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A Church’s Realistic Mask-Wearing Protocol

 

I shot this photo I Botetourt County several years ago. I call it “The Church in the Wildwood” and it is what Christians dream of as a church, I suspect.

Last week, I reported that my pal Robert Stutes, a United Methodist minister in the Roanoke Valley, told me that his church had a pretty strict protocol on wearing masks during service. This is, obviously, a church that cares about its adherents and wants them to be healthy, as well as spiritual. Here is the precise wording:

UMC protocol on re-opening buildings and face coverings: If the person does not have a face covering, they do not enter any service, indoor or outdoor. Have the greeter by the door lock the door if the person approaching the building refuses to wear a face covering. Monitor the service to ensure that everyone wears the face covering the entire time on church property and until they get back in their vehicle. If someone removes his/her face covering, they will be asked to put the face-covering back on. If the person refuses, the service will be stopped and everyone will leave. The person that violates the “mandatory face-covering rule” will not be allowed back on church property until he/she agrees to comply with all of the requirements, rules, protocols, and guidelines.

“If the person does not have a face covering, they do not enter any service, indoor or outdoor. Have the greeter by the door lock the door if the person approaching the building refuses to wear a face covering.

“Monitor the service to ensure that everyone wears the face covering the entire time on church property and until they get back in their vehicle.

“If someone removes his/her face covering, they will be asked to put the face-covering back on. If the person refuses, the service will be stopped and everyone will leave. The person that violates the ‘mandatory face-covering rule’ will not be allowed back on church property until he/she agrees to comply with all of the requirements, rules, protocols, and guidelines.”

Robert adds this caveat: “Big adjustment for us also will be requiring a signed health form from anyone who attends and requiring four days’ notice if you plan to attend! It will be interesting for these laidback Methodists. And there’s no singing and no coffee!”

By admin

Dan Smith is an award-winning journalist in Roanoke, Va., and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He is an author, photographer, essayist, father and grandfather. Co-founder of Valley Business FRONT magazine and founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. On Advisory Board of New River Voice.

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