Dear Church Family,
Governor Abbot has issued a new executive order stating religious services are essential services. It also states that his order supersedes city ordinances. The new order goes into effect Thursday morning. He also encourages churches to do remote services if possible but if not possible to follow the president's guidelines for social distancing and meetings of 10 or less. Following is an excerpt from the governor's executive order:
In providing or obtaining essential services, people and businesses should follow the Guidelines from the President and the CDC by practicing good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation, implementing social distancing, and working from home if possible. In particular, all services should be provided through remote telework from home unless they are essential services that cannot be provided through remote telework. If religious services cannot be conducted from home or through remote services, they should be conducted consistent with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC by practicing good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation, and by implementing social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Therefore, in order to comply with our governor (God Bless him.), and in support of our president (May God bless him too.) I will attempt to do another Facebook Group Service Wednesday evening at 5:30 pm. I will go live between 5:15-5:30 with a few worship songs and then give a brief devotional. I will be doing this from Mitch's home. They have hi-speed internet. If we don't crash, I will do a full service on Facebook Sunday Morning at 10:45 am. If it crashes Wednesday I will let you know what we will do for this Sunday.
In addition, we will once again be open for prayer between the hours of 9 am to 7 pm Monday through Saturday. Our Sunday evening Bible Study will also recommence at its normal 5:30 pm time. Our Monday evening and Thursday evening 6:00 pm prayer meetings will also be back in place.
A few days before the CDC issued its recommendation of gatherings of 50 or less and the president issued his recommendation of limiting gatherings to 10 or less, a church in Mount Vernon, Washington held a choir practice. Within several days, 45 members became ill, 29 tested positive for COVID-19 and two people in their 80s died. Although we are not to live in fear, we are to be good stewards of these bodies God has given us. Therefore, I would like to offer the following precautions as reasonable stewardship:
- Don't drink bleach.
- Don't handle poisonous snakes in your worship services.
- Practice social distancing when we gather. Wash your hands frequently. Don't touch your face. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Do all these things in love to protect our older church members and those the Lord has placed in our fellowship who have respiratory and/or other underlying issues.
Please continue to pray for me as I attempt to lead His church in a way that is consistent with biblical principles and in a way that will best advance His gospel. Thank you for all your input. Hearing various thoughts helps me as I take these issues to prayer and finally to decisions.