COVID-19 Update: March 10, 2021

GLC Family,

In light of Governor Abbott's Executive Order GA-34, we want to take a moment to communicate our updated response to COVID-19. As we understand it, the emphasis of Governor Abbott's executive order is to remove operating limits from "businesses and other establishments" and to lift the statewide mandate to wear a face covering. In our desire to refrain from making a request of our congregants greater than that of the State of Texas, the Elders of Gospel Life Church have decided to remove the requirement to wear a face covering at our Sunday Gatherings. Please understand we have not taken this decision lightly. Additionally, we recognize the tension present in conflicting responses from our Governor and federal agencies such as the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We also recognize that this will cause some of you to rejoice and others to feel disappointed or concerned. None of these things were dismissed from the decision-making process.

As mentioned above, in making this decision, our desire was to refrain from making a request of our congregants beyond our governing authorities. Additionally, as we examined data for Comal County from The CDC, we were encouraged by what appears to be a decrease in total cases, percent positivity, new hospital admissions, percent of hospital beds used due to COVID-19, and percent of ICU beds used due to COVID-19. Those metrics coupled with the prevailing thought of widespread vaccine availability in the next 2-3 months have encouraged us as we look to the future. Our hope is that, by God's grace, we might continue to experience a decrease in the presence of COVID-19 while entrusting our congregants with the decision of whether or not to continue utilizing a face covering.

Please understand that in making this decision, we are by no means stating that you should not wear a face covering. If you wish to continue to do so, please know you have our support. In fact, Governor Abbott's executive order still maintains the language "individuals are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing..." However, if you choose not to wear a face covering, you have our support as well. We are simply saying a face covering is no longer required at our Sunday Gatherings. What we do ask is that you strive for unity and peace, making your decision motivated out of love for one another. May this mark us as a church and set us apart from the world around us.

Continued Safety Measures
As we endeavor to lead well, we will still maintain and encourage the following practices:
  • Communion will still be practiced in the same manner in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • We will continue to refrain from "Passing the Peace" within the liturgy of our Sunday Gatherings.
  • Offerings will continue to be collected via the Offerings box at the exit of the Sanctuary.
  • We will endeavor to provide KN95 masks for those that desire to use them.
  • We ask that you please continue to be vigilant about monitoring yourself for any symptoms of COVID-19 and if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please remain home.
  • If you find that you have contracted COVID-19 after being present at a church function, please let us know so that we may inform our congregants to be watchful for any symptoms.

Communication & Care
As we have mentioned before, in this particular season, remaining connected to your church family is one of the most vital things you can do. With that, we encourage you, as your convictions on personal safety allow, to attend our Sunday Gatherings and participate in your Gospel Communities, whether online or in person. These are both vital means of relational support we are blessed to have within the church. Please know that as your pastors, we are here for you. While we are endeavoring to be proactive in reaching out, if you need us, please do not hesitate to call, text, or fill out an online Connection Card.

We hope as you read this update, the Holy Spirit fills your heart with grace and understanding. This pandemic has been difficult, but we are so thankful that you have continued to strive alongside us in moving through this in a unified, loving, and responsible manner. May we remind you that the Lord has been, and is, sovereign over this season and, in time, the fruit of this trial will be revealed.

Blessings,
The GLC Elder Team
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