Grace Bible Church family,
After much prayer, input, counsel, and discussion regarding ongoing changes in the pandemic and our response to them, we have decided to make the following adjustments to our COVID-19 safety plan, effective immediately:
1. Mask wearing will be voluntary at all church gatherings, ministries and events.
One of the most difficult things of this past year has been trying to worship together and fellowship with one another with our faces covered. We believe that for some of you this has genuinely impacted your relationship with God and each other. We’re glad to be able to remove this boundary to our growth together.
Although we recognize that the CDC recommends this only for those who have been fully vaccinated, we understand & respect the fact that some of you will choose not to be vaccinated for a variety of reasons, and we are eager to protect both the unity of the church and the conscience of each individual in this matter. So, we will leave this decision to your careful consideration and discretion. If you are unsure of whether or not you ought to continue to wear a mask and would like some guidance, we would be glad to talk this through with you.
2. Although we will continue to meet in the gymnasium with some distance in our seating arrangements for our worship service, we will not recommend or enforce a social distancing requirement for other gatherings, ministries or events.
Part of what makes the church so special is the relationship we have with one another. And we realize this is God’s design for our good. Fellowship is critical to spiritual flourishing, and the social distancing requirements have been a clear hindrance to that. We rejoice in the opportunity to move closer together once again.
- This does not mean that we recommend throwing caution to the wind. COVID-19 is still a serious illness affecting many across the world, and we want to be careful to protect one another as best as we are able. If you or a family member are sick, or knowingly have been exposed to the virus, we still ask that you stay home and take the appropriate precautions. Or, if you’re interacting with someone you know to be particularly concerned or vulnerable, you may still choose to wear a mask out of love and concern for them.
- These changes will not apply to the AWANA ministry at this time. Because there are only three more meetings until the summer break, we have decided to remain consistent through to the end and put changes in place for the Fall kick-off.
- We recognize that although these changes will be welcomed by some, they will make others of you uncomfortable. We appreciate your concern, and assure you that we have not made this decision lightly. Although there is some genuine risk involved, we truly feel that this is in the best interest of our church family. Still, we encourage you to continue to wear a mask if you so desire, and/or to make use of our overflow room or livestream if you feel uncomfortable in the gymnasium on Sunday mornings.
Finally, I just want to thank you again for being so patient, kind and loving toward us and one another throughout this difficult year. There will be more difficulties to come, we know, but by God’s grace and through loving one another we will make it through, for His glory. May He be praised in all we think and do and say as individuals and as a church family as we move forward.
Serving you because of Him,
Pastor Dave (on behalf of the Elder Board)