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So wait, they want an exception for the kids that are sympomatic and sneezing??? That's insanity. I can't even imagine asking for that. 

They absolutely have to mask. 

Attending, ugh. that's hard. I get that THESE kids you know have allergies, but if you let them come to class with symptoms consistent with Covid, you have to let anyone in with symptoms of Covid, and that's dangerous. 

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[.] Apparently I am judgmental, overly pious, and not accepting of other people's free will.  I am in tears.

[.] Thank you all for encouraging me. It means more than you know.

Thanks for praying, all!! ❤️ Everything went smoothly. I only had two students, both from the same family, and they arrived wearing masks. No drama whatsoever. My classroom is in a tucked away pa

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28 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

So wait, they want an exception for the kids that are sympomatic and sneezing??? That's insanity. I can't even imagine asking for that. 

They absolutely have to mask. 

Attending, ugh. that's hard. I get that THESE kids you know have allergies, but if you let them come to class with symptoms consistent with Covid, you have to let anyone in with symptoms of Covid, and that's dangerous. 

They haven't asked for an exception. They probably wouldn't have said anything if I hadn't sent a message saying, "[....], and BTW, I missed [kids] in Sunday School today."

I just feel badly that Mom is saying to me, "Well, I guess my kids can't participate because they have allergies and can't breathe in masks."

Edited by MercyA
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22 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

This is hard.  For the record my allergy kid actually wears a mask by choice during allergy season because it helps to reduce the symptoms.  Unfortunately allergies really don’t mean you can’t also have a cold . In fact we have been caught before with him where we thought he was just having worse than usual hay fever then the following day kid number two went down.  It can be really hard to do the different.  Neck gators are relatively breathable and his preference so that might be an opton they would consider.

Thanks, @Ausmumof3!

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Just now, MercyA said:

They haven't asked for an exception. They probably wouldn't have said anything if I hadn't sent a message saying, "Happy [personal holiday], and BTW, I missed [kids] today."

I just feel badly that Mom is saying to me, "Well, I guess my kids can't participate because they have allergies and can't breathe in masks."

Oh! Well, int that case I'd sympathize, but she's different. You don't have to feel badly - this isn't your fault. Heck, mom could medicate their allergies and possibly solve this, so you are not the only barrier here. 

But, can you offer to send some lessons digitally to her for them? Will church let you live stream? And you send any hand outs via email or have her pick them up?

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2 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Oh! Well, int that case I'd sympathize, but she's different. You don't have to feel badly - this isn't your fault. Heck, mom could medicate their allergies and possibly solve this, so you are not the only barrier here. 

But, can you offer to send some lessons digitally to her for them? Will church let you live stream? And you send any hand outs via email or have her pick them up?

I am going to offer to drop off our craft for the week and let them know which Bible story we studied. 

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I am finding out that I am a person who wants to make everyone happy with me all the time.

Mom of my Sunday School kids (my friend!) does not see the necessity for masks, at all. I believe she only sees that I am depriving her kids of Sunday School because my opinion differs from hers.

Pastor does not see the necessity for masks. He sees that I am making life difficult for everyone and causing division because my opinion differs from his and the rest of the church.

I am in my mid-40's and must have led a truly charmed life to have never known what it is to feel so unreasonably guilty about trying to do the right thing and having people Disapprove.

This is a good life lesson, I am sure. 😉 

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Mercy, I will just affirm again that their ugly words are not true.

Dr. Birx just issued a strong warning, stating that our national situation with regard to infection is more dire now than it was in March. She states unequivocally that masks, distancing, and other measures must be scrupulously followed.

Good for you for taking a stand. Hold firm. You can do this.

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My kids have allergies and allergy induced seasonal asthma. It's predictable and normally we assess symptoms and go about life as normal because we know it's asthma if it's a certain time of year. This year? I think it's profoundly selfish to not consider that allergy and asthma symptoms and covid are indistinguishable. Fever is not a reliable measure. I wouldn't have my kids socialize, even masked, if they were symptomatic, and I'd appreciate it if everyone else would just follow the guidelines given out by the people our elected representatives have appointed or hired to make those guidelines! I wouldn't feel guilty at all about the kids with allergies not attending class. Mercy, IMO, maybe you should quit feeling guilty and start feeling angry. It's not a sinful emotion, but an appropriate one considering the circumstances. 

