Grace and Peace to you Emanuel!
As many of you are already well aware, Governor Baker announced that as of May 29, COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted in the state of Massachusetts. This is naturally something we celebrate as we have longed for this day. Nevertheless, some questions need answering, and we must remain cautious as we proceed into the new normal.
Throughout the pandemic, Council President Angie Hollenbeck and I have been vigilantly paying attention to the guidelines and mandates put out by the state and the CDC. We always want what is safe for our church family, while not unnecessarily burdening ourselves beyond what is required. Not everyone was happy all the time with our decisions, but we did what we felt was best for Emanuel. Now as we approach the new normal, we recognize that some people may not be completely pleased with the decision taken. We nevertheless feel this is the best way forward for our parish.
Beginning May 30, vaccinated individuals may come to Emanuel without a mask.
We urgently request that those who are not vaccinated continue to wear a mask until they are fully vaccinated on the guidance from the CDC guidelines regarding that. We will not be checking vaccine cards; however, we do ask that out of Christian love for your brothers and sisters at Emanuel, if you are unvaccinated, you continue to wear a mask. We will abide by the “honor system.”
Anyone who wishes to continue to wear a mask, even though they are fully vaccinated, is absolutely welcome and encouraged to do so. We recognize and support your choice. No one will be questioned, judged, or mocked for choosing to wear a mask. As Governor Baker stated, “each of us will do this at our own pace and in our own way.”
These have been extraordinary times for Emanuel – in more ways than one. Both we thank you for your support as we faced these unprecedented challenges.
Most of all, we cherish your prayers.
Feel free to approach either of us with any concerns you may have about this change or anything else happening at Emanuel.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Daniel and Angie