Covid has posed unique challenges to church life for the last 14 months. Since last March, the Elder Team has spent many hours discussing masks and social distancing, just as you have done at your workplace and at home. We’ve often paused to check ourselves to make sure that we are functioning as a disciple-making local church, while seeking to submit to governing authorities, and love and honor one another, particularly when we may reach different convictions on these matters.
We know that we haven’t always gotten it right with our communication, and we’re sure that there have been times along this journey that you or your family may have come to different conclusions. Concerns have been brought to us with great grace and humility, and we’ve tried to receive them in the same way. And we remain eager to hear from you if you have thoughts about our steps going forward.
With that in mind, here are the steps the Elder Team has agreed on:
- We will maintain an outside service (8:30am) and an indoor service (10:30am) at least through the month of June.
- The CDC advises unvaccinated people, including children, to continue wearing masks. Given the recent end to Virginia’s universal mask mandate, and in light of the dropping infection rates along with the various challenges and perspectives around navigating COVID, we are not requiring anyone to wear a mask at GBC, nor are we discouraging anyone who feels more comfortable wearing a mask. This policy is now in effect for our worship services, and will go into effect for GraceKids* starting June 20th, to allow for parents and volunteers to adjust to changing circumstances.
- As of Sunday, May 30, the indoor service does not require registration. You may sit where you choose.
We don’t have all the answers about what the months ahead will bring, and we understand that some of you may not yet be comfortable with some of these changes. While we know we won’t be able to create an environment where everyone’s concerns are perfectly addressed, we do care about your concerns and what may be keeping you from joining us in-person. If you have a concern or a suggestion related to these steps, please reach out to any member of the Elder Team. We are eager for the day when we are all together again and want to do what we can to help that happen.
The Elder Team