FROM: Rev. Ezra Parris, Superintendent
TO: All Congregations
DATE: May 16, 2020
SUBJECT: Reopening of our Worship Spaces
Greetings Brothers and Sisters.
As our nation works towards the resumption of various aspects of life, following the preventative measures put in place in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic; churches will from May 18th be permitted to assemble for worship, with no more than 20 people in attendance.
While we are grateful for this permission, we share with you that it does not translate into the immediate opening of our churches. In the first instance, the limit of 20 people presents a challenge to our larger congregations in terms of deciding who would attend. Secondly measures must be put in place to ensure that we do not place worship attendees at a health risk.
Over the next few weeks our ministers will lead as we (1) carry out the necessary cleaning of our facilities, (2) finalize the protocols for our gatherings, and (3) recruit the human resources needed to implement those protocols, following the Ministry of Health guidelines to ensure that our gatherings are safe. If all goes well, some of our congregations will reopen as early as Pentecost Sunday, May 31st.
One of the realities to be faced as we seek to reopen is that of the cost of some of the measures which need to be put in place. With the closure of our churches, our congregations and the Conference have been forced into a difficult financial position. We humbly appeal to members to continue to make monetary contributions as they are able to.
We must continue prayerfully as we pass through this crisis, with the assurance that even “ . . . though [we] walk through the valley of the shadow of death, . . . [Jehovah is] with [us] . . .” Psalm 23:4