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Carefully and Prayerfully

    

Published 2020-05-22


 

iowa

When I was a pastor in small Iowa town in the 90’s we often had a dilemma on a snowy Sunday morning. Should we cancel church or not?

They had a practice long before I came of canceling worship if a snowstorm made it dangerous for people to come to church. We had a number of farm families who traveled gravel country roads to town, so their safety was our highest priority. When a storm had dumped several inches of snow on Saturday night, it was an easy decision. But more often than not the question we found ourselves asking, “Is it bad enough to cancel?” And more importantly, “If we don’t cancel will some people think that because the church is open, it must be safe?”

Since I have been here I don’t think we have ever canceled church because of weather. Sometimes we have had small
crowds. Several times we have had to pay to have the parking lot plowed Sunday morning. A couple of times we have had only one service, but we have always been open. That’s why the decision to cancel in-person worship during this pandemic was very hard for me. It ruined my perfect record for one thing! I also knew that we would get to this current place and have the “snow day dilemma.” At this point my main concern is that no one interprets future reopening the church, when and however that may happen, as a sign that it is completely safe to come to church.

For whatever reason the virus still seems to love to go to church. Being in a large group of people in a closed room for an hour is one of the most dangerous places to be to contract the virus. It is running rampant in the close quarters of nursing homes, prisons and on cruise ships. Public events and graduations are canceled for that very reason. Governments have hesitated to mandate churches to suspend in-person worship because of their honoring the fundamental American right of the separation of Church and State. It is not, however, because churches are somehow immune to the virus. Many outbreaks have been traced to religious gatherings or funerals
where guidelines were not followed. At least one pastor who defied warnings about the danger of religious gatherings during the pandemic died of COVID-19.

https://www.nytimes.com/…/bishop-geraldglenn-coronavirus.ht…

“How will we reopen?” you ask. The only answer is, “Carefully and prayerfully.”




Blog Archives

Friday, May 15 2020 2020-05-22     Published 2020-05-22

“I love to tell the story of Jesus and his love.” 2020-05-08     Published 2020-05-08

Friday, May 1st 2020-05-01     Published 2020-05-01

Christ is Risen 2020-04-17     Published 2020-04-17

Keep Calm and Keep Learning 2020-04-10     Published 2020-04-10

COVID-19 - Dogs 2020-04-03     Published 2020-04-03

COVID-19 First Week 2020-03-27     Published 2020-03-27

COVID-19 Pandemic 2020-03-20     Published 2020-03-20

COVID-19 2020-03-15     Published 2020-03-15

Happieness 2020-03-06     Published 2020-03-06

Ash Wednesday 2020-02-28     Published 2020-02-28

God is found exactly in the messiest of places 2020-02-21     Published 2020-02-21

