Updated COVID Protocols
The Session of Independence Presbyterian Church has voted to update our COVID-safety protocols for Sunday morning worship.
As of June 6th, for indoor services, IPC will be strongly recommending people who are not fully vaccinated to wear masks, and optional mask wearing for people who are fully vaccinated. For outdoor services masks are optional. All other protocols will still be in place regarding social distancing, cleaning hands regularly, etc.
This means that beginning with our Sunday morning worship on June 6, IPC will be following the updated CDC guidelines regarding vaccinated individuals and the State of Ohio’s updated mandates. The responsibility will be placed on individuals to discern for themselves whether or not they should wear a mask.
Session decided to roll back our safety measures in phases. To that end, we will continue to socially-distance within the sanctuary (with every-other-pew) and we will continue to refrain from singing for the time being.
While we will not be checking people’s vaccination status, as a matter of public safety and Christian love, we strongly recommend that unvaccinated individuals continue to follow CDC guidelines and wear a mask to protect themselves and others.
It is my strong suspicion, based on conversations, that the vast majority of our congregation has been vaccinated. Speaking for myself, getting the vaccine and hearing the new guidelines, I feel a weight and fear have been lifted from my shoulders, but I also know it is a personal choice that not everyone feels comfortable making. If you have not received the vaccine and would like to you, please visit gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov/
As a reminder, while most Americans can now be vaccinated there are still populations that cannot. Some cannot receive the vaccine due to other conditions and Doctors’ recommendations. And none of the vaccines are yet available for children under the age of 12.
We are also asking that some people in the congregation who have been vaccinated continue to intentionally wear a mask during worship to help ensure that there is no stigma associated with it. Wearing a mask in our church or elsewhere should not be seen by anyone as a sign of vaccination status.Many people who have been fully vaccinated will continue to wear a mask for extra safety. I plan on continuing to wear a mask when not preaching or praying. And will continue to wear a mask to my pastoral visits.
We are hopeful. Both for the new protocols, but also for the trends. We pray for those who continue to struggle with COVID, for all those who have lost their lives. But are encouraged by the direction the numbers are going and are hopeful for the future of God’s creation.
Yours in love,
Rev. David B. Wigger