Worship Service Update
TBC Guidance for Indoor Worship Services
May 26, 2021
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life (Prov. 13:12).
Dear Trinity Church Family,
The Lord has brought us to an eagerly anticipated milestone. As many of you are aware, Governor Murphy announced on Monday that he will rescind the mask and social distancing mandates for many New Jersey businesses and venues, effective at 6:00 am this Friday, May 28. This includes churches. In light of these momentous changes, we urge you to carefully read this email in its entirety.
Beginning this Lord’s Day, Trinity Baptist Church will no longer require masks and physical distancing for indoor worship.
You may still wear a mask if you prefer, and if you wear a mask you may sit wherever you like in the auditorium. If you prefer to maintain physical-distancing in the pews—whether you are wearing a mask or not, please contact one of your pastors or the church office prior to the Lord’s Day, and we will make the necessary accommodations. For the present we will continue to perform the regular cleaning after the morning services, and we ask that the congregation continue to monitor personal health and avoid coming to church services if you are sick. Please note that the Fellowship Hall will no longer be available for use to watch the worship services, but it will be reserved as a noise-room for parents to use for their nursery-age children.
Since the governor’s change in restrictions goes into effect this Friday, the Growing in Grace conference will also have no requirement for masks or distancing.
We want to make clear that Governor Murphy’s order Monday specifically stated 1) that those who are “overseeing indoor spaces can continue to require social distancing should they choose;” and 2) that “individuals who are not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to continue masking and social distancing.” It is important to note that neither our civil authority nor the leadership of the church is requiring continued social distancing or wearing of masks, whether for people who are vaccinated or unvaccinated; this means that the wearing or not wearing of masks is entirely a matter of Christian liberty.
Since the coronavirus crisis began, the elders have been urging the church to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and to increase and abound in love for one another. We thank the Lord that He has blessed our church’s efforts to obey Him in these ways. We also believe it is no less important and urgent that we continue to pursue unity and love as we pass through this long-awaited transition in our corporate worship. In particular, let us remember Paul’s words in Romans14:3 (adapted for pandemics): “Let not him who goes without a mask despise him who wears one, and let not him who wears a mask judge him who doesn’t; and let not him who is vaccinated despise him who is not, and let not him who is unvaccinated judge him who is vaccinated; for God has received him.”
As the weeks go on, we will be making changes related to nursery, Sunday School classes, and other aspects of our corporate life on our way back to “normalcy.” Continue to pray that the Lord will guide and help us at each step of the way.
Praise the Lord for hearing our prayers over the last 14 months, both in subduing this virus and moving the heart of Governor Murphy to make these changes. Let us proclaim the great name of our God, who hears the cry of His people, who strengthens them to endure hardship, who is near to them in their distress, and who brings joy after a long night of mourning.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together (Psalm 34:1-3).
You Servants for Christ’s Sake,
The Trinity Pastors
Link to announcement from Governor Murphy: