Current Covid Precautions
An important note from our leaders
On August 20th our county's Health and Human Services Department enacted a mandate that masks be worn at indoor gatherings. Just a quick look at the county's Facebook Page will show you how divided our community was about this. I don't have to tell you what the conversation looked like. You already know. It was heated. It was polarized. It was ugly.
How do WE, the Church, respond to such a culturally divisive issue? Well, Jesus and the Apostles don't give much guidance on mask policies but they do have a lot to say about how we interact with the world. In a word, Love. As believers must be united around the thing that binds us; Our love for Jesus and our shared mission to share that love with others.
May I PLEASE remind us all that:
"Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against ... the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." [Ephesians 6:12]
"Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” - Jesus [John 13:34-35]
"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?" [James 3:9-11]
More and more, the dialogue surrounding the COVID situation is dividing people. But the church seeks to unify people around Jesus. There are many other topics that can (and will!) divide us but let us not forget the many mandates we have from Jesus do all things in love. Please guard your hearts and be careful with your words as this season carries on.
As the virus continues to spread, who knows what the coming months will bring? I honestly hate to think about it. But can we, as the Church, seek unity in Jesus above all else? Let's find ways to serve people in need. Let's intentionally fellowship in whatever ways the circumstances allow. And let's remain committed to being God Chasing, Grace Shaped, Love Agents.
- Chris Woolard
On behalf of our Elders
So, let's talk about the new mask mandate.
For those not familiar with it, here is a link to the document the New Hanover County has posted.
It states that masks should be worn indoors to help slow the spread of the COVID virus.
There is also a section listing exemptions from the ruling which includes a clause allowing for people participating in worship to remove their masks. With all that on the table, what will we do on Sunday mornings?
What is Venture Doing?
*Beginning Sunday, August 22nd:
Our leadership is requesting attendees to wear a mask while entering and moving about the building. This will respect the wishes of our county as well as attempt to lessen the chance of unknowingly spreading the virus. Please attempt to seat yourself 6 feet from other family units. Once you are at your seat you may feel free to remove your mask for service. This will also respect the option you have to be unmasked during worship.
Kids Classes: We are requesting that kids in our K-5 classes wear masks when inside the building for classes. We are scheduling lessons and games outside as much as weather permits so our little ones aren't constantly in a mask. Parents, we encourage you to instruct your child on any additional precautions you would like them to take.
*All of this is a request. We are not able to police this. Please respect one another.
*As always: Make the choice to stay home if you have a fever or other symptoms that may indicate that you've contracted the virus. If you have been exposed to the virus please follow the commonly recommended procedures.
Why are we doing this even though the mandate gives us an out?
One way to love others is to protect the vulnerable among us. Masks may not be the perfect solution, but they do help.
More directly, we have been asked to do so. Take a minute to read Romans 13:1-2. Paul instructs us against being overtly rebellious against our governing authorities. There are channels to debate things like this and we're blessed to live in a place where that is possible. However, our designated time of fellowship and worship is not that time.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. This season of tough decision has been difficult. We are aware that our diverse family brings with it opinions on both sides of the isle. It's a joy to see diversity unified in the name of Jesus! See you Sunday.
- Venture Church Elders and Staff