(10:45 AM on Sunday, July 19, 2020)(Edited for updates – July 17, 2020)
You are invited and encouraged to attend the first of our “All Mask Sundays,” in response to the upsurge of COVID-19 cases, hospitalization and deaths in our area.
Out of a desire to love our neighbors and put the interests of others ahead of our own, we are making Sunday worship “all mask” for the duration of the current spike in COVID-19. This does not mean that we consider these events safe for those who are at risk. If you are in a vulnerable group or are at all symptomatic, we ask you to participate via livestream or Zoom. We are especially concerned by recent reports of the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy and would ask those who are pregnant to not only attend virtually but to take similar precautions elsewhere. But healthy people who have stayed away out of concern for others in their family or circle may feel comfortable coming to events where we are careful to mask up and stay socially distant, reducing the chances of community transmission.
We will begin the “all mask” approach to the worship service this Sunday, July 19, 2020, and continue as long as current high levels of the virus are observed. The goal is to reduce the chances of community spread of the virus.
If you come, we ask you to be fully masked. This is most crucial before and after the service when you are not socially distanced by the seating (which will be even more separated beginning this week). Once seated, masks are still strongly encouraged for the entire service.
Exceptions to full masking should be minimized, but include:
(1) people leading worship. We will increase the distance from the singers to the congregation and keep other leaders on the stage.
(2) people who feel they need to briefly unmask in order to breathe properly when at their seats during the longer parts of the service. This applies especially to the message, but conceivably also during the singing.
(3) everyone as part of the process of taking communion at their seats.
To help those who find masks difficult we will be providing free “surgical” style masks which most people find the easiest to breath in. Bring your own mask, but feel free to try one of these if it helps (or if you forget.) If you really can’t mask the whole time we will also be streaming the service in the LIFE room.
Finally, we ask that you maintain strict social distancing before, during, and especially after the service. We ask that you refrain from handshakes or hugs and that all conversations be held fully masked and at the six foot distance. We also ask that you wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.