Sent November 11, 2020

IMPORTANT: beginning this coming Sunday (Nov 15), West Side will return to online-only worship for what we hope will be a short season.

There are FOUR REASONS we are taking this step with some urgency:

  • Our region recently transitioned backward to Phase 3 (with indications that a return to Phase 2 may come soon). This means Covid-19 is spreading rapidly in our area and that more of the folks we all encounter each day are infected.
  • Local Covid-19 hospitalizations are rising rapidly. Hospital officials are asking all of us to take greater precautions, immediately. If the current trend is sustained for several more weeks, local health services may become strained. One local hospital executive urged his own church to cease large on-campus gatherings right away.
  • At West Side, the amount of time being invested in contact tracing, testing and precautionary quarantining (among both volunteers and staff) has increased dramatically. Pausing our largest on-campus gatherings for a short time will allow us to redirect time and energy to our digital ministry efforts, which have been serving 75% of Westsiders during the pandemic.
  • If we help reduce the local surge/spike now, the chances that we can offer on-campus worship again in December are improved.

As of today, smaller on-campus gatherings are likely to continue. Look for email communication regarding your specific gathering.

Does This Mean Our Safety Protocols Failed?

It does not. Although we can’t be 100% certain, we are not aware of an instance in which the virus has been transmitted at our Sunday gatherings. For certain, some have been on our campus while infected (without suspecting or realizing it), but our safety protocols appear to have prevented transmission to others. If you’ve joined us on campus, thank you for cheerfully following our guidelines. When we return to campus, the necessity of doing so will remain.

Stay tuned to your social media and email for further updates from us. See you online this Sunday at 8:30, 10:00 and 11:30am!

Be encouraged and patient,
West Side’s Leaders