Apple Valley, Minnesota

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Wednesdays · 6:00 PM

Grace Council Update: Mask Policy & More

Greetings family and friends of Grace,

We have been through quite a ride the past 24-plus months! Our community has experienced, and continues to experience a lasting pandemic, global conflict, and witnessing firsthand the social and political injustices around us. Safe to say – there is no guide for how a church navigates the changing landscape around us.

Early last year as we began to explore ways we could safely regather in person as a faith community, the Church Council solicited volunteers to form a Regathering Team. This amazing team provided data-driven recommendations to Church Council diligently and with amazing clarity and nimbleness as the data and pandemic evolved rapidly.

As we enter the next phase of the pandemic, the Church Council recently voted to transfer the responsibility of generating policy recommendations on how we regather safely exclusively to Church Council. While the final responsibility has always been with Council, we wanted to acknowledge this new phase of the pandemic where we have been gathering in person, new variants appear to be more rapid, and we have new medical wisdom and advances to manage the pandemic. It is with the utmost admiration and respect that we thank the Regathering Team for their tireless work. We are planning a formal recognition and celebration of their efforts in the near future. Thank you to that team!

Additionally, the Church Council has voted to adopt the following revised face mask policy, effective May 1Face masks are strongly recommended, but not required. Ministry Teams, staff, and committees will also begin exploring restarting coffee hour and funeral lunches effective May 1. As we have seen in the past, please know that this is subject to change. If the evolving pandemic suggests a return of required face masks is warranted, the Church Council will consider revising the policy.

This was a difficult decision. Our primary concern as a Council and faith community has been to care for the entire community – especially those at increased risk or unable to receive a vaccine. We did not make this decision easily. We fully acknowledge that this will come with great joy and celebration for some and great disappointment and sadness for others. We hope Grace can continue to be a place of unrestricted welcome where we engage in the work of being God’s people with God’s people.

Thank you all for your patience, adaptability, and respective dialogue. Please do not hesitate to connect with a member of the Church Council or one of our pastors to discuss this further.

Grace and peace,

Cody Tresselt-Warren
Council President

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