Starting from the Christmas Joint service (12/25), both KSC and ESC require all service participants to provide vaccination proof. It’s been a few months since the government first announced that churches could gather without limit if vaccination proof is checked. We didn’t immediately change how we gather to accommodate those who are not fully vaccinated. But given the rising number of cases and concern over the variant, and to make our service environment safer, our church has decided to implement this new change in the Christmas joint service that will hold the most number of people in a year.
I want to clarify that we are not making this change to bring more people to the in-person service. Even though we are not required to maintain physical distancing if all participants are vaccinated, both congregations will keep the physical distancing until the concern over the variant subsides. And because of that, for ESC, the number of people we allow to come in person will remain similar to the current level for some time. Mask is still mandatory, so please keep it on unless you perform a specific function during the service.
We want to encourage those who are not vaccinated to join us online. It is not to divide people who are allowed to come and those who aren’t. It is to protect all of us from unnecessary health concerns. However, given the government’s plan to dramatically ease restrictions starting from March next year (though that is subject to change), we believe it won’t be too long until everyone is free to gather without restriction.
In the past, pestilence and pandemics usually brought more unity to fight against what is perceived as a common threat. But in our time, the pandemic is causing more division among people through misinformation and different agendas. From the beginning, our church has decided to follow the direction of the government with regards to how we respond to avoid any confusion. I hope our church will come out of this pandemic with greater unity than before, regardless of our views of the situation.