ELDER UPDATE - 8/24/21
The elders are regularly watching the latest data concerning Covid-19 and the Delta Variant. At this time, the CDC recommends that all people go back to wearing masks in large groups, particularly indoor activities. At present, there are no governmental mandates by the State of Tennessee nor our local magistrates for masks nor vaccinations. We are thankful that our state and local magistrates are allowing persons and families to make conscientious decisions on their own regarding these matters. We believe strongly this is a core conviction that Baptists and most protestants have assumed for centuries. We believe that it is dangerous when any government assumes jurisdiction on things that are matters of sincere conscience. There is, of course, room for disagreement in the gray areas of this conviction. We believe that Scripture upholds personal liberty as an inalienable right, especially religious liberty as well as when making health decisions like these.
Nonetheless, we believe that God has called the elders of each local congregation to regulate the norms concerning worship and normal congregational meetings. At this time, our philosophy is to "Inform but not Enforce" on matters related to Covid-19.
As we have noted in the past, our commitment is and will remain staying open for Lord's Day worship and continue to offer support ministries such as Sunday School, small groups and other gatherings as a secondary commitment. We are asking our congregation to work for the collective good of our church as we continue to travel through these difficult days.
At this time, the Elders are committed to carrying on with our normal course of congregational life as scheduled but do ask participants and members to be mindful of the following:
- The CDC recommends all to wear a mask indoors as the Delta Variant continues to spread at a rapid pace.
- If you or a member of your household feels ill, has flu-like symptoms or has a Temperature of 100.4 or above, please stay home and do not attend service until you know that you have ruled out Covid. This should also extend to the upcoming flu season as well.
- If you have a confirmed case of Covid in your household, please quarantine your household for the recommended time period of 10 days or until your family is free of Covid for a safe period of time before returning to worship. Again, as the flu increases, please use discretion with this as well.
- An In-person Live Stream is available in our Fellowship Hall to provide more social distancing for those whom desire it. This is also a Mask-required Space.
At this time, masks are optional during 9:00 Sunday Bible Study & our 10:30 service. Please continue to heed the governing lessons taught by Paul in Romans 12 and Ephesians 4—seeking to both outdo one another in showing honor and bearing with one another. Please be considerate of others as they may desire to physically distance and avoid physical contact. Remember that we are a family, and when finding a seat, don’t hesitate to ask someone’s comfort level, or be gracious in response if someone asks you to increase distance. If someone is wearing their mask and distanced from others, this may be an indicator of their comfort level. In all these things, we are called to peace.
Thank you for your commitment to Grace Church.