As Dean of the East Conference, this morning I attended a meeting with Bishop Clements and the staff of the Northern Illinois Synod. We discussed the new surge in COVID cases and the effect the Delta variant is having. One of the staff members’ husband is a doctor on staff at the local hospital. Because of the staff shortage, they have had to close a wing of the hospital. Their ICU is full to capacity with people with COVID. They have patients out in the atrium waiting for a bed. If someone were to come in with a heart attack or stroke, there would be no room for them. Their county’s vaccination rate is just under 43%

In Grundy County, our vaccination rate is 47%. Morris Hospital puts out daily numbers. Today there were 64 people in the 89-bed hospital. 12 have COVID, 6 of them are in the ICU, and 3 are on ventilations. All of them are unvaccinated. Why am I saying this? Because I think we have done too much, too soon! After the long 16 months we had we were all really ready to have some freedom. Not having to wear masks, able to be with people. But now, it’s ramping up again.

Friends, I don’t think there is anything we change right now in our worship practices. Social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands are the recommendations from the CDC. But we need to be vigilant and err on the side of caution. I can’t remember who said it but, “Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.” We don’t want to have to start mitigations again. So, I urge you to be careful, this isn’t over yet. If you haven't yet received a vaccine, please prayerfully consider it. You might be saving your own life and the life of others. The council will be closely monitoring the situation and let you know if anything changes. In the meantime, please be in prayer for all affected with this horrible pandemic.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Lu