By now you have heard Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has reinstated a statewide indoor mask mandate. It has been imposed due to the rapidly rising COVID cases across the state. I appreciate the governor making this decision.
Beginning Sunday, August 8, 2021, the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana will follow the statewide mandate to wear masks indoors. This means that while anyone is indoors of a church, masks will be worn. This includes all worship services, prayer services, and any type of Bible or group gatherings.
I have heard and read where some individuals have raised their objections to wearing masks indoors. This is disheartening. The primary reason for wearing masks is to protect others. Choosing not to wear masks speaks to the absence of love for our neighbor. Let us have love for one another as Jesus taught us.
From the very beginning of the pandemic, we knew the policies and procedures would be evolving. This continues to be the case. For now, the major change is masks indoors. Let’s hope our practice will help slow down the spread and our lives can return to some form of normalcy.
May God continue to hold us in the palm of God’s hands.
The Rt. Rev. Morris K. Thompson, Jr.
Bishop of Louisiana