Facemasks and Worship --
With the order mandating the use of facemasks in most public locations around Texas, there have been some questions on how it applies with church attendance on Sundays and Wednesdays for worship. It needs to be noted that the order applies “wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household,” with several specified exemptions, some of which directly impact us at Calvary Chapel Tyler:
- Children under 10 years old are exempt.
- People with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent wearing face coverings are exempt.
- People who are actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship are exempt (though, it specifies that wearing face coverings is “strongly encouraged”).
- People who are actively giving a speech or broadcast to an audience.
What does this mean for us? It means that it comes down to a matter of personal choice. While we are engaged in our worship services, facemasks are encouraged, but not required. As for our fellowship time, social distancing is strongly encouraged, and facemasks are again welcome (though not specifically required due to the exemptions). Because diagnosed cases of Covid19 are rapidly rising in Smith County, it is best if we refrain from handshakes, hugs, etc., to maintain social distancing.
Regarding the choice of wearing facemasks, let us continue to extend love, grace, and understanding to one another. Some people will wear masks throughout the entire worship service – some will wear masks during the fellowship time – some might not wear masks at all. Let us not judge one another, nor assume motive of one another. Instead, let us love in word, in deed, and in attitude.
Thankfully, even with the political controversies in our own state of Texas, we still live in a place where we are free to gather as the body of Christ (both in person and online), where we are free to sing praises to His name, and where we are free to proclaim the gospel. Let us appropriate this freedom with a clear conscience and love our fellow brothers and sisters with the love of Christ.