Saturday, December 12, 2020

The Saint Timothy Society's Guidelines for Events and Meetings in Jurisdictions with COVID or Other Restrictions

The Saint Timothy Society will continue to hold events and meetings while endeavoring to follow the guidelines and regulations in effect in the relevant jurisdictions. Those invited to our events should be aware of the following before deciding to attend.

The Saint Timothy Society's events and meetings may be held in the State of Minnesota, which has a number of rules and restrictions concerning gatherings related to the COVID 19 pandemic. Given the number of participants we have, it is unclear which restrictions would apply, how and in what manner. In order to avoid unnecessary confusion, we have adopted as our own the guidelines and policy positions of Saint Johns Evanglical Lutheran Church in Corcoran, Minnesota, as expressed in these two letters:

Letter of May 25th, 2020 from the pastors of Saint Johns

Letter of July 26th, 2020 from the pastors of Saint Johns

In addition, we encourage all members of the church and those so inclined from the general public to consider and adopt the broader theological and biblical considerations given here:

From the Faculty of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary of Saint Catherines, Ontario

We ask that all those invited to our events give special attention to the following before deciding to attend:

  1. It is vital that everyone assess their own risk for COVID 19, and take action accordingly. If you have risk factors and co-morbidities, PLEASE ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION, and do not attend until you have taken medical advice and received the best information available. No one can guarantee that you will not be exposed or infected at any event or gathering, including ours.
  2. If you are ill, or exhibiting symptoms of COVID 19 or other infectious diseases or conditions, do not attend. Again, no one can guarantee that you will not expose others or be exposed to COVID 19, and this may be more likely if you are symptomatic.
  3. Before you decide to attend, please be aware that specific mandates vary, and we have no authority or ability to police who has legitimate exemptions from wearing a mask. We cannot and will not ask any individual attending their reasons for wearing, not wearing, or wearing a particular type, of mask, or any other information about their medical history. We will not invade your privacy regarding your medical or mental health if you are not wearing a mask, and we will not sanction others doing so at our meetings and events.
  4. We will not ask you about, or require you to disclose, any part of your medical history, including any treatments such as monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, or medical procedures or drug regimens, nor will we sanction others doing so at our meetings and events. We encourage everyone to evaluate all treatments available for COVID or any other disease, and evaluate them on their potential risk to benefit ratio and moral and ethical considerations (including those treatments involving fetal tissue in development and testing and those that violate informed consent or are coercive of conscience in application, testing, or development).
  5. If you are made uncomfortable by this, or believe that you are placed at risk by an unmasked or unvaccinated participant, DO NOT ATTEND.
  6. Those presenting and speaking at our meetings are also allowed a mask exemption by Minnesota regulations while observing the social distancing guidelines. Again, if you are made uncomfortable by this, or believe that you are placed at risk by an unmasked or unvaccinated participant, DO NOT ATTEND.
  7. We require that those attending observe the relevant social distancing guidelines. Be aware that some attending may be uneasy with even 6 feet of distance, in which case give yourself and give others even more distance. Spread out and use the space available.
  8. We require that all present observe the norms of civility, decency and respect for the conscience and opinions of others which are necessary when discussing differing views. Discussions of topics and questions related to biblical texts, doctrines, historical events, ideas, and public policy within that context are welcome. Discussions about individuals or groups (political, public, media or otherwise) should be limited within those topics and questions. Unverified speculation, assertion, or derogatory assumptions about motives or actions are discouraged.
  9. Our meetings and events may be recorded in both audio and video. Those attending will be made aware of this, and we will make a reasonable effort to preserve the privacy and anonymity of our guests and participants. If you do not wish to be filmed or recorded, please make us aware of that fact.
  10. The material presented, discussions, and conversations at our events are not medical, legal or financial advice. All who attend are encouraged to get the best information they can from multiple professionals, organizations and agencies in those fields, and evaluate and compare all sources for accuracy and reliablity, even as a second and third opinion.
  11. We recognize that some information related to COVID has been, and remains, varied, contradictory, inaccurate and changing, including that from various governmental, medical, academic and research organizations. Their implementation of rules, guidelines and restrictions concerning COVID may be as flawed as the basis and rationale for their creation. While we are able to follow the masking and social distancing guidelines given above, we will not restrict or close our events and meetings to individuals who are otherwise qualified to attend and participate on the basis of a mandated or compulsory treatment or medical procedure (including vaccination). To do otherwise is to deny individuals and groups (religious and otherwise) freedom of conscience and the vital principal of informed consent. Just as we ask others and those in authority to respect our freedom of conscience, religion and informed consent, so we strive (imperfectly at times) to respect those same freedoms and rights as held by others.
  12. We encourage those in positions of authority and all those in the medical and public health professions to explore, research and make available all potential treatments for COVID and to treat the disease early and aggressively, especially for those patients who have increased risks and co-morbidities. We encourage everyone to become acquainted with the safety profile for any and all potential treatments (including dietary, therapeutic, pharmaceutical, vaccines), the risks and benefits associated with them, and to seek guidance regarding the potential negative effects of all potential treatments.

We understand that our donors, supporters, participants and guests may have very different perspectives on the various mandates that have been implemented during this pandemic, including those items made explicit above. Our hope and prayer is that we would extend to each other patience, forbearance and forgiveness during these unusual times.

Updated 2022 NOV 06
Updated 2022 JAN 15
Updated 2021 DEC 09