Safety Announcement: Shift to Virtual Services for January 2022

Dec 30, 2021

Dear Church,


With the news coming in over the past few days regarding the surge of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, it’s hard not to feel all kinds of feelings about the new year. Perhaps you’re feeling disheartened, defeated, frustrated, and nervous all at the same time… and you know what? I am feeling those too.

I, too, am tired of the pandemic. 

And that’s where compassion fatigue can sometimes set in for you and me, where our feelings can be so overwhelming that apathy feels like the easiest thing to hold, the path of least resistance – “I'll be fine! People are overreacting! I just want to be done with this and get back to “normal”!  Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9)


God calls us not to use our freedoms to do whatever suits ourselves but to use the freedoms and privileges that we do have to serve one another in love and to serve our neighbors as well.

This will sometimes mean choosing to lay down our own freedoms and privileges so that the most vulnerable among us are protected and people’s health will not be in jeopardy. This means we must continue to consider how we gather as one body in a manner that looks out for each other’s safety as well as the safety of our neighbors and community.  

Given the recent Omicron surge and its effect on our health care and hospital system, not to mention the soaring number of breakthrough cases in the state, we will temporarily pivot our Sunday worship services to a virtual (Zoom) format for the month of January 2022. This will include (at the very least) our worship services on January 2, January 9, January 16, January 23, and January 30. We will also work on putting our Zoom services up on our Youtube channel.

At the same time, the church leadership and the regathering taskforce will also continue to evaluate our protocols for when we can re-gather in-person once the COVID surge abates. We will update you accordingly on when and how that will happen. Please email if you have questions for the team. 

What can we expect for the month of January?

  • The worship service will begin at 10:30 AM on Sundays on Zoom. A reminder will be sent out in the weekly newsletter along with the Zoom link to join the meeting. If you do not have reliable internet access or have trouble accessing Zoom, please email me and I can give you the information for phone dial-in. We will also try to record the service and put it on Youtube, although that may take some time to get started.
  • The worship team, the preacher/presider, and tech team will be “live” on-location, streaming to Zoom from the church office. We chose to “stream” from the church office rather than the BTC in order to make (and keep) the setup easy and consistent from week to week. (Huge shoutout to Jim, Rebekah, Junhee, Tim, and Josh for moving equipment over!). Any on-site individuals who will be unmasked for any portion of time onstage (ie. singers and preacher) will take a rapid test before the service early Sunday morning.
  • We will continue to prioritize creative AND safe ways for getting to know each other and growing in love together. One of the things we will continue to have are Zoom breakout groups for deeper discussion and connection after the sermon. We encourage you to stay and use these as a time to connect on a deeper level, pray, and be together even if at a “virtual” distance. In addition, we encourage you to consider joining an Ohana small group in the new year. 
  • We continue to believe that vaccinations and boosters are safe, effective, and important for the common good. In a spirit NOT of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7), we will continue to ask our members and regular attenders (who are eligible and medically able to do so) to get vaccinated and receive their booster shot. We’ve linked information regarding COVID-19 vaccinations from the CDC here for your convenience. If booster appointments are challenging to access, please contact our regathering taskforce for advice and help. 

Here’s the beautiful thing – The church is not necessarily defined by who shows up in any given church building on Sunday morning. We’re defined by Christ who lives in us and binds us all together as a family in his name, and we want to continue to be that family to one another and to be a witness of God’s love to those around us. We are doing a temporary pivot to virtual services out of an abundance of caution, yes, but also out of an abundance of love.

Or as Liz Zhao memorably put it, “(Let’s) spread love, not COVID.”

As always, I am here to listen to your concerns, answer any questions you might have, and pray for whatever is going on in your life. I encourage you to share your stories and prayer requests with me and with each other so that we might be lifting one another in prayer and thanksgiving as a body.

The past two years have been strange and challenging. Let’s continue in prayer for the sick, the grieving, and the exhausted, and find ways to meet safely with one another in small groups as we are able. At the same time, we can give over our anxieties to Jesus who is God With Us and God For Us. 

Let us not grow weary in compassionLet us persist together in love. And let us continue to look to the person of Jesus Christ and to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit as we take these next steps into the new year together.

I am honored to be walking alongside you in this.

Much love, 
Pastor Kat