What Hosanna! is doing to care for the community...
We miss seeing each other so much, but we also take seriously Jesus' call to care for the well-being of our neighbors, even if it means we have to make sacrifices. Our congregation council meets every month to set our policy for the next month based on our values, scientific data, and the latest local recommendations. We rely on recommendations from the Clay County Health Center, statistics found on the Clay County COVID-19 Hub, risk estimates provided using the COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool, and other resources provided by scientists and church bodies.
After careful consideration of current trends and recommendations from numerous sources, the council decided at its November 19 meeting to suspend in-person worship again until further notice. Although we are "exempt" from Clay County health guidelines going into effect on Nov. 23 limiting public gatherings, we believe we are called and supported by God to make this sacrifice out of love and care for our neighbors.
Let us be clear--we are NOT cancelling church. We are simply shifting the way we do ministry for a while. It won't be forever. Our hope is in God, and God will bring us through this together. Online worship, faith formation, fellowship, and service opportunities continue to be offered.
As we resume gatherings, we will practice physical distancing, require face masks, and refrain from serving food for an extended period of time. Rather than opening up as if nothing happened, we will walk back our procedures in stages, similar to the stages we followed as we entered the pandemic. Although it may not be evident when watching worship online, worship leaders are practicing physical distancing and wearing a face mask when in close proximity to one another.
Reliable sources for information about COVID-19...
Jesus said to those who believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free" (John 8:31-32). Facts keep the darkness away. However, knowing where to turn is challenging in our culture. Here are some resources we've found to be reliable...
These resources are available for you:
Clay County COVID-19 Data, Recommendations, and Resources
The Clay County Health Center provides the most local information and recommendations for many of us.
Find Clay County's complete set of resources on their COVID-19 web page.
See the latest statistics about infections, recovery, hospital capacity and more here at the Clay County Public Health Center Data Hub.
Clay County requires individuals to wear face masks while in public. Learn more about when you do and do not need to wear a face mask here.
Wearing Face Masks is What Jesus Would Do
We understand that wearing face masks is uncomfortable. However, science suggests that they help protect our neighbors in case we are unknowingly carrying COVID-19. As followers of Jesus, we believe it's important to consider our our neighbors and show love to them, even when it's uncomfortable. The Apostle Paul even talks to the Corinthians about how he would do just about anything for the sake of others, even if he didn't think it was important himself.
Learn more about how wearing face masks can make the difference that prevents another shutdown.
Learn about the difference masks make by watching this really interesting video:
Missouri State Resources
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has a dedicated page about COVID-19. On that page are statistics about the virus in Missouri, a video update from the Department of Health and Human Services, information about a hotline, and more.
The Department COVID-19 24-hour hotline is 877-435-8411.
One for All Missouri is Missouri's COVID-19 resource for information and questions related to COVID-19, staying healthy, traveling, community health, and more.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the go-to source for everything COVID-19 related. Find all of their information related to the virus here.
The CDC page has a LOT of information that may or may not be relevant to you. To help you navigate, here are a few documents we found especially helpful:
COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Tool
Use this interactive resource to find out the chances that at least one COVID-19 positive individual would be present at an event, based on the size of the gathering. Set the size of the gathering and zoom in on the map to find the statistics for our county.
What is Social Distancing?
This graphic from the Clay County Health Center can be helpful in understanding what this means: