Update on Mask Guidance

Dear HBC Church Family,

You probably have heard by now that both the CDC and the state of NY have relaxed their stance on the mask mandates.  The new guidance states that those who have been vaccinated no longer need to wear their masks when in public places and that  those who have yet to receive the vaccine will still be required to remain masked.  With this state policy change in place we wish to outline some of our policy changes as well.

1. We still will be adhering to social distancing practices.  Our chairs rows will remain six feet apart and we still are asking that households maintain a two chair space between one another if a row is being shared by multiple households. 

2. For those who have chosen not to be vaccinated or are unable to be vaccinated, we respect your decision.  This is your choice.  We do however ask that you please respect the guidelines of the state and the CDC.  Masks should be worn when entering the building, leaving the building or traveling through the building.  You may however remove your mask when you are seated in your chair.

3. For those who are vaccinated, you will no longer be required to wear your mask when entering the building, leaving the building or traveling through the building.

4. We are asking that all people please bring masks to church.  We recognize that your decision to receive the vaccine or to not receive the vaccine is a personal one.  We respect your decision.  That being said, we do have people in our building who would be considered high risk.  Science also tells us that singing produces a far greater spread of this airborne virus.  With that in mind, we will still be asking all church attendees to wear a mask while we are singing.  This goes for both vaccinated and unvaccinated.  Our desire is to have the church worship together as one and in order to do this in a way that is safest for those who are most vulnerable in our midst we will be asking each of you to make this small sacrifice.  

5. Please know this, we will be operating on an honor system.  We will not be asking you about your vaccination status when you show up to church.  Yet at the same time, we believe that submitting to rules that do not hinder our ability to gather with the body the Christ is a good testimony to a watching world.  

Before closing let us speak into the reality of our current situation.  We recognize that we live in a time when anxiety is at an all time high.  There may be vaccinated people wearing masks on Sunday.  We recognize that we have people on both sides of the mask conversation and the vaccine conversation, and we also recognize that both of these issues have been divisive amongst many people in our world.  We further recognize that opinions over these practices are not a reason to cause divide in the body of Christ.  

Our unity lies not in masks but in the cross.  Our hope lies not in a vaccine but in the Gospel.  Our Savior is not a doctor or politician but Jesus.  Let us band together and choose together to focus on what unites us together during these unprecedented times.  As a church we’ve been given a unique opportunity to show a watching world what unity looks like in a time when tribalism is the norm.    

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