Pastor Lyndol here. I’m checkin in with you today concerning an update about Covid-19 protocols here at LakeRidge. As you are probably aware Governor Greg Abbott announced late last week that as of March 10 that the State of Texas is 100% open for business and that the statewide mask mandate would end.
After the announcement was made our LakeRidge Reopening Task Force which is made up of doctors, medical professionals, lay leadership and staff members met to discuss what this means for our congregation. Based on the declining rates of Covid-19 in Lubbock County and the number of people who have been fully vaccinated at this point, as well as taking into account the continuing advice of the CDC we are making the following changes beginning this Sunday, March 14:
- We will implement a seating arrangement in the sanctuary and for LakeRidge Praise where 2/3 of the seating will be fully open and you are welcome to sit wherever you would like to be seated. The other 1/3 of seating will continue to be socially distanced and available to those who feel most comfortable continuing to wear a mask. With these seating changes in place we are choosing to do away with the Easter Sunday reservation system. The increased capacity means that we should be able to host everyone comfortably.
- We also plan to resume the passing of the plate as we worship God through our offerings, tithes and extra dollars. Ushers will wear gloves and use a wipe to sanitize the rim of the plates after it has passed through each isle. Online giving and texting to give will continue to be available as well.
- The prayer rails will once again be open for usage during our worship services for those who desire to come forward during our corporate times of prayer.
- Adult Sunday School is available for your spiritual growth and fellowship. Sunday school classes for children and youth and the nursery are also fully open, but with teachers and staff continuing to wear masks for the safety of our children.
- The coffee bar will be open for coffee only beginning March 21. We look forward to the day, hopefully soon, when we can resume the donuts as well. For now, coffee bar volunteers will fix your coffee for you and then hand it off.
- We encourage everyone to continue to use the hand sanitizing stations located around the building. Our outstanding custodial team will do their best to keep our facilities clean, sanitized and ready for your usage.
Thank you for your continued patience, flexibility and willingness to sacrifice for others as we navigate life together in the midst of a pandemic. Please know that our team has worked diligently to make the best decisions that we can for the good of the greater whole. While it is impossible to please everyone we feel that this plan is a solid, well intentioned next step for our congregation. As progress continues to take place we will take other additional steps.
I realize that we are now going on a whole year since the start of COVID-19. Can you believe it? It is my sincere hope and prayer that with the start of the vaccination process that we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
As your pastor I want to ask each of us to continue to love our neighbors as we ourselves want to be loved. Please respect the thoughts and intentions of others. We will not make anyone feel lesser or non-spiritual because they have a different approach. Listen to me, sitting in open seating is not a sign that you are more mature, or more godly, or more committed than the person who chooses to practice social distancing. Likewise, practicing specific pandemic protocols does not make you smarter or more caring than the person who chooses to sit in open seating. You’ve always done a beautiful job of loving and caring for others in the past, let’s keep that same attitude of love and concern as we find our way forward together.
Please know that I love all of you. Until the day when we can remove all restrictions, my prayer for all of us is that we would know and experience the peace of God which passes all understanding.