Today, I want to share with you what to expect over the next 40 days, how we are applying the rapidly changing guidance with love and honor, and why we are choosing to do it.
What to Expect Over the Next 40 Days
Different Comfort Levels
We know that everybody has different comfort levels when it comes to gathering with other people. That’s normal. And, it’s to be expected.
No Temperature Checks
Beginning immediately, we will not be requesting temperature checks as you enter our facilities.
Limited Capacity - Related Procedures
However, registration, check in, and physical distancing procedures will remain in place until we transition from limited capacity to full capacity.
Hospitality Food & Beverages
We are currently learning about how to offer safe ways to socialize around food and beverages and expect to create these spaces soon.
Our plan is to continue using prepackaged communion elements and re-evaluate this in the fall.
Because the current guidance regarding wearing facemasks would create a divisive dichotomy between vaccinated and unvaccinated persons and considering the fact that the guidance does not conflict with God's Word, we ask that facemasks are worn both indoors and outdoors while on-campus.
How We Apply Guidelines with Love and Honor
It's Always About Jesus' Mission
Jesus' mission for us is clear: we are disciples who make disciples who love God, love people, and live like Jesus.
We are the family of Jesus so that people who do not yet have a faith family have a place to be invited into and experience love and belonging.
Embracing Opportunity in the Challenge
As the world becomes more divided. This is indeed a big challenge. However, we as Jesus’ church have the opportunity to stand more united.
Jesus says it best as He prays that we may become perfectly one.
Why? So that the world may know that Jesus loves them (John 17:21). And I know that Jesus’ love has changed me. It has certainly changed you, too.
Love Changes Everything
In this unique moment, when we gather together on-campus, I believe that the best way that we can love God, love people, and live like Jesus is to freely and joyfully choose to stand together unified in Jesus and not in individual choices.
Everybody Wins When We Honor Each Other
We all win when we choose to honor each other by placing our freedom of individual choice aside for others, we level dichotomies and diffuse division.
We also all win when we honor the guidance from those whom God has placed in authority over us - in so far as it doesn't conflict with God's Word or lead us to sin.
Indeed, how good and pleasant it is when we live together in unity (Psalm 133:1).
Why We Are Choosing to Do This?
We Have a Choice
We always have a choice and in freedom and joy, we choose unity over division. We will not allow facemasks or guidelines to divide who God has brought together here at Our Savior and in our greater Pierce County community.
We Promote Unity
The current guidance regarding wearing facemasks would create a divisive dichotomy between vaccinated and unvaccinated persons. Creating two different sections of people and checking vaccination cards does not promote unity.
We Honor Authority
We do not believe that the current guidance conflicts with God's Word nor does it lead us to sin.
Jesus' Mission Is Greater
God's Work is too valuable for us to loose influence over guidelines. I know this decision does not make everybody happy and I certainly know that not everybody agrees with it. I also know that biblical unity is not defined as human happiness or social agreement. Rather, biblical unity looks like a shared conviction that Jesus is our Lord and Savior and that Jesus’ mission is so much greater than this issue and much longer enduring than this present moment.
We will Continue to Wisely and Safely Adapt
We will continue to monitor further guidance as it is released and will adapt in wise and safe ways.
Meet Pastor Tim
Tim Bayer has served as Our Savior's Lead Pastor since September 2019. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Concordia University - Irvine, a National Leadership Facilitator and Resource, and a Community Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Tim studied sociology, psychology, and theology prior to earning his M.Div at Concordia Seminary - St. Louis. He has also is a candidate for an Ed.D (ABD) in Transformational Leadership. He is married to Beth and they have three young children. Together, they enjoy exploring the outdoors, experiencing culture, and pizza and movie nights.