Dear Church family,
Although we recognize that the pandemic has not "ended," there have been many positive changes in our area and in our nation over the last few months. The administrative board and I met last evening to discuss the policies of our church regarding the pandemic, particularly when it comes to our Sunday morning worship services. The Genesis conference is no longer requiring any specific measures for us, so we now have the freedom to pray and make decisions wisely as we see fit.
Having spoken with the majority of those who attend on Sunday mornings, I know that almost everyone has either received the vaccine or has politely declined it. This means we are unlikely to see any significant change in risk over the next year. Perhaps with the exception of children under 12, everyone has been able to make a responsible decision in this matter.
Before you read the following decisions our board has made, I want to acknowledge the different perspectives that exist on these topics, and I want to remind us all to bear with one another in love, as we are commanded to do in the Scriptures. When it comes to masks, social distancing, or taking the COVID-19 vaccine, these are not salvation or core theological issues for the church, and we ought to always honor one another above ourselves. I have every confidence that you will do this, as you have endeavored to do for the last year and a half, with great patience.
Now, the announcement you have been waiting for.
1. We have decided that we will no longer require masks or distancing for attendance at our worship services at this time.
I encourage those who want to comply with the state regulations regarding the unvaccinated to do so, and those who feel more comfortable wearing a mask to continue doing so as long as they need to. You will not be shamed for wearing a mask or not wearing one.
2. If a vulnerable individual comes into our meetings who is not able to be vaccinated, we will happily don our masks out of love for that person as soon as we learn of that situation.
We have made these decisions wanting to be sensitive to all the different perspectives of our members and those in our community. We don't want to create two classes of people in our midst. We want to continue to pursue unity and compassion for one another, whether you have already been vaccinated or don't plan to, whether you are comfortable meeting in person, or not. At this time, we believe this is the best path forward.
We welcome any concerns or questions you wish to express.
Grace and Peace,
Dear Church family,