Masks Welcome April 30

As a church weathering COVID, we have endured illness and death. We have been heartbroken.  We have been very conscious of the pain here and around the world. It has been a sobering, disorienting time. 

In our little community, we have tried to keep some semblance of order and care. We have worked hard to maintain safe practices and to find ways to continue our mission and to remain in close touch with one another. We as a congregation have all learned a lot about patience and flexibility.

Now we have hopeful news about COVID-19. 

Wake County has achieved LOW risk status as measured by the CDC.  NC, Raleigh, and the Wake County Public School System went  “mask optional” on March 7. WRPC is ready to take this step as well. At church, it will be wonderful to see some full-faced smiles. West Raleigh Presbyterian Church is poised to go to a “masks welcome” policy beginning Saturday, April 30.  Here are some highlights: 

  • Indoor masking throughout our church will be optional. However, masking is welcome and will also be supported by the West Raleigh community.
  • We will continue to offer livestream videos for our Sunday services.
  • To help Sunday worshipers maintain distance, for now we will observe "Every-other-pew-vacant" seating in the sanctuary. Please watch for the drapes at pew ends, as a reminder for which the pews to leave vacant.
  • We will resume coffee and/or lemonade service on Sunday mornings. 
  • We will continue to gather outside for fellowship after our Sunday services, but we will now be able to use the welcome area during inclement weather. 
  • Individual groups/meetings/classes will be tasked with deciding among themselves whether to go to ”mask welcome,” continue to all wear masks, and/or to stay on Zoom. Groups will consider their unique needs and adjust their group behavior accordingly.  Please keep that mask handy for now. 
  • We still have many people in our congregation who will need to continue wearing masks. As our friends at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, VA, have written, “We respect individual decisions on masking and when and under what conditions individuals and families participate in church activities. ...Given individual and small group choices, we are likely to see each other with masks on and masks off as we move around the church, or between different church activities--and that’s okay.”
  • As always, people with symptoms of flu or COVID or just not feeling well are asked to stay home and to please take care of themselves.  We will continue to follow CDC guidelines for people who are experiencing symptoms or who have been exposed to COVID.  There are free COVID testing kits available at drugstores or by mail which can help distinguish between mild COVID and colds.  We very much want to work together to keep everyone healthy, especially the more vulnerable in our church family. 

 

We also hope and pray that we will soon be moving forward worldwide, making true progress against a dreadful disease. As Emma Lazarus wrote, “Until we are all free, we are none of us free.”  Please continue to keep our COVID victims, both here and abroad, in your prayers.