On September 29th, the Contra Costa Health Services announced that due to recent progress being made in the fight against COVID-19 in Contra Costa, many businesses could reopen with restrictions. This includes places of worship as long as they operate at 25% of their capacity.
Health officials caution that COVID is still circulating in the community and people should continue to take all the same precautions health officials have been advising for months: wear face coverings in public, maintain physical distancing, wash hands frequently and stay home if you're sick.
The leading brothers feel that even with this latest progress, we should not resume our in-person meetings. We will continue to meet via Zoom.
The California Department of Public Health has published COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services and Cultural Ceremonies. This document provides guidance for places of worship to resume services while supporting a safe, clean environment for employees, volunteers, and all other types of workers as well as congregants, worshippers, visitors, etc. This guidance does not obligate places of worship to resume in-person activity. Further, the state strongly recommends that places of worship continue to facilitate remote services and other related activities for those who are vulnerable to COVID19, including older adults and those with existing chronic health conditions that are known to place them at higher risk to the virus. Contra Costa County has announced revisions to the shelter in place order that allow religious services to resume; however, they must adhere to the state's industry guidance.
Even with adherence to physical distancing, it is clear that convening in a congregational setting of multiple different households to practice a personal faith carries a relatively higher risk for widespread transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and may result in increased rates of infection, especially among more vulnerable populations. In particular, activities such as singing and group recitation negate the risk-reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing.
The brothers, in fellowship and prayer, continue to monitor this situation and are beginning to consider how we might resume in-person meetings. As we fellowship, we are burdened to care for the health and well-being of the saints as well as their spiritual growth and maturity. While the details around how we would resume our in-person meetings are not yet defined, a few key points are forming. We are sharing them below, not as guidance or rules, but to set reasonable and realistic expectations:
As the authorities at national, state, and local levels continue to remove restrictions to the shelter in place order, and as the spread of the disease warrants, we will announce when and how to resume our meetings.
We should rejoice that the church is not a building or physical facility, and that we are all prophets, qualified to speak for and forth God. These scriptural truths have sustained us through the decades and will continue to sustain us, even during these times of pestilence. Our prayers should be focused on knowing God’s will and that He would gain what His heart desires through this pandemic. We should also pray that He will show mercy to His people and halt the spread of this virus.
We will continue with reading the Bible, the Holy Word for Morning Revival and the Life Study of Matthew. We encourage much more prayer and fellowship among all the saints by means that are safe. Until the situation changes, we will hold all of our meetings via Zoom.
Copyright © 2021 The Church in Pleasant Hill - All Rights Reserved.