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County Closures

Posted by Vista Hills Church on

Dear Church Family, 

     I know these are confusing times as our county, city, and state leaders are sending different signals and different mandates about whether we are to be opened or closed.  On top of that, we also need to look at the record-breaking Covid hospitalization numbers and consider how we, as a church, can best serve our community in response to this spike in Covid cases. Some feel the best way to be of service is to stay home until the hospitalization numbers come down. I can respect that conclusion. It certainly has some validity to it. Some of our health care experts and our County Judge hold to that strategy as well.
     However, there is another strategy proposed by our Mayor, Governor, World Health Organization, and our President. They propose, and some even mandate that the county began opening and must stay open in order to best deal with this disease. It seems counter-intuitive to me but after listening to their reasoning I can respect this strategy as well. 
     In the final analysis, however, the decision on whether or not the church will be open and whether or not each individual attends resides with us. Let us deal with the church first. It will remain open for the following reasons: 
  1. The city, county, and state governments have declared churches to be essential to the community. If those who govern us are stating they need us, how can we refuse them? Doctors and nurses do not fail to man their posts and we shall not fail to man ours either. 
  2. When I asked Mitch Taylor for his thoughts, he stated it beautifully like this, "Well Pastor, in my opinion, churches should always be open. If there were ever a time people need the church it is now. The church brings a message of hope. If the church closes, where will the hope be." 
     Now to the individual's decision on whether or not to attend, I would counsel each of you in the following manner:
  1. If you have tested positive or if you have come into contact with someone who has tested positive and you have not yet been tested negative or if you are not feeling well or have a fever, do not come close to other people and especially do not come into our church building. If you are in need of ministering, one of us will come to you. 
  2. If you believe in your heart of heart the church's and states' position of remaining open is wrong, keeping in mind the possibility of both being wrong, and that their opening violates God's will, you should not attend.
  3. If you have an underlying condition that puts you at a higher risk of death or serious injury should you contract Covid, or if your contracting Covid might put someone you are caring for who has an underlying condition at risk. and in your heart of hearts, you believe God would have you stay away as an act of good stewardship, then you should not attend. 
  4.  If none of the above applies to you, then I would encourage you to come to worship together as usual so that our society might continue to benefit from a fully functioning Spirit-filled church.
     Following are some additional church policies:
  1. Masks are optional. Each individual should inform themselves and then decide on whether or not they will mask. 
  2.  If someone is wearing a mask, please respect their health decisions and maintain your social distance from them. 
  3. Please frequently use the hand sanitizers provided.  
  4. Whatever decision individuals make about attending or masking must be respected in truth by all others. Each one of us is a priest of our own bodies and consciences. Let love and respect win the day at Vista Hills. 
     Following is our church schedule
  1. Sunday School Small Groups as usual
  2. Sunday Morning Worship as usual
  3. Spanish Service as usual
  4. Sunday Evening Study Group as usual 
  5. 6:00 pm Evening Prayer Meetings Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday as usual
  6. Wednesday Evening Activities closes for one more week and then to be announced after review. 
  7. Thursday Morning Ladies Bible Study as usual. 
     Finally, we are aware there are many circumstances that could not be covered in such a brief email. Please call me or one of the other elders if you have any questions, concerns, or would like some input into your decision-making process. We stand ready to assist.

And, I as always remain

Your Servant,
Randy Smith

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