccinated or have any symptoms of illness, please stay home and worship with us from a safe distance.
For those of you coming in person, proper masking is of utmost importance. Proper masking includes covering the nose and the mouth at all times. Please do not pull down your mask to speak or cough or blow your nose. Please go outside if you need to uncover your mask. When coming for communion, please lift your mask only to eat the bread and then quickly replace your mask.
Following these guidelines will allow everyone to feel safer and enjoy their time in church.
Moreover, the CDC says that cloths masks are not recommended with the omicron variant. Please wear at the least a surgical mask. And N95 or K95 is best. See this article for details: https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/24/health/cloth-mask-omicron-variant-wellness/index.html
All lectors and musicians, please mask for your reading and singing. I have decided to preach with a mask on for Christmas, since the church doors will be closed to keep the heat in. Of course, I will celebrate communion with my mask on and with washed hands.
Jesus came to a time such as these. In uncertain times, that is where Christmas is born. May God bless you and keep you.
Peace, Pastor Salying