New Mask Guidance
Dear Saints of Grace,
A few years ago, while on a whitewater rafting trip on the Lehigh River, I was tossed out of the raft when we hit a spot where the waters were moving fast and rocks were jutting out of the river, too. Riding the rapids can be dangerous if you don’t know how to find stability. Navigating the changes surrounding the coronavirus is like riding the rapids. The changes come swiftly, so hold onto something! Having something to stabilize you enables you to stay in the raft when the speed of the water picks up.
The COVID-19 rapids are upon us with the CDC’s newest guidance and the governor’s latest modification. And the stability we have in these rapid covid waters is the gospel of Jesus Christ and the unity of the Spirit. Scripture speaks, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking (or masking) but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” (Rom. 14:17-19) The Pastoral Staff, Session and Reopening Task Team is recommending “pursuing what makes for peace and mutual upbuilding” as the way to keep us in the raft while the whitewater is roaring.
Effective this Sunday, May 23, we will be following the new guidance from the CDC and from Governor Carney’s 29th modification to the Delaware State of Emergency. For our church, this means the following
- We can reduce social distancing to 3 feet, increasing capacity for sanctuary and classrooms.
- Fully vaccinated people may stop wearing masks.
- Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals (including children ages 2-11) should continue to wear masks indoors at church, and also outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained. (Children under age 2 should not wear masks.)
- The Pavilion remains available for those who do not wish to wear masks or feel safer outdoors, and the Gym is available for those who feel the sanctuary is too crowded.
- For more detailed CDC mask guidance, click here.
So, things will look different this Sunday with some unmasked and others masked. But pursuing peace in these waters looks like each person doing what their conscience tells them regarding the CDC’s guidance while welcoming, yea, even befriending the person whose opinion differs from yours. (Romans 14:1&5-11) Furthermore, pursuing peace and mutual building up encourages us to protect the vulnerable among us and to respect one another. We are not going to ask people if they are vaccinated. However, we trust people to be responsible before the Lord in following the guidance. Also, we encourage people to stay home if they feel sick or have upper respiratory symptoms and get vaccinated while you can.
Will you help us in keeping the raft stable? The waters of the pandemic are still moving, and more changes will come. But whatever happens we will be able to make it through as we continually turn to the gospel where we find Christ accepting us even though we were his enemies. May the grace of the Lord enable us to accept each other for Christ’s sake.
Kenny Foster, Senior Pastor