​So far, our Sunday services have been going well since we reopened on June 21. I want to thank everyone who helped make that possible, particularly the Church Council and a few other volunteers who worked diligently to devise best practices to ensure our safety as much as possible while we are together. I thank those who have volunteered to help on Sunday mornings by serving as usher, liturgist, or musical performer. I’ve really been enjoying performances by our Bell Choir, and thank Mindy for inviting me to join in the July 19 performance of “Noah and the Ark.”

Most importantly, I thank everyone who has followed our guidelines on Sunday mornings by wearing a face covering and maintaining proper physical distance. Every strategy to avoid spreading illness—and to avoid facing the need to cease services again—is worth it!

“The number one thing a mask can do is protect the health and the life of yourself and those around you,” Governor Beshear said on July 9. “It can make sure we don’t lose more people than we should, it can keep our cases down, and it can help us to continue to reopen our economy.” It seems that so much in our society today has become politicized, including wearing face makes during a pandemic. Something I miss about our culture in the past is the general consensus that science is real.

According to health experts, wearing face coverings not only protects others, it also lowers the infection risk for those wearing masks by 65%. Governor Beshear also pointed to analysis from Goldman Sachs showing that if everyone in America was required to wear face coverings in public, it could save the U.S. economy from losing 5% of the Gross Domestic Product. 

Some of us may feel that wearing face coverings in church constitutes a violation of personal freedoms. I believe that if Jesus were physically with us in church during this pandemic, he would wear a face covering and would urge us to do the same, not only to protect ourselves but one another. I, too, consider the choice about wearing a face covering to be a matter of freedom. In fact, I am thankful for and celebrate the fact that we are free to love our neighbor by choosing to wear a face covering!

Patricia and I pray that God continues to bless each of us with good health and bless our congregation with vitality as we serve our community and world in Christ’s name. ​​

A Message from Pastor Paul Forrey