 

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Yeah. Caring about what other people think is a curse, generally. One has to decide where the line is between what they should impact and control, and what they should worry about. The closer the two lines are to one another the happier you’ll be.

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7 hours ago, MercyA said:

I believe she only sees that I am depriving her kids of Sunday School because my opinion differs from hers.

Are you? If you want masks and it's not the policy of the church, then you're keeping people out, yes. Someone else will teach the class if you step aside.

You mentioned in another post that you thought teaching the class was right, but I would suggest making peace is right. Your personal choices are affecting others, which is becoming unreasonable. A class of 2 shold be collapsed into another. Did attendance drop because of your imposed masking policy?

It seems like a lot of people in the church are being rigid right now. The pastor at ours is whining about AWANA, I kid you not. No flexibility, no imagination. Awana is now gospel and essential.

Be flexible and make peace. 

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24 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Are you? If you want masks and it's not the policy of the church, then you're keeping people out, yes. Someone else will teach the class if you step aside.

You mentioned in another post that you thought teaching the class was right, but I would suggest making peace is right. Your personal choices are affecting others, which is becoming unreasonable. A class of 2 shold be collapsed into another. Did attendance drop because of your imposed masking policy?

It seems like a lot of people in the church are being rigid right now. The pastor at ours is whining about AWANA, I kid you not. No flexibility, no imagination. Awana is now gospel and essential.

Be flexible and make peace. 

Do you mean Mercy should be flexible and allow students without masks, in order to keep the peace?  Or be flexible by stepping aside?  (Or very possibly you don't mean either of those!)

Either way, more and more, I'm sure getting tired of churches living in its own bubble of what it wants to do, and who cares about the rest.  If a church is not other-oriented, then any church dogma is meaningless.  If a church is saying "but the Bible tells us so," yet is not other-oriented, then it's missing the whole point.  That sometimes requires one to shake things up a bit, which may not feel very peaceful in the short-term.  Possibly, if the church community remains adamant about changing its approach and only gives Mercy a hard time about her choices, Mercy and family may have to make some difficult decisions, or at the very least, step aside for awhile.

It's unfortunate, because it seems like it's been a kind and loving church environment for Mercy and her family otherwise.

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Quote

e allergies 

 

Some people wear masks to help reduce allergies to pollen, dust, etc.    It can help a lot. 

 

It sounds like an excuse, not a medical inability.

 

In any case people with symptoms should be at home. 

 

 

Edited by Pen
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FWIW, my allergist increased my protocol last Spring specifically to try to control symptoms as much as possible. Without good symptomatic control of allergies, you can't tell what is an allergy and what is an infection, and mucus build up from allergies ends up being a pretty awesome ground for bacteria and viruses to take hold. And socially, if you are going to have any contact with other humans at all, you need those symptoms under control, because while you can probably recognize your allergies and if it is something different, it doesn't mean other people can, and everyone has so much (justified, IMO) anxiety about COVID that a cough or sneeze from another person FEELS like an assault. 

 

One thing that has helped me a lot WRT masking and allergies is using a mask that isn't right over my mouth. When I'm congested, I tend to mouth breathe more, and as a result, something over my mouth feels like it is choking me. A mask that is firmer and stands away, like an N95, bothers me less than a surgical mask or cloth mask right against my mouth that is a lot thinner. I honestly love my happy masks, and will probably keep replacing them even post COVID, because they are so thin and still stay away from my mouth, so my breathing doesn't feel impeded, and I can see where they would be really helpful when the trees are happily trying to reproduce themselves, even if there isn't a really easily spread respiratory virus going around. 

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14 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

When I'm congested, I tend to mouth breathe more, and as a result, something over my mouth feels like it is choking me.

