Until this past year, I had really only used the word “nimble” when reciting the nursery rhyme, “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the candlestick.” I’m not sure why Jack needed to jump over the candlestick, but I guess being nimble kept him from getting burned. We have needed to be nimble during the COVID-19 pandemic so we cause the least amount of harm in gathering for worship and participating in other activities. The dramatic rise in COVID cases caused by the Delta variant calls for being nimble and changing some of our protocols.
Starting this Sunday, August 1st, we will wear masks throughout the building (unless you are in a room by yourself) and all during worship no matter your vaccination status. The CDC has recommended wearing masks indoors for those who live in areas with low vaccination rates. Alabama’s vaccination rate is about 35% this week. Jefferson County is at almost 40%. The hospital admissions for COVID have doubled in less than a week in our state. Children are getting sicker with the Delta variant than the original strain of the virus. To me, these facts point to the need for us to be safer. And please, if you are not vaccinated and are eligible, get the vaccine. Do this for the good of the community and yourself. Although vaccinated people can be infected with the Delta variant, they get less sick than those without.
Being nimble means we can change our plans with worship quickly. As we go back to wearing masks during worship, we can also resume congregational singing this Sunday. I have missed singing hymns, although our choir has given us a wonderful gift of singing more during the past couple of months. Singing is a significant part of praising God and professing our faith.
I am also considering alternative ways of serving Holy Communion. I want us to resume this ritual which feeds us in our deep places. And I want to do it as frequently as possible, again in a safe way.
Thank you for being nimble in mind, as you receive new plans and methods. And remember, we continue to livestream our worship services on our Facebook page every Sunday at 11:05.a.m. You can watch the service anytime afterwards too. And our podcast of the worship service is released during the week.