Dear Fremont Alliance Church Family,

As I am sure you are already aware, Gov. Mike DeWine has issued a state-wide mandate requiring masks to be worn at all public gatherings as of Thursday, July 23 at 6:00 PM. The mandate states, among other things, that “All individuals in Ohio must wear facial coverings in public at all times when at an indoor location that is not a residence.” (To read the full press release from the State of Ohio, go to: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/resources/news-releases-news-you-can-use/gov-dewine-issues-statewide-mask-order-travel-warning

Exclusions from this restriction include: Children under the age of 10; those with a medical condition or a disability or those communicating with someone with a disability; and those who are officiants at religious services. The latter exclusion does not include those participating in religious services. Meaning, unlike previous “stay at home” orders which allowed places of worship to remain open at their own discretion while other businesses and venues were closed, this mandate does not exempt the church.

Therefore, starting this Sunday, July 26, Fremont Alliance Church will be requiring masks at all public services (noting the exclusions above) until the Governor’s order is lifted. If you don’t have a mask, one will be provided for you.

Now, I know for some of our folks, this isn’t a big deal. Some are in full agreement with the Governor’s decision. Others are simply willing to comply. But I also know that, for others, this is considered an overreach of authority and a violation of our Constitutional rights. Please understand, you are fully entitled to your opinion. But for the sake of unity in the Body as well as our public testimony, the leadership of our church is asking you to voluntarily wear a mask.

Recently, a fellow Alliance pastor from PA, whose church has already had to comply with a similar mandate, shared something on our official workers’ forum. He described the following situation: “Hey friends! I request prayer. Since the new mandate for masks has hit PA, we’ve had several people upset with our following of Romans 13. One man two Sunday’s ago walked out in a huff, making a big show of it. That same man heckled me throughout the entire sermon this past Sunday. He also made a show of wearing his mask like a bonnet during communion. I have been attacked personally more so in this season than any other. Please pray for strength and against distraction. Thanks, friends, we are all in this together!”

I am convinced that nothing like this would ever take place at FAC. I am simply sharing it to help us understand how divisive this issue can be.

Throughout this pandemic, we have entrusted our congregation to act wisely while not mandating the use of masks. Now, we are asking you to wear a mask. If you feel you cannot wear a mask as a matter of principle, or simply as a matter of personal comfort, I encourage you to stay home for this season and participate online. I would even encourage you to invite some friends over and worship together.

But I hope that we would be willing to lay aside our personal preferences and comforts for the sake of worshiping and fellowshipping together in God’s house. I am so thankful that we don’t live in a state where public singing is banned. I would have a hard time with that! So, wear your masks, let’s come together and sing our hearts out for God’s glory!

P.S. – Our “Super Safe Service” option (masks, temperature check, spaced seating, meeting in the Kids Life room) will still be available for those who need it.

Pastor Glenn