Yesterday, I sent a COVID-19 update with current information from Pat Living, Communications Lead for the Chief Medical Officer.
24 hours later, we have some new information.
Today, I reached out to Ms. Living again, for some updated directives for our physical gatherings, based on the mask mandate beginning on December 1st. She stated that "The only change is that masks must now be worn in churches or houses of worship."
Basically, because our Sunday morning gatherings are open to the public, they should follow all public gathering directives.
What about this Sunday?
In preparation for the mask mandate on the first Sunday in December, we will be hosting a practice run this Sunday, November 29th. You will notice the following changes:
This test-run will give everyone a chance to try out what it feels like to sit through an entire worship gathering masked-up. We understand that wearing a mask for extended periods of time impacts each person differently.
- All staff and volunteers will be wearing masks.
- Disposable masks will be available at the Welcome Desks.
- All service components (including preaching) will be video-generated.
This is a Sunday of grace to help our church adjust to the new directives.
What about filming on Wednesday evenings?
I also requested information from Ms. Living regarding our Wednesday evening crew. Honestly, this was my greatest concern; wondering how the mask mandate would impact our filming?
Thankfully, because Wednesdays are private gatherings of 10 people, by invitation only, the directives are not the same. Ms. Living offered the following:
In consideration of Ms. Living's guidance, we have decided that vocalists will not wear masks but will be socially distanced. Instrumentalists (who are not singing) will be asked to wear masks at all times.
- "As long as the individual being taped is distanced from the taper [camera operator], this should be fine for announcements and sermon."
- For music, "if distancing is possible, then you would probably be ok but if standing together in a tight choir group, then masks required."
- For clarification, can the person being filmed remove their mask? "Yes, if they are distanced from the individual doing the taping [camera operator] and that individual is wearing a mask."
The blessing of a recording studio!
Some of you noticed that the Pastor's Office was cleaned out in November, then received a fresh coat of paint. This was in preparation for creating a separate recording studio, which will be put into use starting this Wednesday.
All speaking components (Welcome Host, BASECAMP Kids Moment, Scripture Reading, Preaching) will be conducted in this space. This will provide (1) better audio quality, and the side benefit of (2) increased social distancing. (May God bless this new space and use it for His Gospel and His Glory!)
Two Final Requests:
1. Please do not stop praying for our Music, Tech, and Hosting crew! Each week they are serving faithfully to bring the Church into phones, tablets, and televisions all over the Yukon. They are crucial to fulfilling our mission in this season, and I am privileged to serve alongside them!
2. If you have any of these people in your contact list, would you be willing to take out your phone right now, give them a call, or drop them a text? Despite the changes and anxiety of this season, they continue to keep the Gospel front and centre. The least we can do is thank them and encourage them.
Thank you again for supporting and praying for me as your pastor. I can feel it!
Lead Pastor, Mountainview Church