First Church Family,
I pray that you are in good health and spirits. Much has happened over the past week. The COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination was approved for ages 12 up, and thankfully, several of our youth have already been able to get it. I pray that you pursue that option in your families.
Over the past fourteen months, we at First Methodist have been the most cautious and safety conscious church of which I am aware. We have sought to follow governmental guidelines as closely as possible. And God has blessed us by helping prevent an outbreak of the nasty virus in our midst. I truly believe our commitment to safety saved some of our lives.
Having said that, I was shocked at the speed of the announcements last week from the CDC, the President, and the Governor, in which all three immediately rescinded restrictions in terms of masking and social distancing for those of us who are fully vaccinated.
No longer are either required for those fully vaccinated. I didn’t communicate with you about that last week, because I wanted us to digest what was happening before announcing any changes.
However, the truth is that, either inside or outside, if you have been fully
vaccinated, across our community, state, and nation, you are not required to wear masks, or social distance..
However, if you haven’t been vaccinated, we ask that you continue to do both, at church or in the community. And we encourage you to get the vaccine.
Of course, since February of 2020, we have never all been in agreement over how to respond to the virus. And I’m certain that continues to this day.
Even if you have been fully vaccinated, and you feel safer wearing a mask, that of course is encouraged.
I’ve always felt that the beauty of the United Methodist Church is our diversity and freedom to follow God’s call in our own ways. God has given us wonderful minds, and we are to use them to the best of our understanding.
What a wonderful way to model diversity by tolerating and accepting different ways of looking at things, even in responding to recovering from a global attack from a deadly virus.
Please consider rejoining us in worship. For the time being, we will continue to tape off every other pew, so as to allow people to social distance if they feel more comfortable doing that.
Last Sunday we worshiped in one service celebrating our graduating high school seniors. And it was a wonderful celebration.
This week, and in ensuing weeks, we will be back on our regular Sunday
schedule, with our 9:00 service in the Christian Life Center, and our 11:00 service in the Sanctuary.
Please pray for our church as we seek to return to at least some sense of normalcy in the coming weeks.
Blessings and love to you,