Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Over the last 24 hours I have been updated with some concerning information from trustworthy sources.
- CaroMont in Gastonia is at a capacity that it never reached during the peak of the pandemic.
- Throughout the week, CaroMont has had to divert emergency patients because they are out of beds.
- Over 200 children in Gaston County have recently tested positive for Covid.
- At-home Covid tests are currently out of stock at most local pharmacies.
- Scheduling a drive-thru Covid test – which was available on demand until recently; now requires an online sign-up and a 4-day waiting period.
All of these realities confirm the virus is worse now in Gaston county than it has been at any point. It is particularly dangerous for the unvaccinated (97% of those currently hospitalized) and children under the age of 12 who are unvaccinated; as well as those who are immune compromised, or cannot receive the vaccine due to medical concerns.
Therefore, we are taking the following approach for tomorrow: SUNDAY, AUGUST 15 ONLY
- First, we want to share the above information with you and empower you to make the decision that is best for you and your family and situation. Personally, I was unaware of most of these developments until the last 24 hours, and I have found them to be very concerning and disruptive.
- We will be cancelling all programs tomorrow except for worship. We will have the LiveStream of our service (LINK BELOW) and we will add a Facebook LIVE option on our Facebook page. We will not have childcare, Sunday School, Kids Zone, young adults group, or the lake event for youth.
- We are encouraging everyone on campus to wear a mask and social distance to the best of their ability.
Frankly, with the surge of information that is coming in, the goal of this approach is simply to create some time for evaluation and assessment. We want to mitigate our risk in the short term and assess the long term precautions we need to consider.
I understand this is discouraging for all of us as we have enjoyed what has felt like forward momentum over the last several weeks. However, I prefer to error on the side of caution, as several churches in our community have been shut down recently because of significant outbreaks within the congregation. I would prefer for us to pause BEFORE an outbreak, rather than AFTER.
I appreciate your grace and understanding in this very challenging time. I want to thank our Elders for their wisdom and counsel in this uniquely difficult season to navigate. I pray God would provide an unprecedent dose of truth and unity for His people.
Grace and Peace,