March 4, 2021
Update on Parkway’s COVID-19 Protocols, especially our mask requirements
Based on all the phone calls, texts and emails, I am confident in my knowledge that this is of paramount importance to our community here at Parkway. The governor’s executive order will repeal the mask mandate across the state. The verbiage of the order allows more local municipalities to decide to continue or extend the mandate in their areas if their hospitalization rates are above a certain percentage threshold. Additionally, the order allows for businesses and other entities to decide for themselves how they wish to proceed forward. In addition to these provisions in the executive order, the leaders of the church are also considering other data points. For example, both school districts we service (Fort Bend ISD and LCISD) have continued the mask requirements through the end of the school year. Additionally, Dr. Marc Boom of Methodist Hospital continues to encourage the use of masks, keep socially distant, and wash hands regularly. Finally, Bishop Scott Jones (the current episcopal leader of the Texas Annual Conference) has emphatically pleaded that while the decision is ultimately at the local church level for every church, that we would continue to stay the course with the use of all of the aforementioned measures for the foreseeable future.
This is not a decision that I nor the board take lightly. To that end, we will be discerning, intentional and methodical in our approach to any loosening of restrictions related to our COVID-19 policies. Here is how that process is unfolding. I have been in one on one conversation with all of the staff. I have shared their perspectives, comments and concerns with the Board Chair (Brian Mullen) and have asked that the discussion be added to the agenda for our next regularly scheduled meeting on March 29th. This will give us the opportunity to see if there are additional spikes of cases and hospitalizations after Spring Break, allow us to see how other churches move forward, and give us a chance for prayerful discernment of what decision is right for both our congregation and the communities we serve. To that end, all current policies will continue as they currently are at least until after the next board meeting.
If I can answer any questions about the process please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grace and peace,