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Like many Americans, we were surprised and heartened yesterday to receive the CDC’s statement about the lifting of many maskwearing recommendations for immunized people. We believe the statement heralds a return to a good degree of normalcy much earlier than had been expected. As we celebrate this likelihood, it is also important to recognize that matters of public health are ultimately a local matter. Those vested with this authority in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have not yet lifted the public health standards which were previously in effect through May 31st. Out of respect for their authority, and as we have done throughout the pandemic, we will follow their lead by maintaining our previous in-person worship precautions until local standards change. But again, we anticipate change soon. Like so many others, we can’t wait to get there, but will respect the expertise and authority of local officials until we do. For over five hundred years now, it’s been the Lutheran thing to do.

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