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Chuck's musings

Statement Concerning Future Reopening for Public Worship

5/5/2020

Good morning, friends. I’d like to share some of my thoughts around the potential reopening of the church. Like many of you, I am looking forward to the time when we are able once again to publicly meet for Worship. At the same time, I want to proceed with appropriate caution amid coronavirus concerns.

In consultation with our District Superintendent, our church’s Advisory Council, and other pastors, I have come to the difficult decision to remain closed for the immediate future. This decision will be evaluated daily and may change at any point. Online Worship will still be made available during this time and will likely continue even after we reopen for those who choose to worship from home.

The decision to remain closed is also informed by the April 29th meeting of the Joplin City Council. While the council did give permission to churches who would like to reopen, their guidelines are very strict. These include, but are not limited to, temperature checks upon entry, the non-use of lobby and reception areas, the recommendation that individuals stay in their cars until services begin, separation of groups by a minimum of six feet, and the recommendation that individuals age sixty and above do not attend. The council also recommended that services be held online or by drive-in.

Under these guidelines, public Worship would be difficult to conduct. The logistics alone of compliance to the city’s guidelines would present numerous challenges. Further, it would be difficult to continue appropriate hospitality and a welcoming environment.

The good news is that the mission of the church remains intact, even when we must refrain from worshiping together. We will continue to “…make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Thank you for being a part of that mission.