Pastor’s Thoughts for April

Easter is upon us! This year, unlike last, we will be meeting in person here at church. Hallelujah!

The world needs to hear the message of a risen Savior now as much as it has at any time in history. We all know that the world has become a
complicated place and that even understanding our own nation, state, and community seems more difficult as time goes on. And a global pandemic further complicated the issues! And, speaking of the pandemic, we are now over a year in and people are asking the question, “Should we keep masks on at all times?”I hear and read discussions regarding mask-wearing in a variety of places. And I know that in some circles (hopefully not ours!) that discussion can become quite heated. We want no part of that as we are instructed in Scripture to …so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all (Romans 12:18).

Some people question the usefulness of wearing a mask, others firmly believe that it is necessary. It would be counterproductive to have a debate regarding the effectiveness of mask-wearing in a group that meets to praise God. So, in terms of establishing policy for our Sunday church attendance and Monday night Bible study, I checked the New York State guidelines for religious services and read this: Any time employees, volunteers, and/or attendees must come within 6 ft. of one another (or 12 ft., if singing), they must wear acceptable face coverings, unless they are members of the same household. I do understand that there is a level of comfort and safety that we each need to establish for ourselves. I am asking that each of us who attends our services in person respect the NYS guidelines and, more importantly, respect your brothers and sisters in Christ. What I am asking is that each of us wear a face-covering into the building. If you are properly distanced after seating and would like to remove your mask you may, per the guidelines, do so. If you are more comfortable leaving the mask on, do so.

I do hope to see all of you in person.