Close Your Mouth: Buteyko Clinic Handbook for Perfect Health https://www.amazon.com/dp/0954599616/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_7fckFbJ0QAE1R

Might possibly be of help to you or Mercy’s friends. 

14 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

A mask that is firmer and stands away, like an N95, bothers me less than a surgical mask or cloth mask right against my mouth that is a lot thinner. I honestly love my happy masks, and will probably keep replacing them even post COVID, because they are so thin and still stay away from my mouth, so my breathing doesn't feel impeded, and I can see where they would be really helpful when the trees are happily trying to reproduce themselves, even if there isn't a really easily spread respiratory virus going around. 

 

I agree.  I like mine too. 

 

Also some of the same vitamins+ that help improve immunity also can help to decrease allergic responses — especially the respiratory type.  

 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Your personal choices always do affect others. She's trying to do what's right. If she thinks masking is the right thing, then I do not see how bowing to pressure and resigning is any more moral than staying firm. 

You change the policy in an org the right way. Her viewpoint lost with the leadership. 

Does she sesriously agree with the flipside, that the church and SS for children should be a place of protests, people demanding things be their way?

46 minutes ago, J-rap said:

It's unfortunate, because it seems like it's been a kind and loving church environment for Mercy and her family otherwise.

Love them enough to give them grace/space to be WRONG, just like you would with anyone else.

Total aside, but I've realizedI have  a problem. The church has decided seemingly they are not gong to *enforce* the state MANDATE because a mandate is not a LAW. There's lip service to the mandate but I'm saying what is really happening. Am I going to take my ds in an environment where people portraying themselves as believers are OPENLY CONTRADICTING the gov't requirements without biblical/ethical reason? Absolutely not. That would undermine my parenting. But in the same way, oepnly telling kids their parents didn't decide right, that you want more than the law or org requires is equally undermining.

So I'm giving my church grace to sort out these issues and keepig my ds OUT of there fr now. How they're handling things is defnitely teaching our kids.

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37 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

I honestly love my happy masks,

Any comment on HM vs n95? I have an option on n95s for dd for her univ. She didn;t like the fabric or eel or something of the HM. She's been wearing stupid ineffective cotton gov't distributed, oh so great because you're masking, masks and got something and gave it to e and ds.

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9 hours ago, MercyA said:

I am finding out that I am a person who wants to make everyone happy with me all the time.

Mom of my Sunday School kids (my friend!) does not see the necessity for masks, at all. I believe she only sees that I am depriving her kids of Sunday School because my opinion differs from hers.

Pastor does not see the necessity for masks. He sees that I am making life difficult for everyone and causing division because my opinion differs from his and the rest of the church.

I am in my mid-40's and must have led a truly charmed life to have never known what it is to feel so unreasonably guilty about trying to do the right thing and having people Disapprove.

This is a good life lesson, I am sure. 😉 

 

Popularity is highly overrated. One of the gifts of middle age is the strength to not bow to the pressure we receive, from birth, to conform, to please, to bow, to give in. I would not have gone as far as you did to make peace in the first place but, as I said before, you have to decide if this is a hill you want to die on and, preferably, have that decision in mind before the pressure campaign. I don't think this will end well for you.

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I see this as being about boundaries. You are setting a boundary and saying, "this is what I will require because the state says it is important and I agree" and they are pushing back on that boundary. Let me just tell you, if you give them an inch, they will take a mile.  Your boundary is reasonable. Hold fast. If they keep pushing, it's time to reconsider your teaching position. It is disrespectful to you to push back on those very reasonable (and law-abiding) boundaries. 

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Are you? If you want masks and it's not the policy of the church, then you're keeping people out, yes. Someone else will teach the class if you step aside.

You mentioned in another post that you thought teaching the class was right, but I would suggest making peace is right. Your personal choices are affecting others, which is becoming unreasonable. A class of 2 shold be collapsed into another. Did attendance drop because of your imposed masking policy?

It seems like a lot of people in the church are being rigid right now. The pastor at ours is whining about AWANA, I kid you not. No flexibility, no imagination. Awana is now gospel and essential.

