Dear Countryside Family,
We were relieved when, in June of this year, we were able to finally resume regular worship and activities at Countryside. 2020 had been a rough year, and we were glad to finally return to some degree of pre-pandemic normalcy.
Unfortunately, the number of COVID cases in our region, as well as across the country, are once again on the rise. The Delta variant is much more contagious than the original strain, and those who are yet unvaccinated (including our youngest children, for whom there is no approved vaccine) are the most vulnerable. Studies show that even those who are fully vaccinated or who have previously had COVID are capable of contracting this variant of the virus.
It is our responsibility as God’s children to take any reasonable precautions to slow the spread of this disease, especially among our children and others who are most vulnerable. Bishop Jerimiah Park has made several recommendations on how we as a church can work toward this goal. (You can read his full statement here or contact the church office for a printed copy.) In response to the bishop’s recommendations, and in accordance with guidance from federal, state, and local health agencies, Countryside’s Church Council has voted to adopt the following guidelines:

  • Our worshipers, including the vaccinated, are strongly encouraged to wear masks at all of our worship services, meetings, and gatherings. Disposable masks and hand sanitizer will be available at the church entrance for all events.
  • At this time, we have decided to suspend our weekly hospitality gatherings following Sunday morning worship.
  • In our times together, please continue to practice social distancing. 
  • Please consider getting vaccinated if you are able. This is not a political statement, but rather a plea to avoid putting others at risk of sickness and even death. 
  • Those who are vulnerable: please, for your health and safety, do not attend in-person worship at this time.
  • If you are not feeling well, please stay at home and rest, for your own benefit and for those who may be at risk.

At this time there will be no change to our worship schedule. We will continue to meet in person for worship at 10:00 am every Sunday, and all worship services will be live streamed on our website. Sunday School classes will resume at 9:00 am on Sundays beginning September 12, with the above guidelines in place.
To quote from Bishop Park’s letter:
“As people who are made whole by Christ, we observe these practices not only for our own wellbeing but especially for the health and safety of others. We know that Jesus taught us that the most important commandments are to love God and love others. We show our love and care for others by faithfully observing these protocols. In all of your considerations and practices, I implore you to put others first.”
The Church Council will continue to monitor this situation closely and will update these guidelines as necessary. Any questions you have may be directed to the church office at or (570) 587-3206 to be passed on to members of the Church Council for discussion.
Thank you.
Countryside Church Council