On Monday, August 30th, Governor Pritzker’s current mask update went into effect. This applies to ALL indoor spaces requiring the use of a mask. This applies regardless of being vaccinated or not. While this is no doubt an unpopular decision to many people, it is the rule we have to adhere to.
Last Thursday, an update from Pastor Allan Buss, President of the Northern Illinois District of the LCMS, stated that his staff had followed up with the governor’s office and confirmed that this did include churches.
This current mandate does not impose capacity restrictions or shutdowns at this point. Tightening up or loosening of the health restrictions will be made as deemed necessary. The spread of the Covid variant is progressing at a faster and more devastating rate than before.
King of Glory will have to adhere to the wearing of masks when indoors and we will recommend social distancing as much as possible. Our position on this will adapt as necessary.
Below are some key experts from the communication from President Buss. If anyone would like the full version, send me an email and I’ll forward.
|Dear Partners in the Gospel and the Lord’s Church,|
“What’s next?” Many of us have a found ourselves asking that question in many circumstances, including recent COVID challenges.
But before we despair, disengage, become bitter or lose heart, we are reminded, “He (Christ) is before all things, and by him all things hold together.” (Colossians1:17) We are being held together, and you and I are being held in the blood stained hands of Jesus. We rejoice in His eternal promises. No wonder we are hope-filled and grateful. I sincerely thank you for all the time, effort and wrestling over the last year and now again. Your labor is not in vain. (I Corinthians 15:58)
In a phone call with a lay leader last evening, we discussed recent mandates and how congregations and schools deal with these new challenges. We seem always to be asking, “Now what?” In these discussions the Lord will provide grace, strength and wisdom especially “peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:20) While not always obvious, we ask “What is in the best interest of the congregation and those who gather?” Never far away is, “How does this decision effect not only my personal perspective but also my neighbor whom I love in Christ?” As hard as it can be, there are times we need to set aside our personal opinions for the sake of others. We do not set aside the Word of God!
Governor Pritzker mandated, effective August 30, 2021, that face masks will be mandatory, regardless of one’s vaccine status, in all public indoor spaces throughout the state. We have been in direct contact with the Illinois Department of Public Health and have been informed that the mandate does include houses of worship. In all our conversations with the Alliance for Defending Freedom, we have heard that it is their understanding that there is not a religious liberty issue when dealing with mask wearing in public worship or in our Lutheran Schools.
Wearing masks does not limit our opportunity to assemble to hear God’s Word and receive His sacraments. It does not prevent us from carrying out the godly task of teaching children in our schools. Out of consideration and respect for the government as well as for the vulnerable among us, it would seem wise to comply with this mask mandate.
We encourage engagement with our federal, state and local leaders as part of our calling as Christians who are citizens. We have many ways to express concerns as well as care for our country and community. We are regularly praying for good government.
You can continue to find updates on our web page at nidlcms.org/coronavirus, and should check this resource frequently.
The above is from President Buss. Any comments, concerns or questions can be directed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-673-5785.
Congregational Chairman – King of Glory Lutheran Church