A LETTER FROM REV. DR. DREW SMITH:
I’ve been waiting to write this note for a long time! It’s always fun to bring good news. The number of COVID cases in Hamilton County has decreased below the level set for requiring masks for all who enter the CHPC building. So, CHPC will not require masks this Sunday, February 27! In addition, the CDC has added a variety of indicators to inform their recommendations. By studying the last two years of data, including the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, the new system will give a more accurate warning of harmful outbreaks of any new variants. Currently, Hamilton County is at the medium level, which does not require masks.
Some will continue to wear masks for a variety of reasons. We encourage anyone to wear a mask for protection and ease of mind. We will not require masks as long as the COVID levels stay in the low or medium range. If the indicators rise to the high level in Hamilton County, we will require them. Let’s pray that doesn’t happen!
This Wednesday begins the season of Lent when we journey with Jesus to the cross. I appreciate the wisdom of Lent, which helps us all prepare for the agony of the crucifixion of Jesus and the celebration of the resurrection. We start the season on Ash Wednesday, March 2 at 7 pm in the Sanctuary. I hope you will make every effort to attend. After the last two years of virus protocols, variants, disease, and death, in addition to the current invasion of Ukraine causing global uncertainty, we need to grapple with the reality of death and destruction in this world. We need to gather before God with the serious concerns and anxieties the uncertainties of life bring upon us. Ash Wednesday serves to bolster our trust and security in God, even in the face of death. As followers of the Risen Christ, let’s join together, recognizing the reality of death and disease, but with the full assurance that Jesus has the life-giving victory.
We also are starting Growth Groups on Sunday, March 6. I encourage everyone to participate in a Growth Group for the six weeks of Lent. We will be exploring together a variety of prayers in the Bible to enhance our conversations with God and one another. We have an excellent opportunity to learn and grow with each other as we continue to deepen our relationship with God. You can sign up for a group now by going to www.chpc.org/growth. Groups meet at different times and places throughout the week. Some are in-person, and others are on Zoom. Some meet in homes, others at the church building, and some in restaurants. Take these six weeks to deepen your relationship with God and your brothers and sisters in Christ!
I can’t wait to see your smiling faces on Sunday.
Grace and Peace in Christ,
Don’t forget Ash Wednesday Service this week, March 2, at 7 PM, and sign-up for a Growth Group.