Starting Friday, Oregon is renewing its mask mandate for indoor gatherings. This is due to “the unbridled spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Oregon, which contributed to the highest daily count of new cases in the state on Tuesday, with more than 2,300. Hospitalizations are also at a record high, with staffed intensive care beds about 90 percent full.” [Source]
With the direction of our diocesan hierarchs, that means that starting this weekend, we are back to wearing masks during services. The exceptions are serving clergy, readers and singers (those using their voices). You would of course remove the mask for communing, and when venerating holy objects. You will also have to wear the mask during the fellowship time, except while eating. Provided people will follow these instructions, we will continue to have out fellowship meal together.
I know how tired we all are of the ups and downs, and ever changing rules and restrictions. We had a month of reprieve – or rather a reminder of what things can (and will) return to! In the meanwhile, we struggle on for the love of one another, focusing on Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Let us carry our crosses together, laboring for the glory of God, love for our neighbor and respect for our civil authorities.
Thank you for understanding.