Masking up at Christ Church Episcopal

Masking up at Christ Church Episcopal in Savannah.
Masking up at Christ Church Episcopal in Savannah.(WTOC)
Updated: Jul. 28, 2020 at 5:47 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Since the pandemic began, religious institutions have really been hit hard. Most have not gotten a chance to fellowship together in one room for nearly five months.

One congregation has found a unique way to help them feel more connected. It begins with something most Americans are wearing every time they leave home - a mask.

Reverend Michael White blessed more than 600 masks for his congregation.

“They will be a symbol of health and wellness for our members as well as the larger community. We are living under the idea at Christ Church that our building may be closed, but the church is open. In that context, the church is the people,” said Rev. Michael White of Christ Church Episcopal.

Dr. Bertice Berry came up with the idea. Nearly two years ago, she took a picture of the inside of the church; turned that image into a fabric and made a dress that members loved but didn’t recognize.

“The first time I wore it someone asked ‘is that an African print?' and I said no, but an African is wearing it.’ {laughing} When you got up on it you could see what it was,” explained Dr. Bertice Berry, member of Christ Church Episcopal.

A couple of months ago, we showed you how Dr. Berry and her family were making thousands of face masks for healthcare workers all over the country. She thought why not share this gift with her church family? It's one way of spreading Rev. White's message to the church that they are never alone on this journey.

“When we decided to do this, I said it shouldn’t just come from us. There are other people at work who are making masks and it could be a church project. We cut all of the fabric and elastic and built kits together,” added Dr. Berry.

Berry’s daughter and niece delivered the kits to other members who were also making masks, including WTOC’s Sarah Smith.

Now, the team has created gorgeous masks, but it’s about more than just a face mask.

“It’s not one point that this one thing flows one way. It’s many hands to heal us, to connect us, to bring us together, " said Dr. Berry.

Savannah's number one advocate for masks, Mayor Van Johnson, also joined in the celebration.

“It means that we are still in this but we are in this together. The only way we are going to get out of this is to get out of this together. We will need everybody doing their part. Everybody cannot make a mask. Everybody can wear a mask. I am glad Christ Church is leading in that way,” added Mayor Van Johnson, City of Savannah.

“It’s a way to let people know that they are known, loved, and supported, but at the same time support our larger community of Savannah with this health practice of everyone wearing the mask, " said Rev. White.

“As we wear the mask, we are connected. We are connected by the hands and the hope of many people that we all are a part of this one thing called Christ Church Episcopal. No matter where we are, we are still the church and we are to love our neighbor as ourselves,” said Dr. Berry.

As members wear these beautiful masks, Rev. White says they are keeping the faith and following the science.

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