COVID-19 & Worship Updates
We continue to follow the direction of our government and are in
compliance with national and local recommendations.
Our aim is to keep our congregation well.
A Message from Pastor Hale
There have been concerns raised by a few of our members about our current mask policy which strongly encourages wearing a mask. As we face the Delta variant, we have seen increases in cases to both vaccinated and unvaccinated. Fortunately, the vaccine has been mostly effective in preventing hospitalization and death. We have had very sick members and recently lost a few to the virus even though they were vaccinated. In addition, we are concerned now with Delta’s ability to infect the young who aren’t currently able to receive the vaccine.
I do not have all the answers and it appears that no one does. Information tells us one thing today and seemingly another a week from now. One thing I do know is that at SIUMC our vision is to change lives. My thought is that if a mask is effective only in comfort level of others, then I will wear one. If it only has a small percentage of efficacy, then I will wear one. If there is even the slightest chance that it may protect someone else, then it is worth my discomfort. John Wesley called us as Methodist to first, do no harm. I also know that my wearing a mask will certainly not harm someone else. Our urging of mask wearing is not a mandate but a call to show our love and concern for one another.
We will begin encouraging the wearing of masks in new ways. We will try to use a little levity to do so. I do know this is a serious disease and the use of humor is not to diminish the importance of the message. The goal is that maybe we can encourage people to wear a mask in a way that doesn’t seem hostile or overbearing but reminds us that we do some things because of our love for one another. I am reminded of Paul’s argument in I Corinthians 8:9. He says that we are free and have the liberty to do things, but he says the exercise of our rights should not be a stumbling block. The issue in Paul’s day was food offered to idols, but the message is clear that we are responsible for our actions and how they affect others physically, spiritually and eternally.
Let us all seek to do no harm, to do good, and to remain in love with God and one another.
masks strongly encouraged
socially distanced seating
no food or drink at this time
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