February 14th, 2020 2020-02-14     Published 2020-02-14

They Won! 2020-02-07     Published 2020-02-07

Have You Heard? 2020-01-31     Published 2020-01-31

Martin Luther King, Jr Day of Service 2020-01-10     Published 2020-01-10

Statistics Part 2 2020-01-03     Published 2020-01-03

Statistics Part 1 2019-12-27     Published 2019-12-27

Merry Christmas 2019-12-20     Published 2019-12-20

The Presence of God 2019-12-13     Published 2019-12-13

Advent Is For Waiting 2019-12-06     Published 2019-12-06

Happy Thanksgiving 2019-11-29     Published 2019-11-29

God is Love 2019-11-22     Published 2019-11-22

Wild Geese 2019-11-15     Published 2019-11-15

Nominations Now Open 2019-11-08     Published 2019-11-08

All Saints Day 2019-11-01     Published 2019-11-01

Lies The Culture Tells Us (Part 2) 2019-10-25     Published 2019-10-25

Lies The Culture Tells Us 2019-10-18     Published 2019-10-18

Blessing of the Animals 2019-10-11     Published 2019-10-11

The Cloud of Unknowing 2019-09-27     Published 2019-09-27

The Web 2019-09-20     Published 2019-09-20

Elizabeth Joy "Ellie" Gordon 2019-09-13     Published 2019-09-13

All Things New 2019-09-06     Published 2019-09-06

We Believe Take 2 2019-08-30     Published 2019-08-30

We Believe... 2019-08-23     Published 2019-08-23

August 16, 2019 2019-08-16     Published 2019-08-16

Reflections of sitting by a stream 2019-08-09     Published 2019-08-09

August 2nd 2019 2019-08-02     Published 2019-08-02

July 26th 2019 2019-07-26     Published 2019-07-26

The First Presbyterian on the Moon 2019-07-19     Published 2019-07-19

Reflection of Cynthia Bourgeault 2019-07-12     Published 2019-07-12

Pine Ridge History 2019-07-05     Published 2019-07-05

Highlands Presbyterian 2019-06-28     Published 2019-06-28

God alone is Lord of the conscience, part 2 2019-06-21     Published 2019-06-21

God alone is Lord of the conscience, part 1 2019-06-14     Published 2019-06-14

D-Day 75th Anniversary 2019-06-07     Published 2019-06-07

Rain 2019-05-31     Published 2019-05-31

It Is Time 2019-05-24     Published 2019-05-24

Seen any good movies lately? 2019-05-17     Published 2019-05-17

Prayer is... 2019-05-10     Published 2019-05-10

Where Does God Live? 2019-05-03     Published 2019-05-03

Expect Resurrection! 2019-04-25     Published 2019-04-25

Notre Dame 2019-04-18     Published 2019-04-18

Dying Before We Die (Part 2) 2019-04-11     Published 2019-04-11

The Golden Gate 2019-04-04     Published 2019-04-04

What is Lent? 2019-03-28     Published 2019-03-28

Nothing and Everything 2019-03-22     Published 2019-03-22

Saint Patrick 2019-03-14     Published 2019-03-14

Ash Wednesday 2019-03-07     Published 2019-03-07

I Love My Church 2019-02-28     Published 2019-02-28

Immaculee Ilibagiza 2019-02-21     Published 2019-02-21

I Had Forgotten 2019-02-14     Published 2019-02-14

Chagall Isaiah 2019-02-07     Published 2019-02-07

Happy Groundhog Day 2019-01-31     Published 2019-01-31

God Sightings 2019-01-24     Published 2019-01-24

Boxers for Jesus and MLK 2019-01-17     Published 2019-01-17

Peace On Earth 2019-01-10     Published 2019-01-10

New Year's Prayer 2019-01-03     Published 2019-01-03

After Christmas 2018-12-27     Published 2018-12-27

12-20-2018 2018-12-20     Published 2018-12-20

Busy Yet? 2018-12-13     Published 2018-12-13

Oh Christmas Tree! 2018-12-06     Published 2018-12-06

Happy Purple Sunday 2018-11-29     Published 2018-11-29

Happy Thanksgiving 2018-11-15     Published 2018-11-15

Help Thanks Wow 2018-11-08     Published 2018-11-08

Havdalah 2018-11-01     Published 2018-11-01

Homelessness 2018-10-25     Published 2018-10-25

Changing Leaves 2018-10-18     Published 2018-10-18

Savor The Sabbath 2018-10-11     Published 2018-10-11

World Communion Sunday 2018-10-04     Published 2018-10-04

Me Too 2018-09-27     Published 2018-09-27

100! 2018-09-20     Published 2018-09-20

From Thoughts in Solitude 2018-09-13     Published 2018-09-13

Yugen 2018-09-06     Published 2018-09-06

Mystics 2018-08-30     Published 2018-08-30

The Kids Were Amazing 2018-08-23     Published 2018-08-23

First Day 2018-08-16     Published 2018-08-16

Ask The Birds 2018-08-09     Published 2018-08-09

What Do They Really Need? 2018-07-26     Published 2018-07-26

A Moment of Grace 2018-07-19     Published 2018-07-19

Won't You Be My Neighbor 2018-07-12     Published 2018-07-12

Generosity 2018-06-28     Published 2018-06-28

Imago Dei 2018-06-21     Published 2018-06-21

A Heartfelt Thank You 2018-06-07     Published 2018-06-07

Starbucks 2018-05-31     Published 2018-05-31

Change in Worship 2018-05-24     Published 2018-05-24

Mike Dieleman, Chair of the Finance Committee 2018-05-17     Published 2018-05-17

