UPDATE: Official Statement from the Presiding Bishop, General Board & COVID-19 Advisory Commission
On Saturday, May 23, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, in conjunction with the General Board and COVID-19 Advisory Commission, released a statement regarding the latest updates concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are the key points:
Our country has undergone several viral pandemics over the last century, but none have had the impact of COVID-19, which has devastated many COGIC communities.
While many states have decided to re-open places of worship, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have continued to recommend that we stay home, and if we absolutely must go out, that we wear appropriate face coverings and practice social distancing.
We are urging our COGIC pastors to follow the directives laid out by the CDC and NIAID and refrain from prematurely opening your churches until evidence suggests that it is safe to do so.
Stated plainly, we firmly believe that even though stay-at-home orders are being lifted, the COGIC churches should not be among the first churches to reopen.
The nation’s top scientific and medical experts, in addition to religious and community leaders, have been very transparent in communicating America’s need for people to refrain from gathering in large numbers.
Reopening our churches too early would put our members and worshippers at grave risk of contracting this unpredictable and potentially fatal disease – it is critical that we continue to adhere to the advice of the CDC and NIAID.
We caution pastors to delay reopening churches at least through the end of June, if not later, and even when regular activity is allowed to resume, it must be done cautiously and in phases.
You can read the entire statement from the Presiding Bishop, General Board, & COVID-19 Advisory Commission at COGIC.ORG.
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