May 18, 2021
"Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." - Romans 12:10
We want to thank the Westside family for the patience, encouragement, and love so many have been showing during these difficult months when the pandemic has so drastically affected our lives personally and as a church family. As the above verse exhorts us, many of you have been loving and outdoing one another in showing honor. You are a great encouragement to us!
For the past 14 months, we Elders have had the responsibility of providing worship, teaching, and fellowship opportunities for the flock at Westside while doing all we could to protect people's health. We regret that we have been unable to please everyone with every decision because different people have different comfort levels when it comes to the COVID risk.
We now have some news that we hope will encourage you. Because of the significant decline in COVID cases, an increase in the number of people who have been vaccinated, and some recent directives from health authorities, effective this coming Sunday, May 23, we are implementing the following changes to our health guidelines for our Sunday morning worship services:
1. We are dropping the registration process. You no longer need to sign up. Just come and join the service.
2. We are modifying the mask guidelines. We ask you to continue wearing a mask as you enter and exit the building and when you mingle before and after the service. Of course, those with prohibitive health conditions are exempt from this. However, once you are seated in the auditorium, you may remove your mask during the service. The rationale is that personal conversations bring us in close proximity to one another whereas being seated puts more distance between family units. Some may choose to leave their masks on for the entire time, and that's okay. We ask everyone to continue practicing social distancing as much as possible.
3. We will no longer take temperatures at the door. However, we strongly emphasize that you should stay home if you are not well. This is part of showing honor to others.
We can all be thankful that God has spared the Westside family from any widespread outbreaks of COVID. However, we are sure you understand that the COVID situation is still quite fluid, and things can still change for the better or the worse. We ask you to pray that the time will come when we won't need to have any of these precautions in place, and we can all get back to what we considered to be normal before. Let us also pray that, in the meantime, all of us will grow to become disciples of Jesus who will learn to make disciples of others.
Dan Graham, Kennedy Hawkins, Dan Hickman, Dick Papworth, Mike Raichart, and Jim Williams