Dear Church family,
Who else has made a social faux pas in these days of Covid restriction transition? I was at a backyard dinner party this past weekend when I missed a cue. The joy was freely flowing at seeing one another and at one point, all of the (vaccinated) people were greeting each other with hugs. I was particularly glad to see one woman who I hadn’t seen in several years so I went to hug her after asking her if she was vaccinated. It was only after the hug that I saw that she was pregnant and was trying to tell me that she had only received one vaccination and prefered to not have physical touch. Aya! Too late! (Face palm!)
Let’s be honest, managing the dizzying array of preferences, priorities and official guidelines can be difficult. In the coming weeks and months, we will need to continue to manage what it means to be loving, appropriate and sensitive as we interact with one another. Since one of the main places where we express and receive greetings and affection are at our church gatherings I wanted to give us all some clarity for how to honor one another.
Given that today the state activated a significant lifting of COVID-related restrictions for all gatherings in CA other than mass gatherings, and also given that Santa Clara County has an estimated 70% of eligible residents fully vaccinated, effective this coming Sunday, June 20, masks will no longer be required at the Sunday afternoon service. Physical distancing cards will be available at the Sunday in-person service for those who would like to have a seat remaining between them and others, but seat gaps are not required.
For those who need or prefer to wear a mask, we will have a section of tents (see map below) where masks will be required at all times, with seat gaps between pods. This area is available for anyone who has not been vaccinated, or just feels more comfortable with others around them having a mask on.
We ask that the following continue to wear masks:
- kids between 2-11
- volunteers in Kidz Corner
- anyone who is not vaccinated
Please remember to ask before initiating any physical contact like hand shaking or hugging. Practice by saying these phrases out loud:
“Nice to meet you! May I shake your hand?”
“It’s so good to see you again! Can I give you a hug?”
“No? How about an elbow bump?”
Finally, let me remind us all that it’s going to be awkward. It just is. But, by the grace of God, we’re moving toward more freedom to be physically present to one another which is a wonderful gift. May it be an opportunity to respect one another’s differences and honor one another’s bodies.
Pastor Ron and I would love to answer any questions that you might have. Please feel free to reach out to us.
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.”
Romans 12:10 NKJV