Several requests have come to me, as well as other District Superintendents, asking for clarification on the Bishop’s stance regarding in person worship. As you will recall, the last communication asked that pastors and church leadership refrain from in person worship through Christmas. So, does that mean we can open up the church again? The fact is, until about two weeks following the Christmas/New Years holiday, it will not be discerned just how our celebrations have affected the Covid19 infection rate.
The appointive Cabinet in consultation with Bishop Bard would issue the following:
Please be in touch with your local county health department regarding the infection rate in your area. If that infection rate is above 5%, we recommend that churches refrain from in person worship. If you discern that in person worship is appropriate for your church, please follow all protocols: mask wearing is required, social distancing of at least 6 feet will be maintained, temperature checks upon entering building are recommended, frequent hand washing and multiple sanitation stations shall be available, very limited indoor conversation, no coffee & donuts ☹. And, should the infection rate raise above 5%, please refrain from in person worship and return to all online worship again.
Please remember that our primary focus should be on the safety of others. As Paul has counselled, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
Thank you for all the wonderful ways you have continued to share the message of God’s wonderful grace through word, over the internet, by way of your actions in response to the need in your community. I am proud to be your District Superintendent.