Updated Safety Guidelines at Springfield First
May 15, 2021
This past Thursday, the CDC updated their mask and social distance guidelines, stating that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or to physically distance. Our conference then updated their safety guidelines to reflect these new recommendations. The new conference guideline states, “...fully vaccinated people will not need to wear a face mask or physically distance in most of our churches during worship services, gatherings, and meetings, including while speaking and singing...”
Here’s what this update means for our Springfield First community:
First, we have a Biblical mandate to bear with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2), extending grace and Christ-like patience toward one another. Our own behavior must look to the needs of others more than what we find personally pleasing.
Next, we will no longer expect fully vaccinated people to wear masks or to remain physically distanced. However, we invite all adults to do what they are most comfortable with. If a fully vaccinated adult wishes to continue to wear masks and practice distancing, they will be encouraged to do so. We realize that some people are unable to receive the vaccines at the recommendation of their doctor or choose to not be vaccinated at this time. We encourage everyone to talk to their doctors about vaccinations. We want to continue to create a welcoming community for all.
For the time being, our KidLife ministry will still require face masks by all leaders and kids, as kids are not yet able to receive vaccinations. We will continue to seek guidance from healthcare officials about best practices in gathering children and youth.
As always, we ask those experiencing any symptoms similar to Covid-19 symptoms to stay home and participate in online worship.
In the coming months we expect to introduce more changes to how we gather. We have operated with an interim worship schedule since March 2020, and we will continue to discern possible changes that can help us fulfill our mission.
We have come a long way. For some, these updated guidelines may feel too drastic a change. For others, they may feel too restrictive. As always, we are open to conversation about concerns you may have. Let’s keep doing our part to put this pandemic behind us, let’s keep showing love to our vulnerable neighbors, and let’s move ahead with faith and hope.
Pastor Roger and Pastor Justin
In-Person Worship Services
We are excited to be able to worship together! We offer a 9:00am Contemporary and a 10:45am Traditional service in the Sanctuary and online, and a service outside at the Pavilion at 8:00am. In-person Adult Sunday morning classes are also taking place. KidLife is open for nursery, preschool, and K-5th graders during the 9:00 Contemporary service.
What to Expect at Church
Things look and feel different than before COVID-19. But that's ok. We want you to be safe, and we are following the CDC, local recommendations, and the Bishop's guidelines. But we also want you here if you feel up to it. Here are things you can expect:
- Drinks and food will not be offered in the building.
- There will be no handouts, and people will be asked to fill out a Connection card online. The weekly bulletin can also be viewed online. (For either, go to the Resources tab at the top of the screen.)
- Tables with baskets will be set up at the exits for your tithes and offering.
Please know that we serve a God of grace. As such, we need to receive and extend grace to others in every possible way. We are doing our best, but we recognize that some will want to shake hands or hug people they haven't seen in months. We ask you to use restraint in doing so, but, when we forget, we also ask you to extend grace to others.
We are so glad to worship with you in person again!
A Message From Our Staff