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Chuck's musings

Mask Protocols

7/11/2020

Good morning, friends. As you are likely aware, the Joplin City Council has enacted a mask ordinance in an attempt to address the spread of Covid-19. I feel that it's necessary to offer some guidance in regards to how our church family should deal with this ordinance as it relates to our practice of Sunday morning Worship.

While I, myself, can certainly empathize with those uncomfortable with the mandating of the mask ordinance, I find myself guided by a few key principles: (1) to "do no harm" as John Wesley insisted, (2) to "put the needs of others ahead of my own needs" as found in Philippians Chapter 2, and (3) to follow Jesus' call in Matthew Chapter 5 to be "peacemakers". There are certainly times and appropriate ways to stand up for individual beliefs that lie contrary to the mandated mask ordinance. I do not feel, however, that Sunday morning is one of those times.

While I do not plan to personally "police" adherence to the mask ordinance, I am asking for compliance and cooperation by those attending our Worship services. So, for those over six years of age, whenever they are within six feet of another non-family-related individual, I am encouraging the wearing of a mask. I am further asking all individuals who have a role in Worship, hospitality, teaching, etc. to do the same. Possible exceptions to this are individuals with speaking/singing roles. So, for example, my plan is to wear my mask anytime I am off-stage and within six feet of others. I will likely, however, not wear my mask on-stage during speaking/preaching portions of the service.

Let's do what we can to adhere to our city's guidance concerning masks. More importantly, let's keep our focus on Jesus. We'll get through this. Thank you for your attention to this matter. It's great serving as your pastor!