This response was created May 14, 2021.
While the call from Jesus, our King, to both love God and love others and make disciples as we go doesn’t change, the world around us does. And so the way we go about completing the Greatest Commandment and Great Commission must adapt to be effective while remaining true to the way God has called us to live. As the situation created by the SARS-COV-2 virus and the disease caused by it, COVID-19, continues to evolve, we will do our best to adapt how we interact with the world to help us be the best followers of Jesus that we can be.
We have been through a year of encouraged physical isolation, and now it is difficult to consider how close to the end of all of this we may be! Throughout the process we have tried our best to give deference to those in our government that are making incredibly difficult decisions that effect not only us, but so many of our neighbors as well. We have tried to act in such a way that anyone could feel safe entering our public gatherings so that they could be reminded about the love of God without being distracted by the worry about their physical health. We have each tried to Love God and Love our neighbor as we love ourselves as best as we could with the information that we had at the time.
As of this week, the Governor of the State of Minnesota has said that the statewide mandate asking people to wear masks indoors is no longer in effect over the entire state. (The caveat is the state is still asking Minnesotans politely to continue to wear their masks indoors if they have not yet been vaccinated. See this press briefing if you have further questions: https://youtu.be/RsD1aAjtvE8). The Mayor of the City of Minneapolis said that the citywide mandate asking people to wear masks indoors will remain in place while the officials look over the vaccination rates in the community. (This time, I had a harder time finding a primary source, but here is a secondary one: https://kstp.com/coronavirus/minneapolis-mayor-jacob-frey-keeps-mask-mandate-in-place/6107323/)
I cannot wait for all of us, those of us who currently call Grafted “Home” and those of us who may be visiting for the first time, to feel comfortable walking into a building or a crowded outdoor space and not feel anxiety without wearing a mask. I cannot wait to see people’s faces react when I say something funny (or only funny to me) while I am preaching. I am looking forward to the end of the confusion about who is supposed to wear a mask by law, executive order, or city ordinance and who doesn’t need to. But for now, Grafted is going to ask those who are attending our Sunday Services in person to continue to wear a face covering. We will continue to offer our online option for those of you who would prefer to pod at home or with a smaller group through our private Facebook group. (Email email@example.com if you have any questions about how to engage with this online platform.)
I assume this will not be the last of the COVID-19 updates I will be posting. But until I don’t need to post another one again, I miss and love you all!