An Update from Pastor Bob – August 27, 2021

Friends In Christ,

This week I had the opportunity to meet with St. Mark’s medical advisory team – a team made up of health care professionals in the St. Mark community. I asked them to share what they are experiencing here in Central Iowa from a COVID perspective. Here’s what I learned:

  • It’s hard to find a hospital bed. One doctor shared that they were trying to admit COVID patients, but there wasn’t space for them anywhere in the metro. Another reported that Iowa has been receiving calls from other states inquiring about ICU beds. Our ICU’s are now 100% full.
  • COVID is affecting more people from more walks of life. The elderly, middle aged, and even young patients are struggling. The last few weeks have been harder to predict who will become ill, meaning everyone should take precautions.

What we asked is how can we at St. Mark continue to live out our mission to Grow in Faith, Share Jesus Christ, and Serve Others?

  • Part of serving others is to care about their safety. The simplest way to care for others is to get the vaccine and help others do the same. Vaccinated people dramatically lower their risk to become sick, but they also lower the risk of spreading COVID to others.
  • We can also take more precautions. If indoor worship is your preference, we are strongly requesting you to wear a mask. Worship is unique in that we speak and sing together, which can create increased aerosols. These are the times when masks are most beneficial.

Jesus calls us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” I’m thankful for the ways that we get to live this out.

In Christ,
Pastor Bob

P.S. We will be adjusting our own practices, including closing every-other pew this week, with more precautions to come. Please bear with us as we work toward best practices in the midst of rapid change.

An Update from Pastor Bob – August 6, 2021

With CDC recommendations to change masking policies in Polk County, I wanted to update you on masking policies at St. Mark.
• In any group or situation where someone is working with individuals under 12 (who have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated) staff, volunteers, and participants are REQUIRED to wear masks. This includes nursery.
• Staff and volunteers WILL RESUME wearing masks indoors at all times when serving or interacting with others.
• In all settings indoors everyone is ENCOURAGED to wear masks.
While we don’t know yet how long the dramatic uptick in cases will last in Iowa with the Delta variant, we do know that masking up is one thing we can do for our neighbor. These will be our guiding principles until the CDC recommendation changes or the council adopts new policies. Thanks for doing your part!

In Christ,
Pastor Bob