I’ve decided to hold worship inside with masking and social distancing, but without singing this Sunday. I came to this decision after a lot of conversation, thought, and prayer. A number of things factored into my decision among them.
- The fact that Abilene is experiencing community spread.
- My strong desire to not lose any of you to COVID-19.
- I suspect that with the recent increase in local infections, more of you will be inclined to livestream the service from home—and this will work better if we worship inside the church building.
- The example of the Abilene and Chapman school boards in closing in-person classes.
- The failure of the Abilene City Council to enact a mask ordinance. One of the arguments against doing so is that we can all be responsible within our own spheres. I “get” this argument, and I’m taking responsibility within my own sphere.
- The fact that fallen human nature would probably make it hard to achieve 100 percent mask-wearing and social distancing outside.
I look forward to receiving the counsel of the Church Council at their next meeting. In the meantime, feel free to let me know if you disagree with this decision. But, in the words of John Wesley, “smite me gently.”