****For those of you who are unable to attend our Sunday service, you can watch a live streaming of the service here. ****
July 11, 2021
Update on our COVID Response
We are very glad that so many of you have been able to rejoin us for live worship in recent weeks. We’re even more glad to tell you that we have great news–at least we think it’s great news, and we hope that many of you will agree.
As more and more of the population in our county have now received the COVID vaccination, and infection numbers continue to decrease, the situation for our church has changed. Previously, the scales were tipped toward the need to curtail our own freedoms in order to protect the public health. But the availability of a reliable and effective vaccine has tipped the balance, so that the burden is now on each person to protect his or her health. The elders have therefore determined that we are removing the requirement to wear a mask when in the building, whether for worship on Sunday mornings, or at any other time. We will continue for the time being to limit seating to every other row, and encourage people to follow good hygiene practices, including being aware of how close we are to one another. We will also continue for now to refrain from passing the offering plate and the communion plates. Provided that we do not see a sharp reversal in the infection/hospitalization rates, or some other indication that public gatherings were endangering the health of our community, we intend to keep moving (carefully!) toward restoration of our pre-COVID practices for church activities and gatherings.
At the same time, we recognize that there will still be some people who, for various health or personal reasons, will need or want to continue to wear a mask. Those who are not vaccinated, for instance, remain vulnerable and should seriously consider whether they should continue to view the livestream or wear a mask if they join us for live worship. We want everyone to feel free to follow their own conscience in this matter. We promise that we will not regard anyone who chooses to wear a mask differently than those who do not. There may even be some of you, or people you know, who want to worship in a setting where everyone was masked. If so, please let us know. If there are enough people who want to come to church but need that level of protection to be comfortable gathering together, we can accommodate a group who would meet separately in a special location to view the live stream together at church.
Here’s the short summary for all of you “bottom-liners”:
• Masks are welcome, but not required
• Limited seating in the sanctuary
• Offering and communion conducted as at present
• Wash hands and use hand sanitizer
• Don’t crowd each other
Welcome back! It’s good to be together!
Pastor Barry, and the Elders
We will update the website regularly with information as it affects our church. For the latest updates on the status of the pandemic, we recommend that you consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
The Giving Tree Preschool
The health and safety of our Giving Tree families and staff has been our highest priority as we make decisions based upon guidance and recommendations from our local health officials. Please review the documents below for the latest information regarding The Giving Tree Preschool and our response to the Coronavirus.