Given our changing circumstances, we are now requiring masks for all clergy, attendees, staff, and volunteers at in-person worship and church gatherings until further notice for anyone age 6 or older.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Since the release of our guidelines for the resuming of in-person worship in mid-June, your Bishops have continued to follow closely the COVID-19 data in our state and diocese. As the number of cases has increased dramatically in recent weeks in Oklahoma, civic and religious leaders have begun adding stricter measures to slow the virus, in particular the mandating of face coverings when in public. For example, on July 9, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City began requiring masks of all ordained and lay people at worship and parish events.
Up to this point, our own guidelines have strongly encouraged masks when gathered, while requiring masks in certain situations (for example, for the priest administering communion). Given our changing circumstances, we are now requiring masks for all clergy, attendees, staff, and volunteers at in-person worship and church gatherings until further notice for anyone age 6 or older. We hope this precaution will enable us to continue offering in-person worship in those congregations that have chosen to do so. Please be sure to have masks available for those who forget to bring them. Other than this change, all of the previous guidelines remain in effect. Moving larger gatherings partially or fully online, as we have been doing with most diocesan events, remains a wise choice.
Please know of our continued prayers for all people impacted by this pandemic, and for all our congregations and institutions in these challenging times. May God give us strength to love our neighbors in our hearts, and in our actions.
+Bishop Ed and +Bishop Poulson