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Church Board Votes to Reinstate the Mask Requirement

Church Board Votes to Reinstate the Mask Requirement

On November 3, 2021, the Spencerville Church Board gathered virtually over Zoom for a specially-called meeting. The sole agenda item was masking at the church.

The board voted unanimously to reinstate the requirement of masks, regardless of vaccination status, for all weekend services, children’s activities, and weekday gatherings larger than ten people. Two weeks after the Christmas/New Year travel season, the board will reexamine the county’s COVID-19 data and decide whether to extend or relax the mask policy.

To reach this decision, the board sought medical doctors’ counsel, who were invited and present at the board meeting as attendees. They also examined input provided by Pastor Lerone from 53 families representing over 90 children.

The Spencerville Church Board voted unanimously to reinstate the requirement of masks, regardless of vaccination status, for all weekend services, children’s activities, and weekday gatherings larger than ten people.

The following reasons strongly influenced the boards’ decision:

  • The continuation of congregational singing. The risk of congregational singing was a significant emphasis of the doctors. Even with our numbers where they currently are, congregational singing without masks brings substantial risk.
  • To acknowledge the comfort level of our parents as we transition to indoor Sabbath School for our younger children.
  • The recent volatility of Montgomery County’s mask restrictions. We do not want to get into a situation where we are chasing the county guidelines one week without masks, one week with masks, two weeks with masks, three weeks without masks, etc.
  • To see if the COVID numbers are declining as they were this summer or if we have plateaued before another uptick as we enter the winter season.
  • To provide time for parents of 5-11 year-old children, if they so choose, to receive the full vaccination.
  • To mitigate the risk of holiday travel. Many persons will travel to our church during the holidays from areas with much higher rates of COVID. And many of our members will travel to areas of high risk and then return to our gathered worship.

Our long-term goal is to be a church without masks (there is probably a spiritual lesson in that line). We understand that COVID may always be with us and that we will have to take on a certain level of assumed risk at some point. Still, the board has voted the above decision to safely move into that position versus an abrupt change based upon the back and forth of the county. We recognize that the county operates and makes decisions at a macro level based on health, commerce, politics, and the variations in leadership. The church, however, is an unusual setting in society, and the macro view of the county cannot fully address all the unique aspects of being a church family. We must make our decisions based on the numbers, yes, but also critical elements of our worship. We also consider the age ranges of our family members and the mutual grace necessary to work through this challenging time in our history, ascertaining the appropriate balance between risk and inconvenience for all ages.

The board thanks you for your patience, grace, understanding, and compromise as we move ever closer to “normal.”

We praise our Lord that the presence of masks does not prevent Jesus from seeing our true hearts of worship and our collective love for Him and one another.

We will continue to keep you up to date in this very fluid time.

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