We announced on Sunday that we are ready to begin making some changes in the way we’re doing our services, beginning this coming Sunday.
We’re on a journey from “Covid-era church” to “post-Covid-era church.” We hope that some of our adaptations (masks, ropes on pews, and reduced capacity) can be done by the next school year. At this point in mid-April in Illinois, about half of the adult population has already received at least one vaccination dose, and vaccines have been available for those over 65 years old for several months. This means that most of the health-vulnerable people in our state have at least had the opportunity to receive a vaccination. (Although we do understand that some vulnerable populations have not yet had that opportunity.) As time goes on, health professionals agree that while Covid-19 won’t disappear, Covid-19 will become less and less of a public health crisis.
At this time, there are still many in our area, even many in our church family, who will continue to wisely choose a service with a higher level of safety precautions for personal health, because of the health of family members, and for other reasons. As we take this first step in our 2021 Sunday transition process, we will gladly continue to offer a video feed for those worshipping at home, and a service with masks expected, in addition to making masks optional at one of our services. As we mentioned on Sunday, we plan to take a churchwide survey in May to learn more about how we can serve many through this summer.
Some of you have willingly made sacrifices of one sort or another in order to walk in wisdom and/or serve others. Loving steps like that will bear good fruit as we move beyond this season, and I want to encourage you for that! I also want to ask that we not start throwing little elbow jabs at each other as we get closer to the finish line. The New Testament vision remains important: “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” (Eph. 4:1-3). Since he first loved us, let’s continue to walk in gospel-rooted harmony.
I know change isn’t easy. I appreciate your patience and perseverance in the journey!
Here are the Spring 2021 Guidelines.