Grace UMC Changes:  Updated Saturday, January 8, 2022
In light of the recent Omicron surge, the Bishop has made some recommendations (Recommendation from the Bishop) for our churches to remain safe at this time.  It is suggested that we close our buildings and go online only for the next few weeks.  If we are remaining open, then we should follow ALL of the yellow protocols.  He is not changing the dial and is still allowing us to make the decision that is best for our situation.  After consulting with Grace church leaders, the decision is to remain open at this time.

We are following our county case numbers very closely.  This past week as the backlog of tests were completed through the MDH (Minnesota Department of Health), we had a day or two of numbers that meant we would have considered taking stricter measures.  All of this is to say, that we will continue to require masks, and strongly encourage you to remain socially distanced from people that you do not have regular contact with.  Singing is discouraged, but we know this is very difficult for some of you, humming along and listening to the words more closely is strongly encouraged at this time.

We have a number of meetings scheduled over the next few weeks, please watch your emails for any last minute changes.  Masks must be worn at all times and distanced seating will be required for all groups and meetings this week.  If you cannot mask or space out your seating it may be best to postpone your group for now.

We will continue to review guidelines against the current situation to make the best decision for that we can for everyone.

Thank you,
Pastor Jen
Grace UMC Changes:  Updated Friday, January 7, 2022
Recent Updates from the Conference office
COVID Numbers:  You will notice the COVID numbers are increasing to an all time high in Minnesota. We are keeping our phasing in Yellow, mostly because so many folks are vaccinated so the risks are different than they were a year ago. But we do strongly urge, if you are not already, masking indoors and limiting congregational singing until the positivity rate drops below 5%. If the positive case number is over 5% we should follow all of the yellow protocols.
Summary of Grace UMC Recent Updates
At this time(1/6), Crow Wing county is at 22%, Cass county is at 10.3%. If you are following along, the numbers change daily, but have not dropped below 10% in months. As the numbers continue to rise and fall, please prayerfully consider how to keep yourself and those around you safe.  
Masking is the easiest thing that we can do. Everyone is still expected to wear a mask within the building please. We are monitoring the county numbers closely and changes may happen rapidly.
Thank you,
Pastor Jen