Update from the COVID-19 Response Team

Dealing with this pandemic for most of this year has been difficult for us all. For some, the stress of not being able to be with family and friends for such a long time has taken an enormous toll. Some of our Northside family have lost jobs or had their income scaled back. Some have fallen ill or have other needs. The shepherds and ministers of this church want to help. If you need someone to talk to, if you are struggling with physical, emotional, or spiritual needs, please reach out to someone. If you don’t know who to talk to, send a note to elders@nscoc.org or ministers@nscoc.org, and one of our leaders will get back to you quickly.

One of the bright spots in our church family has been our weekly outdoor worship services. We have been averaging about 250 at these services. It has been good seeing so many folks and singing together. And so far, except for this week’s strong winds, the weather has been awesome! The question is, how much longer can we continue to meet? On that score, there is good news and bad news.

The good news is that we should have vaccines for COVID-19 soon. Frontline health professionals and some folks with high risk may be able to receive a vaccine as early as December or January. Then, over the following months, the vaccine should be available to the rest of us. That’s the turning point all of us have been praying for and looking forward to.

The bad news is that the U.S. is now experiencing its highest COVID-19 infection rate. Across the country, as cooler weather has pushed folks indoors, the infection rate is moving upward rapidly, creating significant stress on hospitals and the medical community and resulting in an increase in deaths. This rise in the coronavirus infection rate has moved closer and closer to San Antonio, and now our numbers are beginning to increase.

Right now, our risk level remains “moderate,” but the critical numbers—hospital stress, positivity rate, and increase of cases—are moving in the wrong direction. We will continue to monitor the situation. We don’t want to contribute to community spread, which would not only jeopardize the health of our church family and our neighbors, it could once again create overwhelming stress on our area hospitals and medical professionals. We will work closely with physicians in our congregation as well as city and county health professionals and will make the wisest decisions we can for the greatest good of our church and our city.

We will continue to worship outdoors as we have been but will keep everyone posted if the situation requires us to alter that plan. And, as always, we will live-stream every service.

These are tough times, but God is still master of the universe. May we worship him fervently, love each other faithfully, and give ourselves up for others as Christ gave himself up for us. Stay strong, Northside.

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