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Sunday, June 27, 2021

"We Made It!" - End of COVID Restrictions at LEFC

Dear Church Family,

We made it!

As of Monday, the state-wide mask mandate will be lifted which marks the end of the COVID restrictions that, for the last year, directly affected how we operate on Sundays. It’s been a long, twisty, wearying, and often uncomfortable road, and it feels really good to cross that particular finish line.

I am so relieved, pleased, and excited that masks will now be completely optional for everyone at Lanse Free Church! I don’t mind wearing one myself when necessary, but I have strongly disliked having to ask others to wear one. It feels really good to be able to say again, “That’s up to you.”

Of course, we don’t know the future. Perhaps a variant will break through or a new virus will attack us, and we will be called upon to submit to further government strictures in the interest of public health. But for now, we no longer have to keep our distances or require face coverings. We made it!

I am especially looking forward to preaching without a mask or a face-shield any longer!

It’s also important to remember that while these COVID restrictions have ended, the virus has not gone away. Many are still in danger. We all need to continue to weigh risks and make informed choices. Some families will need to remain extra vigilant and more careful especially those who have members who are immuno-compromised or have younger children who cannot be vaccinated. Many will probably choose to continue to wear masks to protect themselves and others for some time.

We understand that families in our church will still have varying levels of comfort, and so we will continue to provide options for safe participation on Sundays including FM transmission and outdoor seating. We are also going to continue to ease into closer fellowship. For the time being, we will continue to offer two worship times with the first one (9:00am) designed for those with more health concerns who will intentionally sit at spaced seating.

But that second service (10:30am) should feel a whole lot like church before COVID. We will still have lots of fans and ventilation and a number of people sitting outside, but there will be no restrictions! I can guarantee that there will be lots of hugs, handshakes, holding and passing around babies, sitting where you like, and singing praise to our Lord shoulder to shoulder.

And in between the two services (10:00am), there will be coffee and fellowship! If you are comfortable, plan to stay after the first service or come early for the second to see everybody in the whole church family. We have a lot of new folks attending, and I’m looking forward to everybody getting to know one another better.

Praise the Lord! We made it.

See you at church!

– Pastor Matt