Summary: We continue to request that people wear masks when inside our building with groups. This includes Sunday worship. We also strongly encourage people to move outside to socialize when the service is over — and sometimes have a snack or coffee out there!
The Coordinating Committee reviews this policy each month and welcomes your feedback. You can email comments to our moderator, Andrea Zuercher.
Please follow the guidelines below if you plan to use the church building. Contact our administrative assistant, Jerry Dowdle, with questions. (email@example.com)
For everyone entering the building:
*All current state and local Covid-19 guidelines are to be followed.
*If you have a fever or other COVID symptoms, please do not enter the building.
*Hand sanitizer will be at both the south and north entrances. Masks are also available.
*If you are in the building more than 15 minutes, please write your name and the date on the sign-in sheet provided. (There is one at each entrance.)
*If you are not fully vaccinated, please wear your mask in the building.
*Please contact the Peace Mennonite bookkeeper, LaVonne Marks, to reserve the building at least a week in advance. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
*In worship gatherings and other large groups (15 or more), all participants should wear masks, with the exception of vaccinated speakers.
*For small group gatherings, masks may be removed if all participants are fully vaccinated and consent to removing masks. If unvaccinated people are present and/or if any group member is uncomfortable with a mask-free gathering, please wear masks out of consideration for all group participants.
*For outdoor worship and other large outdoor gatherings, please wear your mask if you enter the building for any reason.
*The Coordinating Committee will keep a list of those who attend worship each week for the purpose of contact tracing. These lists will be kept confidential and used only in the event that we learn someone who participated in worship has tested positive for COVID. If you test positive for COVID after attending worship in person, please let the church office know. We are following the guidance of the CDC and the county health department; contact tracing is a robust part of ensuring public health and safety.
*Thank you for working to help keep us all safe!
Note from our Moderator:
The Coordinating Committee has decided to retain our COVID-19 policy. Most of that document has remained useful even as knowledge of the virus and how it spreads has improved with time and research. Even though public health authorities from the CDC on down have relaxed their guidance on masking, the committee believes that as a church community, we have a greater responsibility for each other than to simply follow public health guidance. We continue to request that people attending worship events in larger groups (more than 15) wear a mask while indoors. Speakers who have been vaccinated are free to remove them while speaking up front, as are song leaders and scripture readers.
Even though those who attend regularly are largely vaccinated, the virus can be transmitted among vaccinated people. Wearing a mask is a choice we make to protect each other. It is both a symbolic gesture of support for the vulnerable and a proven way to reduce transmission of a virus whose long-term effects can be devastating even among asymptomatic people. And it sends a message to our vulnerable friends that they matter.
We are making small adjustments to our policy, such as opening the kitchen back up for use. We will hold social events such as after-church social time outside whenever possible. The committee deliberates on the COVID-19 situation each month, monitoring county statistics and hospital occupancy. If you have any questions or concerns about this approach, please get in touch with a member of the coordinating committee (Joe, Roberta Renz, and me).
Mask wearing will not last forever. As someone who has worked in health policy for 36 years, I believe that the CDC guidance was premature. New variants are already surging in other countries, and they likely will here, too. But as more people around the world get vaccinated, the severity of illness should decline over time. I follow the analysis of a number of epidemiologists and other thoughtful analysts to help us navigate the pandemic in a spirit of caring for each other and making PMC a welcoming place for all who choose to enter. Thanks to everyone for your cooperation and support.
Andrea Zuercher, 2022 PMC moderator