Masks Optional Starting this Sunday
Dear Bent Tree Family,
Over the last year and two months, as a nation, we have endured, prevailed, grieved, and adapted to a new way of life during a global pandemic. Many are grieving the loss of loved ones and even of dreams and opportunities because of the nature of this pandemic. Our hearts and prayers are extended towards them.
The recent trends and numbers show that we are nearing the end of this pandemic and there is light to celebrate. We thank God for his provisions and healing power. Yesterday, the CDC put forth their recommendation that individuals who are fully vaccinated can now remove their masks indoors or outdoors. They also do not need to social distance. The most recent studies are showing that those vaccinated are far less likely to be infected, have symptoms, or transmit the disease. This is something to be thankful for.
During the pandemic, we had developed a staff COVID response team at Bent Tree that thoroughly observed the trends in our area and offered recommendations to our church. They have been diligent all the way through. After studying the trends in our region, this team about a week ago also gave the recommendation that it would be ok for Bent Tree to shift to masks optional. The primary drivers for this were the increasing availability of the COVID vaccine for any adult who wishes to be vaccinated as well as the positive test rates being below 5.1% for multiple weeks. Denton County has been at 4% or less for the last couple of weeks.
Therefore, based on the recommendation of our COVID response team at Bent Tree and the new CDC recommendation put forth yesterday, we have decided that the worship services at Bent Tree can now be masks optional.
Here is what this means for our church body:
- If you have been fully vaccinated, you can choose to wear a mask or not. In the abundance of caution, if you would still like to wear a mask, that is totally ok and appropriate.
- We understand that there are legitimate reasons to why an individual may have not yet received the vaccine. If so, we encourage you to continue to wear masks. Our upper-level seating in the worship auditorium will still be roped off to allow for social distancing. Please take advantage of that if you desire to do so.
- In our desire to lovingly partner with our community and in accordance with the CDC guidelines, Kids and Student Ministries will continue to wear masks through May 30th. Starting June 6th, masks will be optional for all Kids and Student ministry activities. Our ask is that family ministry leaders continue to wear masks through May 30th.
- Adult Life Groups are also masks optional unless determined otherwise by the group.
- This update only applies to the BT Carrollton services at Bent Tree. Bent Tree Espanol will continue to evaluate how they can best serve their congregation.
This is a good moment for our country as we give thanks to God for relief in this pandemic. At the same time, let’s remember and pray for those around the world who have yet to see these signs of normalcy again. I’m fully aware that our church members will land in different places regarding our masks update. I want to encourage you to love and serve one another well during this season. Be respectful and kind to those around you who may or may not be wearing a mask. If you can minister to someone better by wearing a mask, the caution and perhaps inconvenience is worth it! As Paul admonished us in Philippians 2:4, let’s be sensitive to the needs of those around us, and in fact, consider the needs of others above our own.
I love our church and I already know that we can pull through whatever season we are in because we stand with and for each other. I can’t wait to see you Sunday,