December 9, 2021
Dear Friends in Christ,
While we are grateful to God for the progress we have made in keeping people safe from COVID infection, we are writing today to remind Episcopalians in the State of Wisconsin that the pandemic is not over. Indeed, we now know that the most recently detected variant, Omicron, has been detected in our state. The data is still being collected, but it seems clear that this variant is significantly more transmissible than Delta and that current vaccines and boosters do not prevent transmission in all cases. We do know that vaccinations and boosters still provide important protection against developing the most serious illness and hospitalization.
This is a moment to ask all of our congregations to continue to take the pandemic with due seriousness and care. Let us recommit ourselves to the responsible, careful practices we have learned over the past months. In order to keep one another as safe as possible, we strongly encourage masking and social distancing when we gather. We urge every eligible member of the church to be fully vaccinated and to receive appropriate booster shots. We commend the continuation of virtual options for worship and other meetings. And we commend the guidelines adopted in most of our churches regarding masking, social distancing, and the reception of Holy Communion.
These are challenging times for us all, but we are members of the Body of Christ who is the light of the world. In these Advent days leading to the Christmas Feast, let us renew our trust in the God who is with us in every circumstance, in every challenge or time of uncertainty or fear. Let us commit ourselves to be bearers of God’s light and love to one another and to the world.
The Rt. Rev. Matthew Gunter
Bishop of the Diocese of Fond du Lac
Bishop Provisional the Diocese of Eau Claire
The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey Lee
Bishop Provisional of the Diocese of Milwaukee