Hello NC Church,
It has been such a blessing to be gathered in-person on Sundays again. The months we were quarantined and separated from one another were challenging but God brought us through and continues to teach us and shape us.
2020 has turned out to be a difficult year to say the least. The rollercoaster of bad news has been unrelenting. From coronavirus, to riots and now back to coronavirus it’s easy to be frustrated, fearful, and confused. Of course, we can’t forget we are facing one of the most turbulent elections of our lifetime. Remember, while we live in a world that cannot make up it’s mind, we serve a God who never changes. As the old standard declares “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus' name.” In all of this, we need to keep our perspective. God is still good; stay encouraged!
As many of you know, this week our Pennsylvania state government issued a mandatory mask order. The broad nature of this order cannot go unaddressed by our church leadership. Wherever you go these days it seems people are divided on this issue. Some are adamantly against wearing masks, viewing them as useless and an overreach of government power, while others support the action, viewing masks as a vital tool in beating back the pandemic. We’ve all watched in frustration as the science surrounding the pandemic has changed on a daily basis, all the while experts continue to pass off their best guess as a sure thing. Unfortunately, this will probably continue for the foreseeable future so we will need to learn to navigate our way through it with grace and patience.
There is one thing, regarding this pandemic, of which we can be certain. Because of current national quarantine recommendations and contact tracing, it would be a mess if someone in the congregation happened to test positive. So in all of this, please consider one another even if it means a bit of personal discomfort.
After much discussion, the NC Church Elders are going to keep the mask issue really simple:
1. We strongly recommend wearing a mask while entering, leaving and moving about the building. Once you are seated, you are free to take your mask off or leave it on; it’s up to you. (Note: Children 5 and under do not need to wear a mask. They won’t leave it on anyway. If you have a medical condition and cannot wear a mask, you do not need to wear one.)
2. Please stay spread out in the sanctuary. We have plenty of room so please use it. Families are free to sit together.
3. Please wash your hands when using the restroom and don’t be shy with the hand sanitizer on the wall in the lobby. There is a station by the coffee bar and another by the restrooms.
4. If you are not feeling well, PLEASE STAY HOME. If you have an elevated temperature, PLEASE STAY HOME. If you are not comfortable with being in a group, PLEASE STAY HOME. We will continue to post the messages online so you can participate in our Bible teachings.
We do not know how long this will last but we will do our best to show respect to state and federal authorities, and with humility, consider one another. God bless you, NC Church! We will see you soon.
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