News & Publications

Mask Policy: April 28 Update

May 3, 2023

Rock Spring Masking Policy

(Adopted by Council on March 21, 2023, and expanded on April 28, 2023)

With thoughtful input from the congregation, Council has adopted a policy to both fulfill our desire and commitment to include vulnerable members of our community for whom masking is a requirement, not a preference, and our desire for the engagement, energy, and joy of seeing one another’s faces when we gather in community. Council has unanimously adopted these policies to honor both.

The policy for worship was adopted on March 21st, began implementation on Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023, and includes the following key elements:

In the Sanctuary during Worship:

  • Mask requirements will now alternate, with masks optional on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month and required for all on the 1st and 3rd Fifth Sundays will alternate.
  • On “mask optional” Sundays, we encourage all Rock Springers to make their own decisions about what is comfortable or needed for them. We welcome and anticipate many masked and unmasked participants will choose to sit together throughout the sanctuary.
  • For those with heightened concerns, the left transept will be dedicated as a fully masked area.
  • Choir members and other musicians will have the option to sing or play unmasked at all services. When not singing or speaking, the choir and all other service participants sitting in the chancel, will follow the masking policy of that Sunday.

Throughout the Campus and during other Events:

  • Masks are optional everywhere in the building and throughout the campus except in the Sanctuary on those Sundays designated as “mask required.”
  • Hospitality after worship will continue to be provided outside whenever possible. In the event of inclement weather, hospitality following worship or for any congregation-wide special event may be moved to Carpenter Hall if it is not feasible to provide it in the small atrium covered space.
  • Hospitality may be provided indoors for private events such as weddings or memorial services at the discretion of the event host.
  • Events can be moved inside to Carpenter Hall as needed to facilitate the activities and programs of the church.
  • Rock Spring staff are authorized to make decisions on upcoming events based on our current masking policy without coming back to Council on a case-by-case basis.

Throughout the pandemic, Rock Spring has demonstrated its ability to be flexible, resilient, and caring. As we move ahead, Council and staff will track our progress, update the congregation from time-to-time, and adjust as needed. The full masking policy will be reviewed in six months at the October Council meeting but may be revised at any time to respond to changing public health indicators.