Needless to say, these are difficult times, and making decisions does not come easy. Church Council met Friday to discuss the newly released State and County public health guidelines as they relate to public gathering. Council, in consultation with staff, reached a consensus opinion to guide our protocols to continue meeting for corporate worship.
Marion County guidelines will be followed as they are specific to our geographical area and take into consideration the State Executive Order as well as COVID-19 health risks within the county. We believe that we have been practicing safe protocols by wearing masks into and out of the service and social distancing while seated for the service. We will continue to do that.
Following county recommendation, we now also request, but will not require, all attendees 5 years old and above to wear masks while you are in the building.
We will continue to provide the Hearth Room as a venue to watch the service in a mask-required environment as well as streaming the service to your homes on our website as well as Facebook Live.
This decision will allow us to continue to provide worship through music at the end of the service and for the pastor to preach without a mask. Just as we wrestled with varying perspectives on the correct approach, we expect there will be a variety of opinions within the congregation. We will also make needed adjustments as the County makes adjustments in the future.
We look forward to continue worshipping together Sunday mornings at 9:30 whether in-person or at home.