Currently - the NYS Council of Churches urges congregations to err on the side of caution and compassion - for folks to continue to wear masks/keep physical distance during worship even if they are fully vaccinated.
Currently, in the Alplaus sanctuary we are wearing masks (except for the speakers up front because no one sits closer than 10 feet from the front!) to offer the best sound experience. I am preaching live. We are singing (with masks). We have an understanding that we will don our masks should children arrive. In reality - we long for children to arrive! We continue to have thorough cleanings on Thursdays and are only using the building on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. At our next Church Leadership meeting, we will have more conversation about our current and future practices. This upcoming meeting will take place 6/6, after the service, INSIDE, in the fellowship hall. All in attendance will make their own choice about masking at that meeting.
As we move forward together through these changes, let us remember that while masks and science have become topics that divide, we are one family. Some continue to feel comfort and protection in mask usage. Some feel that their vaccination frees them to resume pre-pandemic activities. Between those two points, there runs a spectrum of opinions. In our actions, in our conversations, as we forge a path forward through these changes, remember that you are God's own child, and you will never look into the eyes of someone who isn't also God's own child. Let us care for one another as we create together not only our "new normal" but as we create with the presence of the Holy Spirit, guided by Scripture, reason, tradition and experience God's beloved community!
"We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another." 1 John 3:14
Whenever we fear loss,
loss of place or possessions, comfort or control
in our fear we are already lost;
we are in the grip of death.
When we love someone
we are not afraid of the cost,
not afraid -
raised from the dead.
In love, giving ourselves away,
we receive life that can't be taken from us,
This is how we pass from death to life
how we experience eternal life
we love one another.
Prayer: God, your love raises me from the dead. May I live the eternal life of your love today, and all the days of my life. Amen