At our March Session meeting (3/9/2022), we had some significant discussion around masking and not masking, that probably reflects the congregation as a whole. There are some who will come back if we made masking optional, and some who would stay away longer. Depending on the individual risk factors, people will make individual decisions about masking, as they have been doing already in areas and activities separate from worship.
After the community service, most of the gathered group stayed, and unmasked and conversed. The energy around that was high and great, and has been missing.
As a result, we made the following decision:
We will continue to follow the CDC guidance on masking, with the updated guidelines based on community level (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html) for Williamson County. Per that guidance, at low or medium, masking will be optional. At high, we will again require masking. We felt that this was the best balance of care for physical, spiritual, and emotional care for our congregation and community. Williamson county is currently at medium, which makes masking optional for our events.