We're in this Together
I miss you SO much. Based on the feedback I've received, you are missing our in person community gatherings too. The Guiding Council met recently to discuss different ways to safely re-open the church for worship. We came up with several different ideas, uncertain that any of the options would provide an experience that was satisfying enough for the participants to warrant the risk.
Uncertainty seems to be the primary theme of this pandemic. We don't know when the building will re-open. We don't know what that will look like. When I feel uncertain, I research as much as I can to make the most informed choices I can. So - what do we know?
We know what scientists have recommended - six feet of distance, masks, and brief encounters. There are five primary metrics scientists have identified in order to gauge how well we're mitigating the spread of the virus locally. Here they are:
1. A two-week drop in new COVID-19 cases - According to the KCMO health department there were 424 new cases the week of July 21st, a significant increase compared to 265 new cases the week before.
2. Fewer than 4 daily new cases per 100,000 people - KCMO has almost 500,000 residents, which means no more than 20 new cases per day. The last time there were fewer than 20 new daily cases was the week of May 17th.
3. 150 new tests per 100,000 people per day - KCMO has almost 500,000 residents, which means 750 new tests available daily. That number of tests seems to be available, but the current wait time for test results is 7-12 days. If a person is tested but doesn't quarantine, the results may not be accurate because of potential exposure within those 7-12 days.
4. An overall positive rate for tests below 5 percent - The all-time average positivity rate for KCMO is 5.38%. I was not able to find the current test positivity rate.
5. 40% of ICU beds free - At the beginning of July, across the state of Missouri, there were 45% of beds free. Overall, KCMO contains 4.5 beds per 10,000 residents.
These statistics are just for Kansas City, Missouri. Our members come to church from Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in Kansas, as well as Jackson, Clay, and Cass counties in Missouri.
My hope is that you won't be discouraged by this information - that you will use this information to clarify our collective vision for the wellness of our community. I encourage you to look beyond the numbers, connecting with compassion for those who are sick, suffering, and grieving. We get to be the church while we can't go to church. What does a community look and feel like when it is healthiest?
Whatever your personal political views are about this pandemic, the suffering is real. The impact is real. The good news? We have each other. We get to work together, stay connected and embody the unconditional love that makes Broadway Church so incredibly special.
I love you, God loves you, your community loves you. You are not alone.