This Sunday, August 1, we will continue our "No Longer Strangers" sermon series on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, with a close look at Ephesians 4:1-16. Paul begins this chapter with these words: "I therefore, a prisoner of the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
The literal translation of the phrase "lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called" is "to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called." This week, we will talk about the characteristics of a church seeking to "walk the talk." The sermon title is "Learning How to Walk." One way we "walk the talk" is to love one another.
Paul uses the Greek word "agape" as he speaks of love in this passage—a love that is willing to sacrifice in order to seek the highest good for one another. It is in that spirit that the Re-Opening Task Force of IPC came back together on July 29 after a bit of a hiatus to look at where we are with the rising COVID-19 caseload due to the Delta variant, and to determine if we need to revisit our protocols, which we relaxed some time ago.
Below, please see the highlights and recommendations from the task force coming out of the July 29 meeting:
- The Re-Opening Task Force met to review recent COVID-19 data and will continue to monitor the situation in order to keep everyone safe that is visiting the church.
- In light of the recent CDC recommendations, the developing information on the Delta variant, and the rising cases in Alabama of COVID-19, the Task Force:
- Strongly recommends everyone above the age of two wear a mask while attending any in-person gatherings inside (e.g., worship, Sunday School, meetings, etc.)
- Strongly recommends everyone stay socially distanced while attending worship, Sunday School, or any gathering
- Strongly encourages those who are medically able to get the vaccine. Benefits of the vaccine include having a viral load that is less likely to transmit the virus to others and to prevent one from become seriously ill or dying from COVID-19.
- UAB is offering drive-up vaccines at the corner of 21st and 6th Ave. S with no appointment needed.
None of us wants to reinstate some of these restrictions, but we recognize our call to sacrifice for the highest good of one another. Please read future communications from the church as we continue to monitor the situation. And, please pray for everyone who is once again on the front lines of this pandemic, and for our church as we continue to strive to lead a life worthy of the high calling that is ours as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world.