Dear Allegan UMC Family,
As I’m sure many or you have heard, the CDC and state authorities have amended the Covid-19 masking requirements. In response to these changes, beginning Sunday May 16th, 2021, Allegan UMC’s Covid Safety Protocols will be as follows:
Along with state regulations, we require that un-vaccinated persons wear a mask inside the church, and as a church, we strongly recommend that fully vaccinated persons continue to wear masks inside the building as well.
In Christian love, we are choosing to trust one another to be honest about their vaccination status, and therefore whether or not they need a mask.
Our reasoning in encouraging all to continue masking, as able, is an effort to care for the vulnerable in our congregation who are unable to receive a vaccine yet due to various reasons, as well as our youth who are unable to receive the vaccine yet due to age. It is our Christian duty to protect the young and the vulnerable among us and put them before ourselves – particularly as youth seem to be most affected by more recent Covid strains. We never know who may walk through our doors, and it is our desire to create as safe a space as possible for them.
Along these lines, we will continue to refrain from congregational singing until the vaccination rate in Michigan is at 70%. (We’re currently at 40% – so please encourage your friends and loved ones to get the vaccine!)
As there is no word yet on ending social distancing, or raising the indoor occupancy limit, we will be keeping these measures in place, along with having folks sign it at the door for tracing purposes. Given the rates in Michigan, we feel that these are all still wise measures to take.
Friends, it is truly a sign of good news that the vaccine is effective, and we are drawing closer to the end of this pandemic. However, while we wish to embrace the “old normal” we must do so with wisdom and care. May our actions forward be informed by Philippians 2:3-5, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Julia Humenik