Dear Church Family,
We are nearing the one year mark of dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on our lives. I don’t know about you, but I am weary of this disease. Nonetheless, we are called as God’s people to preserve for the sake of the gospel until the Lord returns. The Official Board met last night to review our COVID precautions. Here are some the items we discussed:
We received a visit from the Carroll County Health Department on January 19 based on an anonymous call about the number of cars in our parking lot the preceding Sunday. Pastor Greg spent an hour with the inspector reviewing our protocols for church and school. On a positive note, the visit from the CC Health Dept. revealed that we were doing more than expected. Our desire, of course, as leaders is to protect the flock primarily from spiritual sickness, but also from physical sickness. Covid has stretched us in both directions.
Pastor Greg reviewed the latest CDC ‘Consideration for Communities of Faith’ (2/19/21) and asked the CC Health Dept. for current ‘Stage 2/3’ guidelines for our church. Other than the understood cleaning practices, there are 2 primary mitigation elements that are currently in place by local, state and federal (CDC) authorities for churches: Mask Wearing and Social Distancing efforts.
Therefore, the Official Board by consensus agreed to update our foyer signage to current ‘best practices.’ (This means removing the ‘stay to the right’ and ‘don’t linger inside’ and change to ‘wear mask’ & ‘social distance’).
The Board agreed to keep the pew tape in place, but we are seeking an alternative to the red tape.
We will also restore the Bibles to the pews, but only in the ‘open’ spaces for seating. The hymnals are not being used regularly and will remain away until necessary.
A motion was made to cease temperature taking at the door, which carried with a majority vote.
It was agreed that the efforts to record names of attenders has a great benefit to the church family in the event that communication/contact tracing is needed.
No change was made to the mask requirement placed upon us by Executive Order of the Governor of MD.
We know some of you struggle with the feeling that any government official would have influence over your experience at church. But let me encourage you with a brief article I prepared regarding mask wearing at GBC. I pray it would give you at least 3 positive perspectives on it and perhaps on the other precautions we take as well.
We continue to encourage you to take all appropriate precautions against spreading COVID to other church attenders by;
- Staying home when you are sick.
- Wearing a face mask inside the building.
- Washing your hands often.
- Practicing social distancing.
Now may you all be encouraged by these words from Hebrews 10:19-25:
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, through His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let’s approach God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let’s hold firmly to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
So good to be in service of a God bigger than COVID or any other issue this world can through at us!