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Services are held at 8:30 AM and 11 AM with Sunday School at 10 AM.

Childcare is open for both worship services, Sunday School, and Kids Praise.

After carefully reading the Governor’s latest instructions, we wish to clarify the following fully compliant/least restrictive practices until the Governor offers further direction:

  • Fully vaccinated people are not required to wear masks at any CHS services or events. They may of course voluntarily choose to do so.
  • Unvaccinated staff are required to wear masks at CHS services and events.
  • Unvaccinated parishioners and visitors are strongly encouraged, but not required, to wear masks at CHS services and events.

Per Romans 13, all Christians have an obligation to submit to governing authorities and I hope we have been found faithful to do that. According to Matthew 23, we also have an obligation to love our neighbors. This includes both taking reasonable steps to ensure their safety and not unnecessarily restricting their freedoms. It is in an attempt to embrace all of these obligations simultaneously that we have adopted the fully compliant/least restrictive paradigm.

Our understanding of the current law in Virginia as described above is informed by two documents: Governor Northam’s most recent statement of May 14, and his latest Amended Executive Order. Though there is much in each of those documents, the most relevant sections for us as we continue our posture that is fully compliant and least restrictive are these:

From Northam’s most recent statement:

The CDC guidelines state that fully-vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks in most indoor settings, except on public transit, in health care facilities, and in congregate settings. Businesses retain the ability to require masks in their establishments. Employees who work in certain business sectors—including restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care, and entertainment—must continue to wear masks unless fully vaccinated, per CDC guidance. Those who are unvaccinated or not fully-vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear masks in all settings.

We pass on to you the Governor’s strong encouragement, that unvaccinated people continue to wear masks, but we will not go beyond it, to require compliance that he does not.

From Seventh Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two:

Throughout this Executive Order the Governor takes care to use the terms “should” and “must” distinctly, not interchangeably. As in the following passage:

  1. Masks – Indoors and Outdoors  All individuals in the Commonwealth aged five and older should cover their mouth and nose with a mask in accordance with CDC guidance linked here. If there is a conflict between the sector-specific guidelines and this section, the sector-specific guidelines governs.
  2. Masks Required – Employees  All employees of all businesses listed in section I, subsections A and C must wear a mask while working at their place of employment in accordance with CDC guidance linked here. Exceptions noted in section II, subsection E do not apply.

The distinct usages of “should” and “must” confirms the Governor’s strong recommendation that stops short of a requirement that unvaccinated people wear masks. Once again, we will fully comply with the law, but not add additional restrictions. We will continue to follow all required practices while affirming people’s freedom of conscience to make decisions for their own and others safety as they understand both the nature of COVID itself and all guidance from the CDC and government authorities.

To serve those who are immuno-suppressed or unable to worship in person, we will continue to live stream the 8:30 AM service on Facebook. You can join us live or watch it anytime. Click here for Facebook Live instructions.

We are taking communion at services, so if you will be worshiping with us from home, stop by the Church office Monday to Thursday from 9am-4pm to pick up your communion bags. If you have any questions or needs about communion distribution, please contact Barbara Murray (540-354-7090 or Barbara@chsroanoke.com) before Noon on Thursdays.