Rationale for Decision to Require Face Masks at Certain Services
After reviewing and discussing a document produced by WELS Congregational Services in conjunction with WELS members who are experts in the relevant fields, the Christ Lutheran Church Council voted by an overwhelming margin to require that face masks be required by everyone, except the pastor (for purposes of clear communication) and children aged two and under, at the 3:30 pm Wednesday and 8:00 am Sunday services. If you do not have a face mask, one will be provided for you at the door. The decision will be revisited and reassessed at the August 11 Church Council meeting.
While you are encouraged to read for yourself the document which helped guide the Council’s decision (especially pages 1-2, 8-9), the following is a brief synopsis of the Council’s rationale.
Since the current data seems to suggest that, regardless of social distancing measures, engaging in corporate worship, with the congregational speaking and singing in a relatively small and enclosed space it typically entails, creates an atmosphere that is ideal for transmission of the virus, and
Since the current data also seems to suggest that wearing face masks significantly reduces the possibility of transmitting the virus, and
Since Christ’s sacrificial love compels us to make corporate worship as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, regardless of our personal feelings or how doing so may inconvenience us, and
Recognizing that the number of positive tests in our area is small, but our members have vastly varied opinions about the danger of the virus,
The Council decided not to require face masks at all services, but to require them at the services which occur only hours before other services in the same space, namely the 3:30 pm Wednesday and 8:00 am Sunday services.
If you have questions or concerns, the Council and your pastors are ready and willing hear and answer as best they can. However, it would be of benefit to everyone if, before going to a councilman or a pastor with your question or concern, you first read and prayed about the document which guided their decision-making.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. When it comes to matters such as these, we do not always know which decisions will prove wise in the long run. What we do know however, is that the Lord of all creation will continue to use all our decisions (even our bad ones) for the eternal good of his beloved Church. And for that we continue to rejoice!