The Atlantic District

of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Engaging the World with the Gospel of Hope!

A Special Message from The Bishop

Blessed Adventide!

Grace and peace in Jesus!

Here we are in the midst of our walk through the season of Advent as we celebrate Immanuel, God with us. God remains with us in all that we do as we face the challenges of this world including COVID.

From the onset of COVID we, the church, have strived to respond out of love and concern for our neighbor. Today, December 13, 2021, Governor Mary Hochul is requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public places unless a vaccine requirement is mandated. This is an ongoing effort to prevent the spread of COVID including all variants and provide an additional layer of protection for all.

Many questions have arisen as to whether churches are included in this directive. The FAQ of the site asks the question:

How is ‘indoor public place’ defined, and what type of businesses and venues are included under this requirement?

Indoor public place is defined as any indoor space that is not a private residence. This means businesses and venues New Yorkers typically frequent that are either publicly owned or owned by private business entities. This includes indoor entertainment venues, concert halls, indoor sports stadiums, recreational spaces, restaurants, office buildings, shopping centers, grocery stores, pharmacies, houses of worship and common areas in residential buildings. (emphasis mine)

Houses of worship are included in this New York State directive, thereby each of our congregations must require masks to be worn indoors as well. This directive is currently in effect until January 15, 2022.

We are blessed to share the greatest message our world has ever known. We are blessed to remind this world of Immanuel – God with us! This is a message that our world does need to hear once again in the midst of this ongoing pandemic.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and those you serve as you prepare to tell the story of Jesus once again.

COVID Resources:


*image: ABC News

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