Survey on priorities for reopening and in-person gatherings

"We’ve come this far by faith, Leaning on the Lord, Trusting in God's holy Word, God has never failed us yet." ~Albert Goodson, hymn writer

Beloved Epworth Family, Alameda County has reached the Orange Tier in California's Blueprint for A Safer Economy and Gov. Newsom has announced a date of June 15 for moving "Beyond the Blueprint" and fully reopening the state's economy. As we prepare to come out of pandemic mode, we've all seen examples of communities and organizations, such as school districts, where competing needs and tensions about reopening has added another layer of damage to the fabric of relationships and trust on top of the virus itself. As we prepare to return to the Epworth building, to small groups and gatherings, even in-person worship, it's important to remember that we have come this far being guided by our values of love, justice and compassion, and faith will continue to guide us. As a community, we are diverse in many ways, and so it's not surprising that we would have a diversity of needs and opinions about resuming in-person activities. At Epworth, we value the "we," recognizing that the "we" is sometimes in conflict with the "me." Ultimately, our call is to be an expression of the Body of Christ on earth, watching over each other in love and reflecting God's love to the world. The Do No Harm team has developed a survey to better understand congregational needs and priorities as we move into this transitional time. Our hope is to hear from you directly and stage a re-opening that balances the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of our congregation with the safety restrictions still in place through the conference, state and county guidance. We know that it will not be possible to open everything again at once. But we trust that we can continue to get through this time together, carrying forward what we have learned and growing always in hope and grace. Please take some time to respond to this survey. It will take about 15-20 minutes to complete and is anonymous, though you’re invited to include your name. The survey will close at midnight on Sunday, April 18, 2021. The Do No Harm team will review all responses on April 20 and share in This Week at Epworth on April 22 a plan for our first stage of re-opening. Thank you for your participation and for your steadfastness! In Hope and Joy, Pastor Kristin

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