“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
~ Psalm 118:24 ~
For me, like many others, it is hard to fathom all that has transpired over the past year. We have all been tested, our limits stretched, normal flipped upside-down, routines thrown aside, and so much more. And yet, one truth has always remained; our God lives and reigns through all eternity! In looking back over the last year plus, there have been little moments, little moments of grace, that God has used to remind of His care, provision, and love. Each are just another reminder that no matter what we go through in this life, God is with us to carry us through the difficult times and walk beside us through the joyous times. Praise be to God!
Over the last few weeks, the leadership at Grace Chapel have been outlining our plan for reopening in a way that best continues to care for God’s people and follow the guidelines outlined by the CDC, St. Louis County Department of Health, and St. Louis County. We want share what our timeline for reopening looks like.
- Beginning the last weekend in May, following the recommendations from the CDC, Grace has lifted the mask mandate for those who are fully vaccinated. We have also returned the bibles, hymnals, and fellowship pads to the pews. Signage at the entrance to the sanctuary states: Per CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask indoors or outdoors unless otherwise mandated by state or local law or regulations. Per CDC guidelines, unvaccinated individuals should wear a mask indoors at all times and outdoors when they cannot be socially distant or as otherwise mandated by state or local law or regulations. We are encouraging those who are not fully vaccinated to continue to wear masks. Also, please know that there is no pressure to remove your mask if you are not comfortable. We are asking that when you come forward to receive Holy Communion, please wear your mask. The pastors and elders will continue to wear masks when distributing Holy Communion. We will not be “policing” this guideline, but trust everyone to make their own decision out of care and the safety of one another. We will continue to keep pews roped off in order to provide a distanced environment out of care and for the safety of those who are not fully vaccinated.
- By the end of June, our goal would to remove all ropes from the pews, thus opening the sanctuary to “full capacity”.
- By the end of July, our goal is to return to the Communion Rail, resume our regularly practiced offering collection, and resume Children’s Messages.
As has been in the past, this timeline is fluid and may be adjusted accordingly as a need or circumstance arises. One last note, in-person worship services continue at 4pm on Saturday, 8am on Sunday, and 10:45am on Sunday. 9:30am continues to be the Christian Education Hour. As we move through the summer and Grace continues to reopen, we want to encourage you to return to in-person worship. Not only is it an opportunity to see your brothers and sisters in Christ, but to worship our Lord, to have your faith strengthen by His word, and to receive the gifts Jesus gives to us in His body and blood. With all that has changed or that we have lost, God’s gifts have never changed or gone away; so, come and rejoice in God’s gifts!
May you continue to live in the joy of Jesus!
Pastor Nate and Pastor Stacy