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Ministry Update - Face Covering Order and Reopening - July 31, 2021

On Monday, July 25th, St. Louis County along with St. Louis City issued a new Face Covering Order. The Face Covering Order states,

Face Coverings are required to be properly worn by all individuals ages 5 and older while in indoor and enclosed public buildings and spaces and public transportation vessels in St. Louis County.  For purposes of clarity, “indoor and enclosed public buildings and spaces” include all indoor and enclosed spaces other than private dwellings or private transportation vessels.  “Face Coverings” for the purpose of Sections II and III of this Order means a device, usually made of cloth, that covers the nose and mouth.”

On Tuesday, July 26th, the CDC also released recommendations that fully-vaccinated and unvaccinated people also continue to wear face coverings.

The leadership of Grace Chapel met this week to discuss Grace’s continuing reopening plan and the new Face Covering Order. In light of this order, we are asking that all people, regardless of vaccination status, please wear face coverings while on Grace Chapel’s campus. Also, we are temporarily holding further reopening plans. What does this look like? First, pews will remain open, hymnals, bibles, and attendance pads will remain in the pews, and our usher teams will still have a presence for our services; things that we have brought back will remain with the exception of face coverings. Second, we will continue with our current communion practices, collection of offering, handing out bulletins, etc.

I, like many, many others are overwhelmingly frustrated with the situation right now. Philippians 2:4 reminds us, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” There is no doubt that COVID continues to spread and people are not only continuing to get sick, but also dying. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are called to love and to care just as Jesus did, even if that means casting off our self for the sake of someone else. I, too, wish that we could turn back time, eradicate COVID, or just skip over this time, but that is not the reality we live in. Even in this time of deep frustration, God can turn it into an opportunity to love and care for one another. If me putting on a face covering can help protect my brother or sister, then I will wear a face covering out of love and care for another.

I want to leave you with these words from John 16:33, I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” God is bigger than our frustrations and even bigger than anything the world can throw our direction. Jesus lives and He has conquered sin, death, and the devil! We have nothing to fear! I pray that that peace of Jesus’ continues to guide each and every moment of your life.

+In His Grip+ 

Pastor Nate