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As most of you know, the Ontario mask mandate is being removed as of March 21, 2022. In their announcement, the provincial government clarified that private organizations are free to develop their own policies related to masks. In Simcoe County, our own Chief Medical Officer of Health is on record expressing concerns about the timing of this change and encouraging people to continue wearing masks for the time being.

Our board has considered all this information and, due to the nature of our Sunday morning gathering (extended time together in the same space, socializing, and singing) and the number of vulnerable people in our church family, feels it is wise if we continue to use masks in our Sunday morning.

When you arrive on Sunday morning, beginning on March 27, 2022, you will see signs encouraging masks and there will be disposable masks available for people to use. Again, we recognize that masks are no longer mandated. Wearing of them will not be strictly enforced. But we continue to encourage masks in our Sunday gatherings for the time being out of a desire to care for the vulnerable among us. We are grateful for your understanding of our motives for caution.

We are also very aware of the divisive nature of any decision we would make in this time. This is why a) we are asking people to wear masks, and b) we are not mandating it. Our prayer is that we will be able to continue to be united around Jesus even as we struggle with disagreements related to the handling of this pandemic and the ongoing presence of COVID-19. May Paul's words in Philippians 4:5 be an encouragement to us as we engage with those who choose differently than we would like in this time:

Let your gentleness be evident to all.