November 18, 2020
Our elders are charged with the stewardship of our church before God.
We’ve noted with concern the rising rate of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations throughout our church family over the past month; a spike which mirrors the growing rate of infections in our community. Though churches are exempt from the revised government orders of recent days, we have thoughtfully reviewed them with an eye as to how to best care for our church family and demonstrate concern for our neighbors in the community.
We thus believe it is prudent to adapt our on-campus mask policy effective immediately. Until further notice:
- We are requiring masks to be properly worn (covering nose and mouth) at all times while on campus, including while seated in Sunday School and worship services, regardless of physical distance.
- The only exceptions are:
- Those with a doctor provided medical exemption.
- Children under the age of 6
- Sunday School teachers, while teaching, provided the entire class is masked and the teacher has at least 6 feet of social distance between them and the nearest person.
- Praise Team singers while leading worship, though we are reducing the number who serve each week in the interest of their safety and the safety of the congregation.
- The person preaching while they are preaching.
- At Antioch, we are also reducing the number of available pews directly in front of the platform; something we have already done at Ridgeview.
These changes are being enacted for the sole purpose of doing all that we can to continue to offer our current programing uninterrupted. However, ultimately the responsibility for making this possible falls on each of us as individuals. Each of us will need to do our part to preserve our vital and essential gathering as a church. Each of us will need to do our part to protect the health and wellbeing of those with whom we attend worship and Sunday school.
As we stated in our reopening, there are two kinds of folks who would do well to stay home: those who see themselves as mask police and those who refuse to wear a mask to prove a point. The persons in either case have their attention elsewhere and would miss out on the blessing worship is meant to provide if they attended. Be honest with yourself and, if you might fall in either camp, utilize our online worship and Sunday School options instead.
Of course we understand that others will choose to stay home for the sake of safety, utilizing our online options. That is a choice we certainly understand. We once again remind everyone else that to step out in public in any setting, including church, is to accept a certain level of risk that you’ll contract the virus. Our goal is to limit the risk of that happening when you attend church. Thank you in advance for doing your part.