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Updates and Changes to Policy on Masks and Worship

Updates to FUMC Austin’s Policy on Masks and Worship

As we stay on this journey together through the COVID-19 pandemic and consider masks and worship, FUMC Austin remains committed to leading with love of neighbor across our community. For this reason, we continue to manage our response to the pandemic by seeking guidance from the medical community and cooperating with local and national government recommendations and requirements. With all of this input in mind, FUMC will proceed with the plan we shared in March, revising our policy regarding masks and worship, with changes beginning this Sunday, April 24.

Updated Policy on Masks and Worship

Effective this Sunday, April 24, and for the foreseeable future, we will operate as follows with regard to masks and worship in the Sanctuary:

  • When Travis County Community Level is “Low” (according to the CDC), masks are optional in worship.
  • When Travis County Community Level is “Medium,” masks are recommended in worship.
  • When Travis County Community Level is “High,” masks are required in worship.

Because Travis County’s current community level is low, masks are optional when worshipping in person at this time. (For more information about Austin-Travis County’s current COVID-19 risk-based guidelines, click here.)

All Are Welcome — Worship Options for Every Comfort Level

Recognizing that there is a wide variety of comfort levels at FUMC, we want to remind you that there is a correspondingly wide variety of options for you to worship with this community of faith:

  • In the weeks before Easter, typical in-person attendance at the 11:00 a.m. worship service ranged from approximately 150-200 people, with ample room to spread out in our Sanctuary, particularly in the balcony.
  • Attendance at the 9:00 a.m. worship service is about half that, and presents a great opportunity for those who prefer a smaller crowd with more space on the main floor of the Sanctuary.
  • We will continue to livestream the 11:00 a.m. worship service to a number of online venues, providing an opportunity to participate in worship wherever you are most comfortable.
Masking Updates for Childcare and Children’s Sunday School

In coordination with the masking policy above, our masking policy for Childcare and Children’s Sunday School has also been revised as follows and will be effective this Sunday, April 24:

  • When Travis County Community Level (according to the CDC) is “Low,” masks are optional for staff/adults and children in both Childcare and Children’s Sunday School.
  • When Travis County Community Level is “Medium,” masks are required for staff and children in Childcare. They are also required for adults and recommended for children participating in Children’s Sunday School.
  • When Travis County Community Level is “High,” masks are required for all staff/adults and children in both Childcare and Children’s Sunday School.

Because Travis County’s current community level is low, masks are optional for staff/adults and children in both Childcare and Children’s Sunday School at this time.

Our Covenant of Care For One Another

As always, FUMC asks everyone to lead with love of neighbor, taking personal responsibility to care for the health of those who remain most vulnerable in our community. Please stay home (and join us online as you are able) if you have a known exposure or close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, if you are currently experiencing symptoms, or if you have a confirmed positive test, even if you remain asymptomatic. For more information about quarantining and masking after these events, the CDC’s current guidelines are available here.

If you are sick, scared, or struggling for any reason related to the pandemic, Pastor Taylor, Pastor Cathy, Pastor Brad, and the FUMC Austin Care Team would love to pray for you. Of course, they would love to pray for you, even if your needs are not pandemic related! Prayer requests can be submitted electronically using this link or by emailing prayer@fumcaustin.org or by calling the church office.

Thank you for your consider and as we live into these new policies on masks and worship and thank you for all the ways you continue to care for this community, our city, and neighbors around the world!