Dear Friends,

In response to the steep increase in spread of COVID-19, our Response Team met for about 75 minutes on Thursday and thoroughly discussed how it recommends responding to the rise in COVID-19 spread, particularly over the last week. The recommendation they ultimately approved was the following:

“That we resume requiring mask use in all areas within the campus at Covenant. N-95 and KN-95 masks are recommended, but not required. The team will meet one week after the lowering of the risk level to “Moderate” to evaluate removing the requirement for mask use indoors. It is hoped and anticipated that this will period of required masking will be brief and that the worst of the pandemic is behind us.”

Through an evote that allowed conversation about the recommendation, the session ultimately approved the recommendation, so we are once again at a point of requiring mask use within all parts of the buildings on our campus. This precaution is not likely to be necessary for more than a month or two.

We are a diverse congregation. That is good. We have a rich variety of perspectives on virtually every topic imaginable. For some of us, the requirement of mask usage will be a great frustration. For others, it is not enough of a response, given the infectiousness of this disease. The thing that unites us is not our perspective on how to respond to COVID-19 or any other topic. What unites us, carries us, and sustains us is that we know ourselves to be beloved by God and we know that the best way to respond to that love is to care for one another and the world around us with tenacious, self-giving love.

We’ll get through this. It has been amazing to watch how we have found ways to hold onto one another and care for each other through the last two years. Let’s continue doing so in the weeks and months ahead.