Proverbs 3:13-14 says, “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.”
I’ve said from the beginning of the virus pandemic that there are no Bible verses that state explicitly how to handle a pandemic. I never took a class in seminary called, “Pandemics 101!” However, the Bible is still sufficient for us in providing principles that we can seek to live by in this time. We should do our best to seek wisdom and understanding as Proverbs calls for when we are making daily decisions.
I think we all know that there are many different opinions concerning the virus and how we should respond to it in the church. I want to say thank you to all of you because you have shown grace and love to each other during this time even as you hold different positions concerning the virus.
I recognize that cases are surging at the moment. We are entering into the peak of cold and flu season as well, and I think it’s important that we consider these things as we continue to gather together as a church. I am thankful that we are still able to meet together and that the number of cases in our church have been relatively small. I want to continue meeting together and do what we can to keep our numbers small especially as we enter the cold months.
Therefore, in our most recent deacons meeting, we decided to encourage masks in our gatherings but not require them. We would encourage a mask while you move around the facility, but feel free to remove or lower your mask once you are in your seat. To be clear, we are not requiring the mask. Just as there is no shame now for individuals who wear masks, there will be no shame for individuals who choose not to wear masks. Some of you may have medical reasons for not wearing masks. That’s understandable! Please do not bring harm to yourself if you are unable to wear one.
But if you are able to wear one as you move about the facility, please consider doing so as a consideration of others and as we try to keep our number of cases low. Masks will be available in the foyer if you’d like to wear one but don’t have one. We will also be checking the temperatures of our greeters since they are the frontline of interaction with others. If you test positive yourself, we would kindly ask you to consider informing church leadership so that we can take the proper steps going forward.
Whatever your position is on this matter, it is my prayer that we would all walk in the spirit of Ephesians 4:1-3—“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”