Elder Team Update, May 15, 2021:

I’m sure many of you have heard the good news that came out from the CDC on Thursday. The CDC has stated that persons fully immunized against COVID no longer need to wear masks or practice physical distancing in most situations, including indoor meetings, like being here together at church. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has stated that they are modifying their recommendations to be in line with the new CDC guidelines. This is a really big step moving toward normalcy!

So what does this all mean for us? First, this does not mean we should immediately burn our masks. There are still some places we will go that may require masking. Also, masks are still encouraged for persons with lowered immunity, mild illness symptoms, and those who aren’t immunized. Some persons without any medical issues may just feel safer or more comfortable wearing masks and continuing to physical distance, and we want to respect that as well. There is certainly no harm done by being overly cautious. We will keep one section of pews roped off for those who want the extra physical space.

The issue of singing indoors has not been addressed in the new recommendations. Since singing is a higher risk activity that puts out six times more viral particles into the air than talking, it seems wise to still encourage mask use for our singing time together for the time being. If our county numbers continue to decline, we anticipate dropping this recommendation by summer as well.

We continue to be so thankful for the kindness, patience, and love that we have seen in you, our church family, through this very difficult past year. It is easy to be loving when we all agree with each other. However, when there are disagreements and different ideas about how to proceed, these are the times when agape love shines the brightest (we Elders have often felt the need for sunglasses). Thank you so much! May we move ahead in that same love.

The Elder Team