Regathering Update

Recommendations on Mask Wearing While Indoors
February 15, 2022

As the number of Covid cases continues to decline in Arlington, and the number of vaccinated children continues to increase, we have changed our guidelines from “asking” to “recommending” masks at Rivendell. As we recognize our members have various needs and comfort levels regarding masking, it seems appropriate to remind us of what we said last summer, when we adjusted to new guidelines:
"It will be a bit like going to the community pool when it first opens: some people will anxiously run to the water and jump in. Others will want to start in the shallow end. Some may prefer to stay on the deck, before deciding to get in at all. And once in, there will be various comfort levels of swimming and playing in the water. But all are welcome at the pool.

In a similar way, people will have different responses to returning to worship without a mask. Some will choose to immediately stop using them. Others will need to wear them because they haven’t been vaccinated yet, and/or because of health concerns for loved ones. Some will want time to adjust. And once in the building, we’ll have different reactions to singing, talking and being near others."

Regardless of your personal preferences, we want to welcome and honor everyone at Emmanuel. Thus, after reviewing local and national guidelines, and talking with healthcare professionals, our current guidelines are as follows:
  • You will not be required to wear a mask if you are fully vaccinated, i.e it has been at least two weeks since you received the full complement of vaccines.
  • The seats in the balcony and foyer should be used only by those who are fully masked.  
  • All who participate in our children’s ministry—kids and adults—will be required to wear a mask.
  • We will continue to offer the pre-sealed communion cups.
  • We will continue to stream the service for those unable to attend in-person.

Please remember that while all of us look forward to the day when restrictions are a distant memory, we each have unique circumstances and comfort levels that should be respected. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, and let us all give thanks for these new developments.

Scott Seaton

Pastor | Emmanuel Presbyterian Church