Be flexible and make peace. 

They had many opportunities to tell me that my requirement is unreasonable and they would find someone else. They did not, for several reasons.

One, I am a good teacher and the kids enjoy my class.

Two, I helped make Sunday School possible this fall by combining what were previously two classes into my one. We had looked for a teacher to teach the class I later voluntarily added to mine, and no one stepped up.

Three, I have up to about a dozen potential students at any time. I only know of two of those staying out because they didn't want to wear a mask while experiencing allergies. Out of the others, two are staying home right now because of COVID. One couldn't come with Grandma because Grandma is injured. Several more only come about once a month, when their grandparents bring them or when their parent has weekend custody of them. Another two have told me they ask their mom to set the alarm earlier so they can come to Sunday School, but it doesn't often happen. So, no, it is not unusual for me to have only two students. 

I'm not going to make peace at the cost of potentially *killing* people. I don't think that's unreasonable in the least. And I *am* being flexible by teaching in a Sunday School that shouldn't even be open right now. 

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9 hours ago, Harriet Vane said:

Mercy, I will just affirm again that their ugly words are not true.

Dr. Birx just issued a strong warning, stating that our national situation with regard to infection is more dire now than it was in March. She states unequivocally that masks, distancing, and other measures must be scrupulously followed.

Good for you for taking a stand. Hold firm. You can do this.

I saw this.  I can't believe how many people think things should be back to normal. I think things are worse now!  

 

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2 hours ago, square_25 said:

We all do like to make people happy. It's really uncomfortable to be out of step with everyone else, which is exactly how evil flourishes. Strong words, I know, but I don't think we spend enough time talking to kids about how HARD it can be the good guy when no one else is doing the same. That only in retrospect do you get the stirring music and the applause, and in the moment, you only get to be the weird one that stands out. 

I think you should stand your ground either way, @MercyA. I wouldn't blame you a whit if you resigned. But if you keep teaching the class, you should require masks. 

QFT

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59 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

You change the policy in an org the right way. Her viewpoint lost with the leadership. 

Does she sesriously agree with the flipside, that the church and SS for children should be a place of protests, people demanding things be their way?

Love them enough to give them grace/space to be WRONG, just like you would with anyone else.

I am serving the church by teaching. I am happy to serve in a safe environment. While the kids are in my care, it is my responsibility to keep them safe. It is not "protesting" or "demanding my way" to take this EASY, SIMPLE step to keep them safe in my room. 

They can be wrong all they want in the sanctuary, in the grocery store, at home. They will be safe in my classroom.

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3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Are you? If you want masks and it's not the policy of the church, then you're keeping people out, yes.

 

Be flexible and make peace. 

Mercy is not keeping anyone out by requiring masks. The fact that the cchurch doesn’t require them doesn’t change that. People can still wear masks even if the church doesn’t require them. If they decide not to, that’s them making a choice, not Mercy. For heaven’s sake, some people make such a huge issue out of this on principle, and it’s ridiculous. If the parents are chill and positive about it, the kids will put on their mask and go and enjoy their Sunday school class. If the church prohibited masks,  you might be able to make the argument that requiring masks in Sunday school was then keeping people out, but I would say then that it was the church keeping people out by prohibiting them.  Because not wearing masks exposes others to disease, while wearing masks provides protection, you can’t make these two options equivalent. People can be harmed by not wearing masks, and no one is going to be harmed by wearing a mask to Sunday school. ( I’m not interested in hearing of some extreme case or someone could be harmed by a mask. As has been said many times, most people who legitimately cannot wear a mask should not be leaving the house as per their doctors.)

 

I also wonder how far you take your “be flexible, make peace “ stance if church leadership is making decisions that are wrong.  Is whatever a church decides automatically correct?

1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

 

Does she sesriously agree with the flipside, that the church and SS for children should be a place of protests, people demanding things be their way?

