July 7, 2021 Update
In light of Governor Hogan lifting the State of Emergency in Maryland, and some of the changing landscape around the response to Covid-19, we felt it was time for a communication update.
At MVCC, masks are optional, but love is not.
Masks are optional. MVCC welcomes all who are vaccinated AND unvaccinated to attend services at all campuses and events.
1 We continue to allow masks to be optional for all ages, adults and kids. However, per CDC, we recommend that they be worn for those who are unvaccinated when attending services. Please note that masks for children ages two and over will continue to be at the parents’ discretion.
We have been very prayerful and careful to make decisions about the safety of our congregation and staff. These decisions have followed the recommendations of the CDC, and the executive orders of the Governor and the county executive. We have listened to our congregation, networked with other churches and had discussions with our staff and elders about each change that was made throughout the pandemic. We are thankful that, since re-launching in-person worship services on August 9th, 2020, we have not had a single report of anyone being exposed to or contracting COVID due to attending an MVCC event.
We have also cared for families who have been both directly and indirectly affected by this pandemic and will continue to do so. We are thankful for the efficacy of the vaccines in this country and around the world to lessen the spread of COVID-19. But we also realize that the question of whether and when to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is a personal decision to be made in consultation with one’s doctor and other medical and scientific professionals, taking into account one’s unique circumstances.
Love is not. Romans 13:8 says “Let no debt remain outstanding except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” Paul also writes in Romans 14:7 that “none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.”
We are instructed by God’s word to care for our physical bodies as they are not our own, they are the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1Cor 6:19-20)
We are also taught the most important laws are to Love God and Love our Neighbors as we live in community with other believers. In doing so, we are called to look out for the weaker and more vulnerable among us and care for one another. (John 13:34-35, 1Cor 8:9, Phil 2:3)
Finally, we are taught that we will suffer, face hardship, sacrifice for the good of others, and yet have tremendous hope that the gospel secures us for all eternity. (James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-5, Eph 1:11-13)
The implications of these and other passages all throughout the Word of God is that we need to consider the needs of others, especially in areas where we may disagree about the approach to take on any given subject. Please be considerate towards those with whom you may disagree, seeking first to understand, then be understood. Please also seek to cultivate unity as a church, and with God’s help, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3)
1 The Ballenger Creek campus and any MVCC sponsored offsite events will comply with what the hosting organization requires for facility use.