Since the beginning of the pandemic, your church leadership has striven to follow local, state, and federal guidelines for medical and safety protocols in order to maintain for member and guest safety during in-person worship and gatherings. Stemming from the biblical mandate to love our neighbor, we sought to engage in best practices that ensured the well-being of all our members and members of the Fort Lauderdale community. I am proud of our metrics and the leadership your Session demonstrated to our church and others during this unprecedented time. One organization we have used to measure our closing and reopening metrics is the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. On Thursday, May 13th, the CDC announced that it is now safe for people to gather together in larger crowds without masks if those individuals had been vaccinated for COVID-19.
Today, the Session approved the following recommendation: Per the most recent CDC guidelines, the Session suspends the requirement for mandatory mask wearing for in-person worship for those who have been vaccinated beginning Sunday, May 16, 2021.
This means people will no longer have to pre-register for worship or wear a mask. We still encourage, per CDC guidelines, non-vaccinated people to wear their masks as well as get a vaccine. This does not mean everything is back to normal next week. The Church is like an old Chrysler: She’s been parked for a while, and we have to get the engine started and warmed up before we take her out for a ride! In other words, not everything will be starting at once. The Task Force will be considering next steps to be recommended to the session.
Those of you who wish to continue to wear a mask for personal health reasons are encouraged to do so.
Lastly, thank you for your patience and for the love you have shown to one another as we continue to journey through this together.
Your Pastor and friend,