Asking people to wear masks during a pandemic, as is the overwhelmingly recommended for even required procedure is not making Sunday school a place of protest. Again, it’s just a mask, and wearing one protects others, which seems like a pretty Christian thing to do. Anyone making a big stink about wearing one is the one making a protest.

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

But in the same way, oepnly telling kids their parents didn't decide right, that you want more than the law or org requires is equally undermining.

While believers are obligated to follow laws they don't like as long as those laws don't violate biblical teaching, most believers would agree that legal doesn't always meet the definition of moral according to a biblical/denominational perspective (nor would every denomination make those lines in the same places) on issues like just war vs. pacifism, abortion, etc. Almost no Christian tradition would give a blanket assent to the idea that legal=moral.

I think that argument is something you'd reject in a different context. 

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

You change the policy in an org the right way. Her viewpoint lost with the leadership. 

Does she sesriously agree with the flipside, that the church and SS for children should be a place of protests, people demanding things be their way?

Love them enough to give them grace/space to be WRONG, just like you would with anyone else.

Total aside, but I've realizedI have  a problem. The church has decided seemingly they are not gong to *enforce* the state MANDATE because a mandate is not a LAW. There's lip service to the mandate but I'm saying what is really happening. Am I going to take my ds in an environment where people portraying themselves as believers are OPENLY CONTRADICTING the gov't requirements without biblical/ethical reason? Absolutely not. That would undermine my parenting. But in the same way, oepnly telling kids their parents didn't decide right, that you want more than the law or org requires is equally undermining.

So I'm giving my church grace to sort out these issues and keepig my ds OUT of there fr now. How they're handling things is defnitely teaching our kids.

 

I have been giving grace but I feel like a certain group is not giving grace back. I also feel that a certain group IS keeping people out of church. They are keeping you out for example. They are keeping me out. They are choosing to exclude people. They are sinning. It is a good thing to love them and to still get along with them but we must also speak truth. In my personal experience, it is sin. Period

 

I'm not talking about people who can't mask for medical reasons or PTSD but rather because politics appears to be an idol for them and they are not being gracious or thinking of others needs.

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56 minutes ago, MercyA said:

that shouldn't even be open right now. 

 

 Unfortunately.

  I agree that it shouldn’t even be open in person.   That ministry should change approach. 

I know you are doing it basically for your only child to have social contact.   

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Any comment on HM vs n95? I have an option on n95s for dd for her univ. She didn;t like the fabric or eel or something of the HM. She's been wearing stupid ineffective cotton gov't distributed, oh so great because you're masking, masks and got something and gave it to e and ds.

I find the happy Masks lighter and easier to breathe through, while the N95's feel heavier and hotter. Having said that, if she doesn't find the HM's tolerable from a sensory standpoint, the N95 might work better, especially with a small fan or something to increase airflow. 

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3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Are you? If you want masks and it's not the policy of the church, then you're keeping people out, yes. Someone else will teach the class if you step aside.

You mentioned in another post that you thought teaching the class was right, but I would suggest making peace is right. Your personal choices are affecting others, which is becoming unreasonable. A class of 2 shold be collapsed into another. Did attendance drop because of your imposed masking policy?

It seems like a lot of people in the church are being rigid right now. The pastor at ours is whining about AWANA, I kid you not. No flexibility, no imagination. Awana is now gospel and essential.

Be flexible and make peace. 

Our personal choices ALWAYS affect others. There's no way to avoid that. How is she being unreasonable by taking the advice of reputable experts? 

2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

You change the policy in an org the right way. Her viewpoint lost with the leadership. 

Does she sesriously agree with the flipside, that the church and SS for children should be a place of protests, people demanding things be their way?

Love them enough to give them grace/space to be WRONG, just like you would with anyone else.

Total aside, but I've realizedI have  a problem. The church has decided seemingly they are not gong to *enforce* the state MANDATE because a mandate is not a LAW. There's lip service to the mandate but I'm saying what is really happening. Am I going to take my ds in an environment where people portraying themselves as believers are OPENLY CONTRADICTING the gov't requirements without biblical/ethical reason? Absolutely not. That would undermine my parenting. But in the same way, oepnly telling kids their parents didn't decide right, that you want more than the law or org requires is equally undermining.

