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Health Team Update

June 5, 2021

Dear Central,

Given the most recent CDC guidelines, declining Covid infections in our community, and recent changes by Holston Conference, masks for fully vaccinated persons are now optional.

We certainly encourage anyone who is more comfortable continuing to wear a mask to please do so. Also, we recommend unvaccinated persons take appropriate precautions for their health including wearing a mask. Parents may choose for their child to wear a mask or not based on their best understanding of their child’s risk.

Further, we encourage that until children under the age of 14 are able to be vaccinated, persons who have not been vaccinated and are leading children are asked to continue to wear masks. 

 

Yours in Christ,
Central Health Team 

May 15, 2021

Dear Central,

Like many of you, we were surprised and overjoyed by the news released by the CDC on Thursday saying fully vaccinated people were able to go mask free in most situations. 

Holston Conference later released a statement stating in part the following:

“As a Conference, we are still holding to the Wesleyan tenet of Doing No Harm. There is no method to effectively guarantee every one who attends services or meetings has been vaccinated without having people show their vaccination cards, and that is not an atmosphere a church needs to foster. So, in trying to protect others, we continue to ask all people to wear a mask to do no harm. However in situations where you can be sure everyone is vaccinated, the need to wear a mask is removed."

This means people at Central UMC
are not required, but asked to wear a mask. We have been asked to do this to follow Christ’s commandment to love our neighbor, and scriptural commands to honor one another above ourselves. Currently, children and most youth are not vaccinated. Some in our church family cannot be vaccinated because of health reasons. 

We agree with Holston Conference, we don’t want to divide our church into those vaccinated and unvaccinated. However, we also recognize the struggle fully vaccinated people may have with our conference’s request. Consequently, if members of a group are fully vaccinated, they may meet without masks.

We will continue to share communication from the conference as we receive it. Thank you for your support and for being the body of Christ.

Yours in Christ,
Central Health Team 

May 4, 2021

 

Dear Central,

As you know, we as your health team at Central have been meeting regularly during the pandemic to make decisions for the health and vitality of our congregation. We thank you for your support and for doing all you are doing to keep our church vital and in ministry to the community to lift up the name of Jesus. 

In recent weeks, the CDC and the Holston Conference have made some changes to their protocols.  Based on CDC guidance, all Holston Conference UMC churches at this time are still required to be masked for indoor events and services.  Local church health teams, however, have been given freedom to make changes to their protocols.  

 

Our changes at Central are: 

  1. Masks are not required for outside gatherings.  

  2. Singing with masks is permitted.

  3. Hymnals and Bibles will be available.

  4. We will have physical and digital bulletins available again on May 16.

  5. We will have all front and awning doors unlocked on Sunday mornings. 

 

At this time, we have decided to keep our current church office hours, celebrating communion in our current manner, continue to limit outside group functions, and encourage you to bring your own coffee and food. We will keep recording attendance to notify you in the event of a covid case.  

Finally we invite you to consider vaccination if you haven't yet.  Loudon County is the #1 vaccinated county in Tennessee.  Over 210 of our church folks have been vaccinated.  Continue to be wise, be safe and use discretion for your own health. 

Yours in Christ,
Central Health Team 
(Rick Harvey, Jim Kern, Scott Layer, Audrey Madigan, Dan McCammon, Jake Platfoot, Joyce Sayers, Sharon Yarbrough)​

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