COVID Policy Update as of May 30,2021

Church Policy COVID-19 Update

May 30, 2021

Let me begin by saying…we should begin with thanksgiving.  For months and months, we have prayed and asked for relief from this COVID-19 pandemic.  God has heard our prayers and the pandemic is weakening, vaccines are readily available, cases are declining, and we are able to enjoy more of the freedoms of our “normal” activities and interactions.  For all this we can be truly thankful!

Along those same lines, as many of you know Ohio Governor Mike Dewine and the CDC have recently come out with statements that loosen the restrictions on Ohio citizens.  The mask policy at many local stores has already changed.  On Saturday, May 29th the Church Safety Team at Grace met to discuss and update our congregation’s COVID-19 Policy.  The following will go into effect starting Sunday, June 6, 2021:

Wearing masks is OPTIONAL during worship services, meetings, and any other activities at church.  We support people who continue to choose to wear a mask – especially in light of the fact that many church members have serious underlying health conditions.

Church pews will no longer be roped off.  People who want to social distance from others can choose to sit a distance from other parishioners.

– Pastor will not be wearing gloves during the distribution of Holy Communion.

Lay readers will again be utilized.

There are some things that will continue in the same way for the time being:

– We will continue to social distance by household during the distribution of Holy Communion, using the blue dots on the floor.

– Pastor will continue to distribute Holy Communion without a Communion Assistant and without the use of the Common Cup.

– Bulletins, announcements, children’s bulletins, etc. will all be available to be picked up on the table in the narthex – without the aid of an Usher.

– The offering plates will continue to be placed in the narthex, instead of passed during the worship service.

Coffee Hour in the Fellowship Hall will not resume yet, though parishioners are welcome and encouraged to fellowship before and after worship.

As you can tell, we’re in a time of transition with all of this.  Things aren’t quite “back to normal” yet – but there’s also not going to be like they were previously.  Your feedback is welcome.

At the same time, let me remind you during this Pentecost season that we are all children of God through the work of the same Holy Spirit within us.  As brothers and sisters in Christ we need to make sure we treat our fellow siblings with appropriate amounts of respect and kindness – especially when it comes to those whose views and preferences (when it comes to all this COVID stuff) are very different from yours.  As God tells us, “Love one another with brotherly affection.  Outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10).

In Christ,

Pastor Josh