May 20, 2021
Dear Grace Point Family,

I am writing today to update you on our new Covid restrictions at Grace Point. But before I jump right to that, I would like to put this news in context. And for our current moment I can think of no greater context than the encouragement we get from Paul in Romans 12:10.

There he writes that Christians should “Outdo one another in showing honor.” This counter- cultural exhortation invites us to consider others’ interests above our own... to move to the back of the line so someone else can be in front... to see what I can do to honor you more than I honor myself. This is a powerful principle in our fight for unity in the body of Christ when lesser things threaten to divide. I long to live up to this high standard but I’m also aware of my own weaknesses that I am asking even now for your grace when I will fail to live up to these ideals.

It’s an understatement to say we’ve needed a lot of that grace on this long journey with Covid restrictions over the past year. Our Elders and staff have done the best we know how to do to balance medical advice with our priority to carry on the mission of the church and yet we’re very aware that simply trying our best doesn’t mean we’ve nailed things perfectly. It’s been a hard year and you have given us grace - thank you for that and we’re going to need more for the next season.

With medical advice changing in the past week and a continual drop in local case counts we wanted to announce the following change to our Covid restrictions at Grace Point:

Beginning Sunday, May 23, we are removing all Covid restrictions from all of our environments and asking each of you to make decisions for you and your family on the basis of love for your neighbor and wisdom for your situation. This means that masking and social distancing will no longer be required for kids, student, adult or worship environments. We will continue to offer some of our programming outside where possible and continue to monitor the developing health situation.

Our Elders and staff know this will be welcome news for some and not so welcome news for others. Collectively we are asking for you to join us in attempting to live out Paul’s encouragement to Christians to outdo one another with honor as we step into this new phase so we can avoid unnecessary division in the body of Christ. Would you be willing to consider what honoring might look like for you in this new season at GPC?

At a personal level I want to share one practical way I’m going to try to live out the honor principle. While I will not be wearing a mask most of the time you see me in the church building because I am past the two week waiting period from my second vaccine, I will still carry a mask with me and gladly put it on when talking with anyone who is wearing a mask. You might have other ideas and ways of honoring one another for you and your family - I would be glad to hear them and learn from you!

Thank you for walking with us and for the grace you have shown throughout this journey. We are now entering a new stage in the ministry of Grace Point Church and what better time than now for a reminder from the hand of Paul for all Christians... “outdo one another in showing honor.”

On behalf of the Elder team,

Pastor Tim

Elders - Marty Clemmer (Chair), Brad Beiler, Brian Graham, Jesse Miller, Greg Petersheim & Kevin Hackett