I want to thank our Grace community for your continued patience and understanding for our decision to continue gathering for Sunday worship services online only. I greatly miss weekly family gatherings in-person for worship and fellowship. This necessary time apart for our health and the health of our neighbors will make that time when it is safe to gather even more joyous. Until that day, join us online; invite others to worship with us; pray for one another; and relish those times when we are one through the mystery of the Eucharist binding us together in the body of Christ.
I admit that being patient is challenging at times. This article from the Raleigh News & Observer on Oct. 28 underscores for me the importance of patience and that our Council has made the wise decision to not return to in-person worship yet.
Religious activities, including worship services, bible studies and youth group meetings, are the third leading source of COVID-19 clusters in North Carolina, The News & Observer reported.
At least 1,180 coronavirus cases in the state are linked to 88 clusters at religious events, and at least 18 people have died.
Meat and poultry processing plants are responsible for the most cases attributable to a cluster, followed by colleges and universities, according to Department of Health and Human Services data.
The state defines a cluster as five or more cases with positive test results or illness onset within a 14-day period.
The recent spread comes as more churches opt to return to in-person services. A federal judge in May said churches should be allowed to gather after several sued the governor.
One of the largest clusters traced to a religious gathering is at United House of Prayer for All People in Mecklenburg County, which has been the source of 121 COVID-19 cases and at least three deaths. The church held convocation events from Oct. 4-11 that attracted up to 1,000 people.
Mecklenburg health officials say 68 COVID-19 cases are connected to the United House of Prayer for All People church in Charlotte NC. Two people have died. The county said it will host a no-cost, drive-thru testing event Thursday and Friday.
Finally, THANK YOU to everyone who shared their time and skills to safely record and assemble the various segments of worship for Reformation Sunday - especially Dave Carver, our Producer/Director for Video & Streaming Ministry, who assembled the service that you viewed as it was streamed.