Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued updated guidelines for the wearing of masks once you are fully vaccinated.
Additionally, Governor Justice, continues to update face-covering requirements.
Pastors and laity leaders within the West Virginia Conference are asked to focus on an attitude of “Do No Harm” as we move into new phases of this ongoing pandemic. We all celebrate with persons within our congregations who are fully vaccinated. However, not all persons are able or willing to be vaccinated at this time.
Additionally, please remember there may be children and youth, as well as some adults in your congregation, who have not been vaccinated and who could be more at risk of transmission when persons are not wearing face coverings.
Our mission as a church is to continue to reach new people with the Good News of Jesus Christ. This past year has clearly created a situation where people in our communities are feeling a void and are seeking a new or renewed relationship with God.
Even when everyone in our congregation has been fully vaccinated, we must always expect the Holy Spirit to move our neighbors to attend a worship service for the first time each week. At this time, extravagant hospitality in our congregations for our first-time guests and others who are not vaccinated should continue to include the wearing of face coverings, social distancing, and other appropriate safety precautions.
Please prayerfully consider children, first-time guests from your neighborhood, and the safety of your entire congregation, those vaccinated and unvaccinated, before you make changes to your church’s COVID practices and policies.