Important Covid-19 Update

To:  The Mount Oak Church Family

Re:  New developments and regulations pertaining to the Coronavirus

Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ.

As most or all of you know, as of this moment, the Delta variant is surging, particularly among the unvaccinated. As of August 2nd, PG County, MD moved into the category of “substantial” community transmission. The CDC recommends that people who have been vaccinated wear masks indoors and urges people who have not been vaccinated to do the same.

On Thursday, August 5th it was announced that as of Sunday, August 8th at 5 pm, masks would be mandated at all indoor venues in PG County, MD. We are still awaiting the specific regulations that will apply to Houses of Worship.

So, what does this mean to us at Mount Oak?

First, for this weekend’s events (August 6th – 8th

  • In keeping with PG county directives, we will continue to worship indoors but are requesting that everyone wear masks with the exception of:
  1. People for whom wearing a mask causes a bona fide health problem
  2. People who are speaking or singing so as to lead worship – as they are speaking or singing. (Note: speakers and singers are to be twelve feet away from the congregation.)
  3. Note: People who are not vaccinated are strongly urged to wear masks.
  • We are requesting that if you are sick, you stay home.
  • The Sunday meal scheduled for August 8th at 1:00 pm, will take place outside, as will as many other StreetReach activities as possible.
  • Weather permitting, Shirletta Butler move the children’s ministry outside.

After this weekend we will be following PG County directives regarding the wearing of masks indoors. Our Reopening Well Task Force communicated via email before the new PG County directives were given. We will be meeting again next week so that we can provide more specific guidance.

Finally, I know that our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions about this virus vary widely, even within our fairly small church family. As you pastor, let me ask you to do two things. First, please try to leave your anger at the outside world outside our doors (and ZOOM meetings). My focus is on keeping your souls strong and your bodies safe when we meet. Second, please be flexible. Changing our way of doing things once is not that hard. Changing what we do every few months can be exhausting. In truth, the test of our faith at this hour may be how many times we are willing to change direction.

May God bless you, and please keep the church in your prayers.

Pastor Barnes

Mount Oak Fellowship of the UMC