Bethesda-by-the-Sea has the benefit of local physicians, the CDC, and the Diocese of Southeast Florida who have advised us regarding our COVID-19 pandemic protocols. We have carefully followed their wise counsel and we have made a series of sound and reasonable decisions.

The Omicron variant is causing COVID-19 cases to rise in Palm Beach County and is proving to be a very contagious form of the virus.

During recent weeks, Bethesda-by-the-Sea has been planning its time-honored Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival for our congregation and community — scheduled for January 8 and 9, 2022. Many faithful people have given countless hours to insure an amazing and safe event this year. We’re so grateful to Jim Goodner, Beth Cole, and their teams for the planning and execution — in a spirit of “the show must go on” — especially since we had to cancel last year. Therefore, it is especially difficult to make the heartbreaking decision to cancel this year’s performances. The leadership, including Jim and Beth, felt it too risky to offer a community-wide event in close quarters — putting people in jeopardy. It would put our choir, instrumentalists, participants and staff at great risk of contracting COVID-19, and we would also possibly contribute to the increasing numbers of cases in our area.

Beginning this Sunday, January 2, 2022, we are requiring everyone to wear a mask for in-person worship in the church and for all other indoor activities at Bethesda. We will carefully assess the situation in the coming weeks and adjust these protocols accordingly.

Also, as more and more Palm Beach County residents are exposed to the Omicron variant, we invite everyone who has experienced exposure to someone who has tested positive for the virus, or anyone who is awaiting a test result, to participate in our live-stream worship service at 11:00 a.m.. We also continue to encourage all people of age to be vaccinated and to receive a booster shot.

On behalf of the entire congregation, we extend our heartfelt thanks to those planning the Boar’s Head and to those anticipating the performances. We look forward to the day when we will return to our time-honored events and our regular worship and activities.

The Clergy, Staff, and Wardens of Bethesda