COVID Policy Update – May 21
March 22 update
Dear Chapel in the Pines,
And the greatest of these is love … 1 Corinthians 13:13
You likely know this verse from a wedding ceremony.
I also believe that the Apostle Paul meant for these words to be used in many circumstances and relationships. In particular, the church in Corinth was trying to navigate trials and controversies in which members of the congregation held different opinions.
Granted, we do not debate food sacrificed to idols (1 Cor 8) or women covering their hair with veils (1 Cor 11). But modern churches also face difficult decisions in which faithful people find themselves in disagreement.
How important, then, to realize that loving one another is the key.
On Monday, March 21, 2022, the session voted unanimously to implement a new Covid Safety Policy for Sunday worship services. I am grateful to the Worship committee for the time and effort put into these recommendations, which were guided by medical professionals in our own church. I want to make the following points clear:
– The vaccines, including the booster shots, remain remarkably effective at preventing serious illness. The session re-emphasizes that all eligible persons should be up to date on their vaccines for the common good as well as for their personal health.
– Facemasks are always welcomed. Along with social distancing, masks have proven extremely effective at preventing infection by the wearer, including in situations when other people are unmasked.
– In accordance with recommendations from Christian Education, facemasks are required for children and adults during the Sacred Art table and the nursery. This is due to the fact that children under the age of 4 are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. The nursery is scheduled to reopen on April 10.
– In recognition of the new CDC guidelines, Chapel in the Pines adopts the following schedule for Sunday worship services based on the CDC levels of risk. Decisions for each Sunday will be made based on the levels of Chatham and Orange Counties the previous Friday. The tracker can be found at COVID-19 Community Levels | CDC.
|Sanctuary mask wearing protocols: COVID-19 Community Levels | CDC|
|Covid-19 Community Levels||Early outside service (9AM)||Early service when held inside due to weather (9AM)||Later service (11AM); livestream|
The new mask policy begins this Sunday, March 27. On April 3, the early service switches to 9:00.
Please reach out to me with any questions or comments. I hope that each person in our congregation will find a meaningful worship option between the three choices: the two services and the online option.
Though we want members to make their own choices, we can treat one another with the same spirit of kindness and understanding that has always characterized our church.
I am grateful to serve as pastor of a community of faith where members love one another. It is indeed the greatest of all things.