By now, you’ve likely heard the latest update regarding the CDC guidelines allowing vaccinated people to not wear masks nor be physically distanced both indoors and outdoors. This is certainly big news and a potential much needed turning point in many ways for our communities!
Our approach toward the Covid-19 pandemic since the very first week has been to take a Biblically based, community honoring, medically responsible, and strategically flexible approach toward decision making. We have tried to be responsive, but not reactionary.
The news this week came down very late in our work week, and so once again we are taking a measured, thoughtful, and team-oriented approach. For this coming Sunday, May 16, we will continue to recommend masks and distance in our services. There are several reasons for this:
As of this writing, the state will not be fully open until June 30 and Pierce County will not move forward to Phase 3 until Tuesday, so our local context has not changed for this weekend.
At RVCC, we are intentionally family oriented with many children and students that come on Sunday mornings. Children have not yet had the chance to be vaccinated. Students have not had the time needed to be fully vaccinated. We need to take the time next week to consider the implications on our Children and Student Ministries and communicate clearly to our staff, volunteers and parents about any changes that may take place.
We need to be able to communicate clearly to the whole church, and in multiple ways and places, about any changes to Sunday mornings so that those who wish to stay masked or unmasked, distanced or not, can make personal decisions in advance, without any surprises on a Sunday morning.
We need to be able to consider any changes related to other ministries, such as hospitality, cleaning, worship team, community groups, Community Dinner, student programming, and others. This requires thoughtful and robust leadership discussions that we simply do not have the time for prior to this Sunday.
Let me hasten to say that we are VERY excited to continue to have these discussions based on the new recommendations and guidelines and decide how to apply them in our context! For this coming Sunday, even if you disagree with our approach, please continue to respect our process and decisions. Having said that, I'm personally anxious to sing, unmasked, with you all – perhaps very soon! We look forward to seeing you and we love you, Rainier View!
Please make sure you check email or social media next week for all the latest updates and pray for our leadership teams in this crucial time. Thank you!