At our June 2022 council meeting, the Rejoice Fellowship Congregational Council voted on and approved a new mask protocol for our congregation. As we’ve seen COVID rates skyrocket and plummet faster than we can keep track, we are going to be relying on the Centers for Disease Control’s Community Level to determine whether a mask is required or optional in our worship space. This level is specific to Anne Arundel County.
The CDC’s Community Level takes 3 indicators into account:
- New COVID-19 cases in our county in the past 7 days
- New COVID-19 hospital admissions in our county in the past 7 days
- The percentage of inpatient hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients in our county in the past 7 days
Based on these 3 indicators, the Community Level is one of three possibilities: Low, Medium and High.
For Rejoice Fellowship, if the Community Level on any given Sunday is Low or Medium, wearing a mask will be optional. If the Community Level is High, all people who enter our worship space will need to wear a mask. A mask will be provided if anyone doesn’t have one. As you enter our space, there will be a sign on the door and on the welcome table indicating the Community Level for that day and if a mask is optional or required. We join with other ELCA congregations in our area utilizing a similar protocol for masking in our worship spaces.
The CDC updates its data weekly, Thursdays at 8pm. At the top of the page, you can check the Community Level for yourself. We encourage you to learn more about the CDC’s Community Level here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/community-levels.html.
As we have known since the beginning of the pandemic, wearing a mask protects other people, not simply ourselves. If you have any questions about this protocol, please contact Pastor Maddie Tallman. If at any time, our hosts at St. John Lutheran Church enforce a mask protocol above and beyond our own, we will be respectful partners in ministry and comply with their decisions.
Rejoice Fellowship resumed in-person worship on Feb. 20, 2022 - contingent upon infection and hospitalization rates staying below a certain threshold. As always, when we've been online only, the church was never "closed." Masks are encouraged, but are currently optional. We have also returned to communing with wafers and alcohol-free wine! We continue to stream worship on Facebook Live for those who prefer an online option.
Well, dear ones, we find ourselves transported back in time it seems.
We've done it before, we can do it again. For the entire month of January, our worship and meetings will be virtual only. Worship will be live streamed on Facebook Live (click here) and meetings will be held on Zoom. The metric we are using to make this decision is based on our local hospitals. As Baltimore Washington Medical Center has entered emergency contingency plans due to the increased number of cases, we take that as our cue to do what we can to reduce the risk of infection. (Learn more about BWMC's situation clicking here).
The January 8th Food Drive will still happen in the Rejoice parking lot.
Further news concerning the January 16th Annual Meeting is forth coming.
Pray for us, pray for those touched by COVID, may God see us through this again.
We have been blessed to be able to worship in-person, with COVID precautions, since July, without any major issues, thanks be to God! Due to the Delta variant, and the continued unknown future of the pandemic, we remain fully masked, regardless of vaccination status, during worship. And yet, God holds our fear. Together, we pray and worship with full hearts.
Our worship space is still St. John Lutheran Church - 300 W Maple Road, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090
We have been able to meet in small groups for various ministry opportunities at our new temporary location. Soon and very soon we will be in our new building! Check out the updates here.