On October 20, the Chesapeake Conference Executive Committee voted Andre Hastick, Communication director for the…
By Rick Remmers, President, Chesapeake Conference
With Maryland Governor Hogan’s statement yesterday regarding the next steps in reopening churches, there have been numerous subsequent statements from various county officials resulting in many questions about how our Chesapeake churches (in Maryland and beyond) should be responding. As Adventists, we have long valued the spiritual enrichment that comes from worshipping and fellowshipping together. We also recognize the biblically-based value of our health message and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. It is important we pursue strategies that maintain both of these priorities.
Therefore, I am encouraging each pastor/church to implement the following three steps in planning for the reopening of our church buildings.
- Government Directives – In the early stages of the pandemic, it was fairly simple to follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, at this stage, the virus has impacted communities differently and we need to start with the local guidelines coming from each city/county. From there, careful consideration should be given to guidelines/orders from the state and federal government. Our conference territory includes portions of four states and many more counties, each with their own unique directives. Please use these as a starting point in developing plans.
- Safety Protocols – In addition to governmental guidelines, consider additional safety protocols that are needed in your church given the facility, size and makeup of your congregation. Consideration should be given to what sanitizing needs to take place, how will greeters function, will masks be required/provided, how will the services be adapted to provide social distancing, etc. Also, remember to include planning for the children in your church and adapting programs for their protection.
- Communication – Clear and frequent congregational communication is highly encouraged to help everyone within our church communities to stay informed during this transition.
Let us pray for the Lord’s guidance as we prepare for the reopening of our churches.
May the Lord keep you and your family well.