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St. Paul's Lutheran Church
227 S. Ramsey Ave.
Litchfield, MN 55355
Coronavirus Update 7/23/2020
Dear Members of St. Paul's,
On Wednesday, July 22nd, Minnesota Governor Waltz issued Executive Order 20-81, which goes into effect on Saturday, July 25. This order requires Minnesotans to wear a face-covering in all public indoor spaces, including places of worship. This mandate also applies to all outdoor situations where social distancing cannot be maintained.
Here is what this means for St. Paul's:
All worshipers over the age of five are required to wear a mask in church. Masks may be temporarily removed for certain activities, such as the reception of the sacrament. Children age two and under should not wear a mask for safety reasons.
Masks must also be worn outdoors on church property when social distancing is not being maintained. This applies especially to gatherings near doorways, where other individuals must pass closely by in order to enter or exit.
These masking requirements also apply to individuals visiting the church office during the week. All church employees and volunteers will follow the masking requirements unless they are alone.
Following Governor Waltz's lead at press conferences, the pastor will remove his mask when addressing the congregation in worship.
Why should we do what the government says? The simplest answer is that God commands us to obey. “It is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience” (Romans 13:5). For the Christian, obedience to the government is a matter of conscience because “the authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1). Our personal opinions about the effectiveness of masks or the wisdom of the government's mandates are beside the point. The Christian is conscience-bound to obey unless the government commands us to sin.
The Church Council continues to monitor this situation. In-person worship at St. Paul's will depend on the willingness of worshipers to follow the governor's mandate. If you choose not to worship with a mask we invite you to make use of the online worship resources that we are producing. If God wills it, this step will hasten the return to normal.
Thank you so much for your understanding! May your Christian patience and love in these unusual days be a light that shines ever so brightly!