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December 10 Letter from the Elders

Dear Grace Community Church,

As many of you know, we previously announced that, as we attempt to safely meet indoors as a body, three options are available: 1) A 9 A.M. service where masks are required; 2) An 11 A.M. service where masks are highly recommended; and 3) live streaming online for the 9 o’clock service which can be viewed live or later, as one prefers. It has been decided that we will change the second service time from 11 A.M. to 10:45 A.M., beginning next Sunday, December 20th. The second service time will remain at 11 A.M. for this Sunday, December 13th. 

Our first attempt this past Sunday, not surprisingly, did not go as well as hoped in some regards. The primary concern is the second service, where many more attenders than the elders assumed would be the case, did not wear masks. Our intent was that “highly recommended” means masks are expected to be worn unless one has a health issue re masks or a sincerely held Biblical reason for not wearing a mask. It appears that some heard “highly recommended” to simply mean “not required.” Of course, that is understandable. This note is to clarify the intent of the elders, something Lee Williford tried to make clear in his announcement a few weeks ago. Our intent is to request everyone without a health issue re masks or a sincerely held spiritual objection to masks please wear one during the second service. 

As you know, we are a multi-generational body of believers. Some of us are in the “high risk” category for death from COVID-19. Therefore, in light of the severe spike in COVID cases which North Carolina is experiencing, we think it prudent to emphasize the importance of masks at both services. Therefore, if your reason for not wearing a mask is comfort, political, or any reason other than health or spiritual, we request that you wear a mask at the second service or attend online. Of course, masks are required at the first service.

Our prayer is we can continue to meet indoors without requiring masks for everyone at both services. With sincere cooperation, we think that is possible. 

I close with this word from the apostle Paul in Philippians 2:1-4 with a recommendation that we all read the entire chapter:

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind, Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Thanks to all of you! Know that you are loved greatly. Know we serve you seeking wisdom from God, the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Jim McLaughlin,

On behalf of the elders of Grace Community Church.


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