Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ

Happy New Year 2022I am sitting in my January-dark dining room, grateful that my Mama raised me the way she did: the Christmas tree does NOT come down until Epiphany – January 6.

Anything else would just be… I won’t say “wrong” because you may have good reasons to follow a different tradition at your house, but it would certainly leave me feeling incomplete. After the Christmas music goes quiet and most of the world has moved on, I treasure the lights and ornaments that remind me that the light and love of God came into the world and have not left.

Which, it turns out, is also why gathering with a congregation to sing and pray and learn together, matters so much to me. In the faces of the gathered community, in the love and care I see between church members, in the heartfelt prayers lifted for each other and the world, in honest questioning and joyful singing – in the wholeheartedness of the congregation, I am reminded that the light and love of God has not left.

As the omicron variant of COVID spreads the phasing forward team met and reviewed the latest information for faith communities from the Multnomah Health Department. We are recommending the following steps to keep our hybrid worship safe and vibrant for everyone.

For those coming to the building to participate:

  • Please wear an N 95, KN 95, well-fitted KF94 or double layered mask (either surgical and cloth, or 2 cloth). Surgical masks and KN95s will be available on the table in the narthex.
  • Please sign in when you arrive – this will make contact-tracing possible if needed.
  • Please observe social distancing during the service. Sitting closer together is safe for shorter periods, but is not recommended for the full hour of the service.
  • The congregation is invited to hum along to hymns while our (masked) church musicians and perhaps a choir member or two sing for us from the chancel.
  • Until the omicron wave has past, we will move from having coffee hour with refreshments to social time with art supplies on each table in the circle room. We can still be together – and we might even create something beautiful. Or silly.

For those participating via ZOOM: I would love to hear what is working well for you and what suggestions you have that might make hybrid worship more welcoming and inclusive.

God’s light is with us, leading us -- through delta, omicron and every other challenge.

God’s love is with us, among us, between us and within us. Thanks be to God that we get to be together to share it!