Greetings Genesis Church family. As you are probably already aware, St. Louis County is again under a mask mandate as a step to control the spread of COVID, stating, “Face Coverings are required to be properly worn by all individuals ages 5 and older while in indoor and enclosed public buildings and spaces and public transportation vessels in St. Louis County.” Of course, as this week went on we also had the County Council vote to rescind the mandate, making things confusing. We asked Rockwood how they were moving forward at this time and what they expected of us as guests in their building. At this time they have responded that they want us to follow any guidelines set out by the county, and at this time this means that we are to follow the policy set forth by the County Executive. This is also what they have sent out in email form to the district. What this means for us is that while this order is in place we will be requiring masks at our public gathering on Sunday and other indoor meetings that take place at the church office.
As we share this, we want to encourage a few things. First, we know that some will agree with this mandate while others will not. That being said, we believe that as a church we need to comply with the mandate for a couple reasons. First, we are commanded to obey and respect the governing authorities that are over us, believing that these authorities are in place under the sovereign hand of God (Romans 13:1-7). Second, in our agreement with Rockwood we have agreed to follow the mandate in place by St. Louis County, and we must be true to our word.
Earlier this week I was reading Psalm 133 and praying this Psalm over our church body. This song declares the beauty of God’s grace revealed in the unity of His people. We live in an incredibly divided age, with so many issues creating deep division in the culture, including this one. We must not let the things that divide the world drive a wedge among the people of God. IF we are not careful, we can do this in a couple ways. First, we can be present but in a combative way, pushing brothers and sisters away over things that have no eternal significance. Second, we can create division by withdrawing from the people of God because of our disagreements. The Psalmist declares that it is good and pleasant when we dwell (are together) in unity. That unity is around the Gospel, where Christ laid down His rights to purchase our redemption. So our request is that if you are in town and able, attend Sunday. Yes, bring and wear your mask (or we will have some for you), but reveal your love and smile for others with your eyes and greeting. And pray for the end of this pandemic and for the advance of the Gospel.
Thank you, and God bless.
When Brothers Dwell in Unity – A Song of Ascents. Of David.
 Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
 It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the LORD has commanded the blessing,
life forevermore. (ESV)