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January 16th Online Worship Only

Update: Worship suspended until February 5th. Read the updated blog below:

Beloved Members and Friends of St. Martin's,

After much deliberation, research, and prayer, I have made the decision to hold our worship online only this weekend. I do not make this decision lightly. Last Sunday, the number of new cases of COVID in St. Louis county hit an all-time high-- and we know that there are other cases not recorded due to the difficulty in obtaining tests. There are a number of our members who are experiencing breakthrough cases of COVID right now, and many more that are quarantining because they have become aware that they have been exposed. Hospital ERs are overwhelmed, and medical staff stretched to the breaking point--again. Cases in nursing homes are at a record high, propelled by having the lowest vaccination rate among nursing home workers in the nation. It is also true that we are currently under a winter weather advisory, with predictions of rain and snow and possibly ice over the next two days. It would be a blessing if that could encourage people to stay home for a couple of days, to be honest. My hope is that creating a two-week window of us being not being gathered together will allow us to worship together again next week with a chance for our own localized surge to subside. This is a one-week pause only at this point. The hope right now is for us to be able to safely gather next weekend. While I am so grateful that almost everyone who has returned our Regathering surveys has indicated that they are vaccinated (and by now, I hope, boosted), which lessens the symptoms greatly in otherwise healthy people, the symptoms of this virus are not inconsequential. If you are feeling ill, PLEASE contact your doctor and get tested-- and then contact either myself or the Rev. Shug so that we can help you in any way so that you can stay home-- and pray with you, of course. As always, we are blessed to be able to offer online worship opportunities on our Youtube channel, Facebook Live page, and website. May we all extend care, grace, and compassion to those around us, and do all we can to flatten this current surge. In Christ, Leslie+

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