Church family, I need you to take the time and read this email. It will be a longer than average email from me, but each word is intentional and important.
From the very beginning of this pandemic we have worked incredibly hard to do what’s right for both you personally and our church. Every decision we make is weighed heavily, prayed over, and guided by wisdom. We also continually remind ourselves that the gospel is never something that should be set aside for the sake of convenience or even fear. We truly carry the words of eternity with us; may we all feel the weight of that.
Throughout this pandemic we have made adjustments, and at times even decided to shut down. Thankfully, and because of your generosity, we were equipped and ready to do church online well. So, when Covid was at its worst, we didn’t want to contribute to the spread of the virus unnecessarily and went all online. As you can imagine, that decision was met with both support and criticism.
Now we have the issue of “wearing masks” and how we will handle that moving forward. Recently, we have been operating in what we call the “restaurant style” option, which means we are asking people to wear them into Trace but once they get to their seats they can be removed. To show you the tension that surrounds this subject I could point to one specific day this past week. In one day we heard from a physician who comes to Trace who is frustrated that we aren’t taking this more seriously, and a different physician who said he thinks we have handled it incredibly well. And there it is, two people in our medical community who are looking at this in two different ways. And all of us find ourselves somewhere in that tension.
Moving forward we have decided to put benchmarks in place that will make this less subjective. Every single day we are looking at Covid numbers to see what the trends are. We look at the 14-day average positivity rate, new daily cases, and ICU capacity. All of these numbers are trending down and have been for the last couple of weeks. So, moving forward, here is what our Covid protocols will be:
- As long as the 14-day average is greater than 5% we are going to ask everyone to wear masks the entire time you are in Trace. This means we are encouraging everyone to keep their masks on even when you get to your seat.
- Once the 14-day average drops below 5% we will go back to “restaurant style,” allowing you to take your mask off when you get to your seat.
- Once the 14-day average drops below 2.5% we will make masks optional altogether, as well as allow everyone to pick their own seats when they are in the worship center.
I pray that this next season is not a season where we are divided. Instead, I pray this next season for us as a church is one filled with hope and purpose. I pray we leverage our influence, extend invitations, and remove obstacles so people can get to Jesus. May God fill us with His Holy Spirit and unite us in His power, purpose, and plan for Trace Church. May we not miss this opportunity!
Trace Kids is available for kids, nursery through third grade. Our kids team is required to wear masks, sanitize in between services, and stay home if they or a family member feels sick. However, parents are always welcome to bring their kids into the Worship Center rather than checking them into children’s worship.
Below you can click and view a document with recent information on Covid-19 and our new protocols for Sunday mornings going forward. Our service times are 9:30 and 11:00am and we have cleaning procedures in place between services.