Clarifying Our New Masking and Distancing Guidelines

Clarifying Our New Masking and Distancing Guidelines

Dear Sisters, Brothers, and Friends,

This past Thursday (5/20), I was pleased to announce Winnetka Congregational’s new masking and distancing guidelines, which align fully and without exception to the CDC’s new recommendations. Before sharing the announcement, I’d tested it with numerous people to ensure that the message I intended was the message people were hearing. However, a very helpful email exchange with a congregant yesterday (5/21) revealed that there was another way to interpret one key part of what I’d shared in Thursday’s Messenger.

Clarity is key! Especially with something this important. My Messenger announcement included both our new guidelines, as well as important interpersonal and churchly context. Here, I’ll focus solely on clarifying our masking and distancing guidelines.

We are defining “fully vaccinated” as two weeks or more after your second dose of a two-dose vaccine, or two weeks or more after a single-dose vaccine; and “distancing” as 6 feet. Thanks!

Winnetka Congregational Masking and Distancing Guidelines:


  • Both masking and distancing are completely OPTIONAL.
  • Regardless of vaccination status, everyone is FREE to choose for one’s self and one’s child/children.
  • Do whatever makes you and your child/children comfortable.
  • Everyone is FREE to sing and read responsively.


  • Anyone fully vaccinated:
    • Is FREE not to mask.
    • Is FREE not to distance.
    • Is FREE to sing and read responsively.
  • Anyone over age 2 who is NOT fully vaccinated:
    • NEEDS to please mask.
    • NEEDS to please distance.
    • Is FREE to sing and read responsively.

I hope that our new — now clarified! — guidelines empower personal and parental choice within a significantly relaxed framework (per the CDC’s recent revisions). We’re not yet to Phase 5, so there is still a framework. But, gladly, it’s been greatly redrawn.

Our situation is fluid. Things are changing (for the better!). And things will keep changing. So, please stay tuned. And, thanks for your patience and persistence as we continue to navigate this as a family of faith.

If you have any questions, thoughts, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I always want to hear from you (even if you think I might not like what you have to say). And, as always, I will care, I will listen, and I will do my very best to address your needs.

I hope to see you for worship each Sunday now through Labor Day!

  • 9 A.M. in person (rain or shine)
    • On the lawn… if weather’s good.
    • In the sanctuary… if weather’s bad.
    • Plus… From now on… YOU NO LONGER NEED TO SIGN UP! Just come!
  • 10 A.M. (or anytime after) on our YouTube channel!

God’s Peace,