from the COVID Task Force

On March 27, if the local data remains stable, BUF will join the “masks optional” arena. In the meantime, please continue to wear your mask to BUF services and events.

As you go about your lives in the Masks-Optional world outside of BUF, at the grocery store, the gym, restaurants, etc., please keep in mind the following:

  • Take into consideration your family and loved ones at home who may be more at risk due to immuno-compromised risks, age, or inability to be vaccinated, and use a mask accordingly;
  • Keep in mind those around you at BUF who may be in the above category and use a mask accordingly, holding everyone is a safe space;
  • Remember, there are many in the larger Bellingham community who are not vaccinated and may also not be wearing masks. You must be proactive about taking care and being mindful of your own risks;
  • If you are feeling unwell, have cough, sniffles, Please Stay Home.

The COVID Task Force consists of Rev. Paul Beckel, Murray Bennett, Henry Ohana, Patricia Conover, Deb Cruz, Kathy Wahto, and Ken Gass.


Given that the state-wide mask mandate will end on March 12, the BUF COVID Task Force and the BUF Board have jointly decided on the following policy:

Provided that the COVID data at the end of March supports the continued loosening of restrictions, use of masks at BUF will become optional beginning Sunday, March 27.  This includes events, worship services and coffee hour. The vaccination requirement will remain in place for those over the age of 5.

Until March 27, masks are required at all indoor BUF events, social activities and services.  It is recommended that after March 27, you continue to carry a mask should there arise situations where you’d feel more comfortable masked.

The Task Force and Board collectively came to this timeline because we feel that it gives us the ability to monitor the regional effects of the lifting of the state-wide mask mandate before applying it to our own setting.

As we continue to take care of each other and promote Beloved Community, we will honor and respect those among us who need or choose to remain masked or participate remotely for as long as they deem necessary for themselves. All services will continue to be offered by Zoom, as well as in-person, for the foreseeable future.

Thank you to our wonderful congregation for your grace in accepting COVID safety measures, and for your continued respect for differing points of view within the congregation.