Update on Return to Building
Dear Marble Family,
We have just crossed the one-year mark since we were last together in our building. While there have been hardships through it all, we are so grateful for the way our ministry hasn’t just survived through this challenging time; in many ways, it has thrived. We have people from all fifty states and over one hundred countries worshiping with us. Every ministry at Marble quickly and effectively pivoted to becoming virtual and has grown through this time.
All of this has been possible because of the creativity and commitment of our staff and lay leaders, and through your financial support of our ministry. “Thank you” doesn’t even begin to capture our profound sense of gratitude.
We want to update you on when we expect to return to our building.
In taking into consideration what is recommended in New York City and is safest for our staff, volunteers, and community, we expect to be able to return in some capacity in the autumn of 2021. Currently, the City’s recommended best practice is to provide alternatives to in-person gatherings, such as meeting online. While it is true that religious gatherings are permitted, we hold ourselves to best practices when it comes to the safety of our community.
In line with best practices, here are important considerations for our timeline to return to our building:
- Currently, the majority of our staff, lay leaders and volunteers have yet to receive their vaccinations. In the interest of their safety and that of our community, we want to ensure they are both eligible and vaccinations are available to them before we return. We anticipate this will happen by sometime this summer—as is true for the majority of us. If the vaccination rollout takes longer than anticipated, this could delay when we are able to return.
- When we first return to the building, we expect there will still be limitations in the size of gatherings and what can be done in our gatherings. Therefore, we will have a phased approach to our return. We will continue to monitor the state of the virus and best practices to determine how we will approach this.
- As to when we return to some sense of “normal,” the answer has to be prefaced with “it depends.” It depends on the effectiveness of the vaccination program, and it depends on how we define “normal.” The earliest anyone is predicting a return to some sense of normalcy is the end of this year or early 2022, but this could change. And whatever sense of normalcy we experience, things will not be like they were prior to the pandemic. All of this will take time.
Our goal remains to return to our building in the safest possible manner, and we are hopeful that day is coming in the near future.
We also want to share our plans about virtual ministry as part of our future.
As mentioned previously, our ministry has grown and includes people from all around the world, and we are committed to integrating virtual ministry with our in-person ministry as we go forward. We have discovered the incredible ways virtual ministry can transcend geography and draw us into community. We are very excited by this, and we are working on the means for people to continue connecting in this way once we return to the building. We want to ensure that wherever you are in the world, you can participate in the life of Marble.
As we look back on this year, we can see God has been so very good to us. No matter what we may face in the future, we know this to be true: “Our steps are made firm by the LORD, when the LORD delights in our way; though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the LORD holds us by the hand” (Psalm 37:23-24).
God is holding us all by the hand as we move forward... together.
Dr. Michael Bos
Rev. Elise Brown, Ph.D.
G. Gregory Lozier, D.Ed.
Chair, Marble Board