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July 17, 2020

Dear Salem/The Connection Family,

As I watched the confirmed COVID numbers climb dramatically over the last week I realized my hope of reopening the church in July was not going to be a reality.

You received a letter spelling out our intentions of reopening on July 26, and this will have to be placed on hold until further notice. We cannot in good conscience reopen our buildings with our communities experiencing the spread of the virus at such a high rate.  In fact, the numbers are about the same as they were when we began this journey in April.

While small sized groups continue to gather with appropriate safety measures, the gathering of large groups indoors is just not advisable right now. Salem always seeks to be a part of the solution to local health concerns, and never a part of the problem.  The logistics we have planned for a safe return to onsite worship remain sound and are in place, but we are going to delay putting them into practice until we see numbers in St. Louis come back down. We join the entire community in praying that this happens soon, and that those impacted return to health quickly.

In the meantime, there are a few things that Salem will do as we wait:

1. We will keep doing our prayer services from the Mid-County Salem location and present them on Facebook Live each Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m.  If you would like to attend in person, we require that you wear a mask and have your temperature taken before entering the service. This service tends to be small with fewer than 15 people in attendance.

2. We will hold an outdoor service in the near future (Aug/Sept) that allows our congregation to gather safely. We will send more information with details in the next few weeks. 

3. Funerals and memorial services may be held at Salem with a limit of 60 people unless the restrictions in the community mandate fewer people.

4. Salem’s office hours and access to outside groups will remain limited. Please call the office if you need access to the church for any reason.

Our worship services will remain online and we will continue to be the church as we offer meals to those in need.

Your continued giving has been vital in our work in the community. Thank you for all that you do as we seek to be the hands and feet of Christ in our community.

The Apostle Paul reminds us in the first letter to the church in Corinth, “Stand firm in faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything in love.”

Salem, his words are for us as well. May we stand firm in our faith during this difficult time. May we be filled with God’s strength to do the next right thing, and may every action be done in love! 

We pray you stay well and encouraged,
Pastor Terri