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Religious Freedom During a Global Pandemic (Matt Vega)

  • How should Christians respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic?
  • Do we cancel worship services?
  • Do we engage in civil disobedience?
  • Do we find a way to obey both God and man?

15 states have allowed religious gatherings Whether we gather was left up to the elders of the local congregations.

A neutral law of general applicability does not violate the First Amendment Employment Division v Smith.

Legally, we can’t argue that our religious rights are being violated.

5 Recommendations for How to Be Prepared

  1. Develop practical procedures and policies to provide a safe facility and healthy environment to worship
  2. Continue to use technology to carry out our mission
  3. Find creative ways to spend more time together in small groups.
  4. Make a special effort to make everyone feel welcome.
  5. Remember the church is about people helping people maintain continuity in their faith.

Church COVID-19 Checklist

  • Sanitize and clean frequently touched surfaces (door handles, etc.).
  • Offer protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc).
  • Consider a second alternative service for healthy individuals 65 and older.
  • remind members to take their temperature before arriving and not to shake hands, hug, etc.
  • Encourage only family/household units to sit together.
  • Everyone should be asked to remain 6-10 feet from others outside their household.
  • Services might need to be shorter to reduce the need for members to use the restroom.
  • Pre-packaged communion served by ushers wearing gloves.
  • Forego passing the offering plates; set up stationary receptacle in the foyer to place your contributions.
  • Discourage using song books; use Paperless Hymnal.
  • Discontinue hard copy bulletins (display on PPT overhead and send reminders by email).
  • Consider structured dismissals or assigning ext doors (no congregating in the lobby; socialize outside).

Don’t worship the cure, worship the Creator

Matt Vega

Revelation 22:14

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