January 14, 2021

It remains clear that the Covid pandemic is still a major health concern and  requires ongoing attention. Although Minnesota has shown some signs of  improvement and some of the restrictions have been loosened, there still is  concern about additional surges due to the holidays. We continue to remain in  contact with the Minnesota Department of Health concerning their guidelines for  the Faith Communities. Their basic recommendations have not changed. They  recommend that the communities of faith limit their facilities to 50% capacity, but  strongly suggest that each facility carefully assess their population of attendees  for risks (such as age and underlying health concerns) and base the decision on  that data. They also recommend virtual services if at all possible. Based on our  population of attendees, we plan to stay with virtual services and maintain our  current phase in regards to any use of the building (see phase and link below).  Hopefully the vaccines will brighten the light at the end of the tunnel.

A few words about vaccines. The two vaccines presently being  administered are called mRNA. The way this vaccine works is that it is like an  email to your immune system giving it instructions on how to produce protection  through the development of antibodies that can weaken and destroy the virus. It  does not cause you to have an infection. It requires two doses separated by 21 or  28 days (Each vaccine is different). You get some level of protection after the first  injection but 14 days after the second injection the studies show about 95%  protection. Side effects are minimal and include potential mild local reaction at  the injection site and in some cases mild “flu like” symptoms that may last 2-3  days. Routine allergies are not a contraindication to getting the vaccine. Those  rare instances of the more severe allergic reaction that has been reported is  thought to be due to one of the vehicles of the vaccine. It is highly recommended  that everyone, including individuals who have tested positive in the past, get the  vaccine. Two populations in question that are being studied at a this time are  pregnant women and individuals with compromised immune systems (like lupus  or chemotherapy).

As always, please feel free to contact anyone on the reopening committee  concerning this process. In the meantime let us all continue to love our neighbor  through our actions as we Mask, Social Distance, Wash Hands Frequently, avoid  groups and WHEN IT IS YOUR TURN, GET VACCINATED. Remember:  EVERYONE COUNTS.

Lowell Becker
Penny Messer
Pastors Amelia and Andrew
Frank Wells
Eric Ryberg
Erika Knight