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Protecting All Our Members

 
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A message from The Rev. Paul Egensteiner, Bishop of the Metropolitan New York Synod (MNYS)

Coronavirus cases in the metro New York area are growing, and in order to protect all our members we continue to recommend that our pastors remain informed and make educated decisions that prioritize the well-being of those in their care. Protecting the health and safety of ALL members of our communities is both our holy responsibility as children of God and an expression of our shared welfare. In order to facilitate and aid in these efforts, my Office has put together a series of daily-updated COVID-19 resources. In this way, pastors may make decisions that are unique to their location or particular setting. While these resources are primarily from government sources, there is a variety so that leaders and members of our synod can educate themselves on safe practices and the rapidly changing state of affairs. In line with New York State and the Center for Disease Control guidelines, we have recommended that those congregations who are in badly hit areas and serve red zone communities continue to bring digital Services of the Word to their members. Bishop’s Office staff monitors the New York State guidelines and reaches out to affected congregations and leaders to keep them informed.  Though we may be physically apart, spiritually we remain together, and our ministry remains essential.
 
Looking ahead to Advent and Christmas, we realize that this holiday season may look different than those we are used to. The holidays are a time of celebration and community faithfulness, and by implementing safe practices and looking out for one another, we truly embody the sentiment of being Church Together. Therefore, my Office has put together recommendations and resources to help our congregations and communities plan alternative, digital end-of-year festivities, especially for Christmas. Click HERE to visit this page. These are ideas that can be tailored to their needs, or perhaps they can just be a jumping off point, either way they will help our members take care of one another while maintaining faithful holiday celebrations in case numbers continue to rise.
 
Please follow the guidelines outlined on our COVID-19 Resources page, and continue to stay safe.
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