Horizons is following guidelines provided by Lancaster County for mask-wearing for children age 2 to adult while in the building. We believe this simple adjustment to our Sunday morning places our greatest focus on those most vulnerable while upholding our values for worship and communal gathering. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.
December 4, 2021
With the mayor’s most recent extension of the mask mandate until Dec 23 and the “mask fatigue” many of us are experiencing, we thought it might be helpful to encourage you all as important members of our community and explain a little more about how we’ve made our decisions around masking. It’s likely we’re getting close to the end of this, but until then a little extra encouragement never hurts.
When the first round of shutdowns and mask requirements came, the staff and leadership, were just like every other organization. We didn’t know quite what to do or think about it, yet we knew we had to do something. We ended up setting a procedure similar to LPS. It was a hard season; we weren’t all in the same place regarding precautions and safety measures. As time drew on, the SPPRC and I as Head of Staff, I could see the toll it was taking on our staff team. We needed a better approach.
Then came the second round of mask requirements in early August. I could see Lincoln citizens were unhappy. Social media was hot. It was still a hard decision to make about how Horizons would proceed, but I knew we needed to choose around better terms than the previous attempt.
Shortly after the city mandate, we put our own policy in place asking all in attendance, including those aged two and up, to wear masks. While I don’t enjoy wearing a mask and feel I have pretty robust immunity, I do love the decision we made.
One, the decision wasn’t politically motivated. There was no talk about what side we were on, about who was falsifying the truth, or what statement we wanted to make as a church.
Two, the decision was made together as a staff taking into consideration the needs and preferences of everyone. And, we agreed we’d wear our masks in unity with each other. We set aside our personal preferences for the sake of our staff and church unity, deciding the latter was more important.
Three, the decision was made in accordance with Biblical values and Jesus’ examples. The majority of us as staff and leaders are not choosing to wear masks on Sundays because we’re concerned for our personal health. We’re choosing to for the sake of others. While many of us, me being the forerunner, believe we’re pretty invincible and can actually, secretly fly (that might just be me), we know that no matter of willpower or positive thinking can stop us from transmitting the covid virus to someone more vulnerable. We’ve decided others’ wellbeing is more important than our personal freedoms. Jesus lived into this value to the extent of dying on the cross. Every American soldier is asked to ascribe to the same belief.
And so, whether we agree as a church with the mayor’s decisions or not, whether we enjoy wearing masks or choose to other places beyond our Sunday worship or not, we’ve made the decision to honor the efforts of our local city government, as directed in Paul’s letters, and follow through with what they feel is best. Plus, speaking personally again, being a work-first-play-hard-the-rest-of-the-time kind of person, the quicker we get through this, the sooner we’ll be beyond it.
We know wearing a mask as you enter the building on Sundays may not be your favorite choice and that other churches are choosing not to require masks. But we invite you still to join us as we seek unity as a church, to make a difficult decision for us that may turn out to be the best decision for someone else. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a small cost to pay for the sake of another’s wellbeing.
I personally thank you in advance as we continue to point toward the life-changing work of Jesus in our midst. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me. And in the meantime, thanks for being Horizons. You are making a difference because you are.