To Mask, or Not to Mask?

Greetings, people of St. Mark’s! Lynn is feeling a bit under the weather the last few days and so I offered to “sub” in for her blog post this morning. Enjoy!

Have you ever watched Superman and Wonder Woman and wondered how in the world no one could recognize them in their alter ego just because they donned glasses and changed their hair and outfits? Or how no one recognizes Oliver Queen as The Hood (#Arrowverse) simply because he throws some makeup around his eyes and dons a hoodie? I never got that … until we returned to worship after the pandemic, and everyone was wearing a mask! I’ve met, and then re-met, the same people and not recognized them at all because of that single piece of paper/fabric.

Well while this may be bad news to all the would-be superheroes of St. Mark’s trying to disguise their identities, I have it on good authority that the churchwide mask mandate is being completely lifted! You are no longer required to wear a mask when on campus, even while singing. This said, I am sure that as a community you want to be as gracious and welcoming as you can possibly be to all people, and so you will withhold judgment both on those who cast off their masks as well as any who might choose to continue to take such precautions.

Please choose what is comfortable to you as you gather with others to worship and praise God; whether like Batman you remain masked and maintain a safe distance with waves and fist bumps, or like Clark Kent unleash your happy, smiling face on all passers-by. Don’t forget to do good, show hospitality, and watch out for the good of one another (cf. Heb. 13:16, 1 Pet. 4:9, Phil. 2:4).

And while I’m thinking superheroes in general and Batman specifically, where in the world does he get those awesome Batmobiles? I’ve always been envious of the amazing cars he gets to drive, and now I get to feel the same way about my wife’s Mustang Mach-E. On Tuesday of this week – her birthday – we got word that the car Lynn had ordered in September was finally on the lot, and though she was already feeling a bit puny, nothing deterred her from driving up to Gilbert to get her hands on it later in the week. Jealousy aside, I have to admit it is pretty cool to pull a plug from the garage wall and plug in her new car, which is far more “computer on wheels” than not.

I think that’s all she wanted me to share with you today! I will see a few of you tomorrow at the baseball game and will finally be able to greet you in worship on May 22. In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend – and be sure to look for Lynn’s “space white” Mustang out in the church lot this Sunday morning!

-Rev. Ron Bartlow
P.S. See, Lynn; not a single reference to Star Wars! I am large, I contain multitudes.



  • 8:30 a.m. Traditional service with choirs in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
  • 10 a.m. Modern worship service with Praise Team in Fellowship Hall
  • 10 a.m. Traditional service with choirs in Sanctuary
  • 10 a.m. Youth and children’s Sunday School and child care
  • 10 a.m. Livestream premieres on YouTube and Website

To access our livestream service:

  • From the main menu on our website click “Worship.”  -OR-
  • Go to YouTube and search for UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley or use this link.