Thursday, March 3, 2022

Update on masking in church

 Dear friends,

Beginning Sunday, March 6, masks will no longer be required inside our buildings—but they will still be recommended.  

As you probably know, the CDC issued new Covid guidance last week, listing our area as a “green zone," where masking is recommended only for those who have underlying health conditions or are unvaccinated.  Following up on this new CDC information, our diocese has asked all parishes, even those in green zones, to consider carefully the risk level of our parishioners and community members.  What does that mean for us at St. Andrew’s?  Our parishioners and building users include several groups of folks at higher risk:  children too young to be vaccinated, elderly people, and people with underlying health conditions.  And so we are recommending but not requiring masking; and we are asking you to be mindful of those around you as you decide whether or not to unmask.

Our choir will continue to wear masks while singing.  Our staff members will continue to wear masks while walking through the building and during worship but are free to unmask as they and those around them feel comfortable in small group settings.

Please, do what is safest and most comfortable for you and your family. Please continue to mask and social distance if that is what is best for you. If you do not feel safe attending worship in which folks may be unmasked and singing, you might consider attending the 8 AM Sunday service or the 11 AM Wednesday service. Neither of those services includes singing and both are smaller gatherings. We will continue to offer virtual worship as well.

In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul tells the Christians of Corinth that our decisions about what we choose to do or not do should be grounded in our care for one another, rather than just in our own freedom. As we all make decisions about when and where to wear masks, I pray that we will all keep Paul’s admonition in mind and choose what is safest and best not only for ourselves, but also for those around us.

I am so grateful for your compassion and graciousness—to each other, and to those beyond our doors.  With God’s help, I pray that we will continue to offer and receive those blessings as we move into this next step together.    

Faithfully, Anne 

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