Good afternoon Midland Nazarenes,
I pray this week has been blessed and you are experiencing the amazing life our Lord Jesus brings. For me, I have truly enjoyed meeting many of you, hearing your stories, and celebrating with you all the ways God has moved in your lives.
I wanted to give you an update on the church’s COVID-19 response plan. Midland County’s transmission rate was recently elevated to “High.” A Community Transmission Rating determines the level of precautionary actions recommended by the CDC, Michigan Department of Health, and Midland County Health Department. This transmission rating and a presence of active cases in each school were contributing factors for the our public schools to begin requiting masks for students in the sixth grade and below, which is the component of our population that is ineligible for vaccination.
At MidNaz, our stance has been to follow the recommendations of health authorities. Because of that, we strongly recommend masks for both the unvaccinated and vaccinated during all services on Sunday in the sanctuary and children’s area. To the best of our knowledge, vaccinated people can still transmit the virus. We will not return to social distancing per health department recommendations nor excessive cleaning and sanitization. This is a temporary situation that will be evaluated weekly. We are working on viable criteria to evaluate this situation, but at the this point the transmission rating serves as the standard. I assure you the second we are able to lift this recommendation we will
This is a strong recommendation and not a requirement. If you choose not to wear a mask, you will not be barred from entry, nor will you be the subject of criticism, ridicule, or passive aggression. We are moving together through this pandemic. The pandemic is challenging alone. Let’s not make it worse with words and attitudes that come with consequences that takes years to overcome.
Remember, our response to COVID should never be about fear. It should always be about love. Jesus teaches us that the highest moral imperatives of kingdom life is to love God totally and to love our neighbors as our selves. Part of loving our neighbors is to protect the most vulnerable members of our society. Right now whether we like or not the most vulnerable members of our society are our children because we have no lasting mechanism to protect them from the disease. I strongly encourage you to take on some inconvenience for the sake of keeping COVID away from our kids; they are equal parts of our church community too.
Please, don’t let this recommendation keep you from coming to church or interfere with your worship and devotion to Christ. Don’t let this recommendation be a barrier to meeting together with your brothers and sisters in our amazing church family lifting high the name of Jesus Christ who is above every name.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, worshiping with you, and sharing with you God’s Gospel of love, peace, and joy
God bless you and have a great week!
Midland Nazarene COVID-19 Plan
Under guidance from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Midland Nazarene will adopt the following mask and social distancing policies effective Wednesday, September 1:
- Masks are strongly recommended in the sanctuary and children’s area regardless of vaccination status.
- All pews will be open for seating
- We will remain at full capacity in the sanctuary and small group rooms
- Social distancing will no longer be required though we ask for awareness and kindness toward others’ comfort with close contact.
Direct any questions, suggestions, or concerns to Pastor Justin or COVID-19 Response Coordinator Chuck Cribley at Safety@midlandnaz.org or 989-488-9409.