I received the following message late this afternoon from Larry Whitehead, Assistant to the Bishop of the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church:
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 no longer need to wear masks or physically distance — whether indoors or outdoors in most circumstances.”
Here is the link to the CDC website announcing these changes: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html
What does this mean for Bedford First?
First, no one will be asked for proof of vaccination. That is a personal issue and will not affect your reception at the church. EVERYONE IS WELCOME! The only accommodation that has been made is for those who feel more comfortable wearing a mask. Effective this Sunday, May 16, everyone sitting in the back rows of the sanctuary nearest the gigantic stained glass window MUST wear a face covering at all times. If you prefer to not wear a mask, DON’T SIT THERE!!!
1. Masks are no longer required, but you are certainly welcome to wear one if you prefer. Disposable masks will be available at the Hospitality Desk for those who want them.
2. Social distancing will not be required. Sit and stand wherever you choose (except in those designated back rows for persons wearing masks). Hugs are encouraged for those who are comfortable with them. The strings in the pews have been removed.
3. Restrictions for the first floor women’s bathroom have been lifted.
4. Small groups (Discipleship Discussions, Soul Food, Hospitality Committee, Friendship Class, etc.) are welcomed to meet in their usual spots.
5. Other changes are under consideration but not ready to be implemented.
This is an exciting start to getting back to the type of worship to which we are all accustomed. I want to thank you again for your prayers and patience as we have navigated through this strange time. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with me. Sunday is getting closer and closer to normal!