Session Update About Masks at Church – May 24, 2021

Session Update About Masks at Church – May 24, 2021

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Dear Church Family,

It appears we are finally coming out of what has been a very long and very challenging season for us all.  We have so many things for which to be grateful despite these challenges, and so many things to which we can now start to look forward.  I know we also will need to spend time healing from the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on all our lives.  I want to personally invite you to practice that gratitude, that hope for the future, and that healing right here with your church family.  I can think of no better community to do this work with than our community as we dedicate ourselves to the mission of knowing Jesus, living in the Spirit, and joining in the Father’s work.

We’ve been able to worship in person at a limited capacity these past months, and for me this has been absolutely lifegiving.  Now, our campus is scheduled to fully reopen June 1st.  This means that all the groups who use our facility both from within our church and from outside will be able to re-enter and utilize this amazing space!  One of God’s great gifts to us. It also means we’ll be lifting attendance restrictions for Sunday morning and forgoing the need to RSVP for services.  While we will always maintain our online presence and worship services for those who choose to stay home or worship remotely, we’re excited to be getting back to normalcy.

However, as with all things COVID, your Elders and I have prayerfully decided to take certain steps gradually.  The pandemic does appear to be winding down, but it’s clearly not completely over yet.  Therefore, for the sake of caution, for the sake of our young ones who have yet to receive a vaccination, for the sake of the more vulnerable in our congregation, but mostly for the sake of being the good neighbors Jesus calls us to be, we ask that for the time being all continuing to wear masks while inside our facilities.

We realize many are tired of the masks!  Your leaders can relate!  But in order to give us time to respond should anything change with our re-opening we’re asking that masks be worn until Sunday July 4th.  At that time, we’ll be going “mask optional.”  For those who wish to continue to wear their masks we’ll embrace their decision with the love and support that has come to define our church family.  For those who wish to go without a mask we’ll embrace their decision with that same love and support.  Additionally, we would ask those who have not been fully vaccinated to continue to wear their masks until a yet to be determined future date when COVID-19 is more clearly behind us.

Overall, I’m incredibly excited to be moving this direction.  I am grateful to all of you for your support and understanding of me, our church’s leadership, and each other.  I’m hopeful for a church like ours that has survived and even thrived this past year that we have an even brighter future ahead.  I see us all healing together from the wounds this pandemic has inflicted and coming out the other side stronger as we seek to fulfill our mission to know Jesus, live in the Spirit, and join in the Father’s work.  If you have any questions or concerns, please know that I and your Elders are available to listen and talk.

Grace & Peace,

Your Session and Pastor Beau Smith