Return to Worship or Still Safer at Home?
Rev. Pam Holt, Regional Minister
We been practicing being “safer at home” for about six weeks now. Like you, I lament that life has changed. We cannot be with our family or our friends to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries in ways we are accustomed. We have cancelled weddings, graduations, and vacations. We’ve cancelled many Regional and church events. We cannot even gather in person in our sanctuaries for worship or funerals. These days of safer at home are very hard, but I want to thank you for your part in loving your neighbor and yourself in staying home to stay safe and well.
I have been amazed at the wonderful worship services that are happening all around our denomination and our Region on-line, through live streaming. I am grateful for technology that allows us to be in worship together and share time around the Lord’s table through our devices.
In the past few days, we have learned that in Oklahoma, worship spaces can be opened for in-person gatherings beginning May 3rd. Please, please, don’t rush into returning to your sanctuary!
Following the guidelines and wisdom of the Centers for Disease Control and the Oklahoma Health Department, we know that the risks for in-person gatherings are still VERY HIGH.
The Region is strongly encouraging all of our congregations to continue to worship on-line until safe and responsible protocols can be put in place for each of our worshipping communities.
In preparation for some day returning to in-person worship, the Region hosted conversation with clergy this past week and has provided worksheets and initial questions for clergy and leadership teams to start making a plan, in writing, about safe practices to return to gathered worship. These resources are provided on our website at OKdisciples.org under the COVID-19 Resources “Thinking About Returning to Worship?”
Please take your time to have discussions and put protocols in place and communicate expectations to the members BEFORE returning to in-person worships.
We are here to help. Remember, go slow. Take time to think and plan, together. For your neighbor. For your self. For your pastor.
Stay well. Stay safe. Stay connected. Stay hopeful.
May God’s blessing of peace and protection and God’s grace and mercy continue to be upon us all.