Why I Will Wear a Mask

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:1-4 NRSV

Thankfully, we are re-entering shared life on our church campus this week through small group meetings. While we are working hard to minimize risks, you need to know that we cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19. Each of us plays a critical role in minimizing risks on campus for “each other.” We will rely on each other to follow recommendations. If we don’t follow recommendations, we raise the risk for one another.

Let Paul’s words to the Christian church at Philippi become our words for each other: “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but the interests of others.”

Our faith compels us to lead an “other-centered” life. We are to embody Jesus’ words: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Towards that goal of care and concern for “other’s,” there will be four cornerstones to everything we do inside the building until further notice:

  1. If you don’t feel good, please stay home (err on the cautious side!)
  2. Wash your hands frequently (like your mother is watching!)
  3. Strive to maintain social distance (six feet apart.)
  4. Wear a mask as an act of Christian compassion (for “the other.”)

Our staff team will lead the way and set the example. The one that seems to be most challenging to people is wearing a mask. Even if you don’t say it, I can hear some asking: “Pastor Mark, why do I need to wear a mask?”

I’ll tell you why I wear one. As time goes on, we learn more and more about how this virus spreads. Droplets that come out of our mouths seem to be one of THE MAJOR ways we share this virus. A simple cloth mask catches the great majority of liquid droplets that we otherwise would spread into the air around us.

Why do I wear a mask? I wear one not so much to protect me, but to protect you – the people I love. Would you join with me? I ask you also to wear masks to protect “others” as an act of Christian compassion.

We pray the circumstances will come when our mask protocol can change. But until that time comes, show people how much you care for them by wearing a mask as an outward symbol of your love. Help us reduce the risk as we gather inside our buildings again.

God’s Peace,

P.S. Small group meetings are now possible in our building. Schedule all your meetings through Christine Lewis, the gatekeeper to the rooms set up to meet social distancing requirements. Contact Christine from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM Monday through Thursday at 770-487-6499 or christine.lewis@ptcumc.org.