So I'm giving my church grace to sort out these issues and keepig my ds OUT of there fr now. How they're handling things is defnitely teaching our kids.

Give them the space to be wrong and potentially spread a virus that could be fatal? Do we give people the grace to be wrong in wearing seatbelts? 

Let's say a family didn't like seatbelts and you insisted that their kids wear seatbelts in your car. Is that undermining the their parenting? Kids in my car wear their seatbelts. I don't care what they do in the car with their parents. 

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4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Your personal choices are affecting others, which is becoming unreasonable.

No, they are choosing to not come. Unreasonable would be others insisting on spewing germs on Mercy, in her classroom. 

2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

 

Love them enough to give them grace/space to be WRONG, just like you would with anyone else.

 

She doesn't have to let them be wrong when it compromises her health and safety. 

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As for keeping the peace being the ultimate goal...not always. "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

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Part of the problem is that a Sunday school class, without the backing of the pastor, is not as unequivocally a place where the instructor has control. My center's policy is that individual instructors can set our own policies as long as they meet the health department minimums, and that we will be backed up on published policies. So, while my younger students are not required under the county mandate to mask, the center director requires it in the office, hallways, and bathrooms, and I have chosen to require it in my lessons and classes, since while my students can maintain distancing from each other, I cannot necessarily do so from them and do my job effectively. There are a few instructors, usually those teaching more physical classes in the gym or other really big spaces, who are not requiring it once students are in their places, but instead have students very spread out. 
 

If I were teaching the exact same students a half mile away at the elementary school, I would NOT be able to mandate masking in my classroom, because the school board has made it optional in classrooms for students.
 

Without the explicit statement that individual instructors can require masking, and that it will be supported, I suspect most parents will see Sunday school as being more like school than like my community center. 

Edited by dmmetler
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3 hours ago, dmmetler said:

Part of the problem is that a Sunday school class, without the backing of the pastor, is not as unequivocally a place where the instructor has control. My center's policy is that individual instructors can set our own policies as long as they meet the health department minimums, and that we will be backed up on published policies. So, while my younger students are not required under the county mandate to mask, the center director requires it in the office, hallways, and bathrooms, and I have chosen to require it in my lessons and classes, since while my students can maintain distancing from each other, I cannot necessarily do so from them and do my job effectively. There are a few instructors, usually those teaching more physical classes in the gym or other really big spaces, who are not requiring it once students are in their places, but instead have students very spread out. 
 

If I were teaching the exact same students a half mile away at the elementary school, I would NOT be able to mandate masking in my classroom, because the school board has made it optional in classrooms for students.
 

Without the explicit statement that individual instructors can require masking, and that it will be supported, I suspect most parents will see Sunday school as being more like school than like my community center. 

But she has the backing of her pastor. She told him that masking was a requirement and the pastor agreed to it. If the pastor told her that she could not make it mandatory then I agree that she could not enforce the rule in the classroom. 

Take the example I gave about wearing seatbelts. If a parent told me that I could NOT force their kid to wear seatbelts in my car, my response would be that the child cannot ride in my car. 

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On 8/2/2020 at 11:49 AM, G5052 said:

Well, some improvement here. I went to the first service, only about 1/2 had masks on the whole time. Then I left as I always do.

My son grabbed one of the elders and told him again why I always leave, and why the church should be a safe place for everyone, among other reasons. The elder said that it was making him angry too. The thought of having to handle the funeral of someone who got COVID at church is upsetting to him. So they will come out with a statement soon.

We'll see, but at least our concerns as a family were heard. I am nearly 60 with asthma, FWIW. 

 

They just sent out an email reminding people that masking protects each other and shows care for one another.

We'll see. I went to the ortho doc this morning, and of course everyone was masked and handling it very professionally. I realize that they also have liability and legal issues, but it shows care for their patients even though technically they probably don't have a lot of patients that are shedding the virus when their clients are there for bones, joints, and tendons (LOL). 

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