We continue to see encouraging developments surrounding the impacts of COVID in our community, including the loosening of restrictions. Most recently, on June 3, the COVID-related guidelines for religious organizations (LINK HERE
) were updated to incorporate the CDC’s guidance removing restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals. Additionally, during Governor Inslee’s June 3 press conference, he reiterated a full opening of the state no later than June 30.
As a result of the changes this week, effective immediately, we will adopt the following at Bethel:
- If you have been fully vaccinated, you do not need to wear a face mask or social distance. This applies to all Bethel-related activities at all locations.
- If you have not been vaccinated, please continue to wear a face mask and social distance as you have been.
- Vaccine status is based on the honor system. We will not be asking or checking for proof of vaccination. We will not segregate vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals into different locations.
- During Richland campus Sunday worship services, the HUB will be a dedicated face mask-only venue for those who prefer for any reason. You do NOT need to go to the HUB if you wear a face mask, but everyone in the HUB will wear a face mask. Prosser and West Pasco campuses may have dedicated face mask-only spaces as the need arises and the facilities allow.
- In Kid’s Ministry, we will continue to ask all staff and volunteers to wear a face mask, as children ages 5-12 are not eligible for the vaccine. We want to honor our kids and lead by example.
Note that because this change occurred late in the week, the signage around the campuses may not be updated to reflect the above changes.
While we celebrate these changes, I want to remind you that our joy is made complete in Jesus, not in relaxed COVID guidelines. Please continue to walk in humility and integrity as we enter into this last phase of the lockdown. Continue to love and respect your neighbor, knowing that their convictions may be different than your own and that unity in the body of Christ is the higher calling. Finally, please suspend judgment and extend grace, remembering that many are still hurting due to the ripple effects of the pandemic.
What a challenging journey this has been as we have navigated these ongoing changes together. Thank you for your grace, kindness, and strength. We are excited for how God is moving among Bethel Church and look with expectancy towards His plans for us in the future.
For the Kingdom,