Return to Church Plans
Last night, our Elders and Deacons and a few others discussed at length how and when it will be best to re-open church. Governor Little's phased plan allows churches to jump ahead of other entities under certain conditions, but in general, groups of 50+ won't be allowed for over a month if cases of Covid 19 continue to decline. The current encouraging decline is directly attributable to social distancing.
We appreciate Governor Little and his team trying to accommodate the desire to return to church, Some believe their people must participate in rituals and ceremonies to achieve salvation, so the pressure is even greater from those circles, putting those in public leadership in a very difficult position.
We are happy to be allowed to reopen, but we decided to wait. The horrific situation of the church choir in Washington that met and rehearsed (prior to the quarantine and with no one showing symptoms) is haunting. Dozens became infected and two died. We consulted local medical personnel who have treated people who went from healthy to intubated and near death in less than a day. In the end, we believe caution is wise, so we are going to wait--at least through the two weeks of Phase One--before we reopen.
In the meantime our team is putting together the plan for a Sunday schedule, how to maintain CDC protocols, and how to keep our indoor environment safe when we gather. When it's time to implement the plan, we will give you plenty of notice. I'll keep you posted as things develop. [Preview: We will need a lot of ushers, people to disinfect between services, and people to distribute masks. And you'll need to arrive well ahead of time, or risk missing out on the service.]
We don't want to be risk being part of a news story to the effect "Local Churches Reopen and Covid 19 Cases Spike." We would rather be patient a little longer, and help the whole city get back to normal sooner than risk contributing to a setback--not to mention putting our own high-risk people in greater danger.
I know many of you didn't want to hear this. Please trust the Lord to work through the leaders He has given us, and pray for wisdom (like James 1:5 says!) to be granted each step along the way. God is in control, and He is good--all the time!