Happy Mother's Day 2018-05-10     Published 2018-05-10

Death Cafe Goes to Sunday School 2018-05-03     Published 2018-05-03

National Pretzel Day 2018-04-26     Published 2018-04-26

Breathe In Knowing You Are Loved 2018-04-19     Published 2018-04-19

Resurrection Life 2018-04-12     Published 2018-04-12

Seeing Resurrection 2018-04-05     Published 2018-04-05

Happy Easter 2018-03-29     Published 2018-03-29

This is Palm/Passion Sunday 2018-03-22     Published 2018-03-22

Task Force Groups 2018-03-15     Published 2018-03-15

Spring Forward! 2018-03-08     Published 2018-03-08

Curling and Jesus 2018-03-02     Published 2018-03-02

I Don't Know What To Say 2018-02-23     Published 2018-02-23

Gratitude is the Heart of Prayer 2018-02-16     Published 2018-02-16

Jennifer's Departure 2018-02-01     Published 2018-02-01

One Sentence 2018-01-25     Published 2018-01-25

Day of Service on MLK Day at LAMP 2018-01-18     Published 2018-01-18

Never Waste A Good Crisis 2018-01-11     Published 2018-01-11

New Year Resolutions 2018-01-04     Published 2018-01-04

New Year Blessings 2017-12-31     Published 2017-12-31

Merry Christmas! 2017-12-20     Published 2017-12-20

An Oxymoron 2017-12-13     Published 2017-12-13

Blue Christmas 2017-12-06     Published 2017-12-06

Purple Sunday 2017-11-30     Published 2017-11-30

A Successful Trip 2017-11-12     Published 2017-11-12

Happy Halloween 2017-10-26     Published 2017-10-26

I Am The Vine 2017-10-19     Published 2017-10-19

The Warning Signs 2017-10-05     Published 2017-10-05

Creating Quiet Space 2017-09-28     Published 2017-09-28

You go girl! 2017-09-14     Published 2017-09-14

Out of Chaos, Hope x2 2017-09-06     Published 2017-09-06

Out of Chaos, Hope 2017-08-31     Published 2017-08-31

A Slippery Slope 2017-08-24     Published 2017-08-24

Live In Peace 2017-08-17     Published 2017-08-17

Caring for Creation 2017-08-10     Published 2017-08-10

The Bowl 2017-08-03     Published 2017-08-03

Journey of Our Soul; May It Be Long and Winding 2017-06-22     Published 2017-06-22

Loving Day 2017-06-15     Published 2017-06-15

Kindergarten Graduation 2017-05-25     Published 2017-05-25

The Beginning of Something Else 2017-05-18     Published 2017-05-18

Happy Star Wars Day, May the Fourth be with you! 2017-05-04     Published 2017-05-04

Happy Easter 2017-04-13     Published 2017-04-13

Warm Greetings from Genova, Guatemala 2017-04-06     Published 2017-04-06

International Day of Happiness 2017-03-23     Published 2017-03-23

Spiritual But Not Religious 2017-03-16     Published 2017-03-16

Night Prayer 2017-03-08     Published 2017-03-08

Lent 2017-03-01     Published 2017-03-01

Yūgen 2017-02-23     Published 2017-02-23

It's a Beautiful Day 2017-02-16     Published 2017-02-16

Jesus is in your boat! 2017-02-09     Published 2017-02-09

Happy Ground Hog Day! 2017-02-03     Published 2017-02-03

We All Are Constantly in Motion 2017-01-18     Published 2017-01-18

January Retreat 2017-01-11     Published 2017-01-11

Wishing You a Very Challenging New Year 2016-12-29     Published 2016-12-29

Mary Christmas 2016-12-21     Published 2016-12-21

It's Time to Put the X back in Christmas 2016-12-14     Published 2016-12-14

First Week in Advent 2016-11-30     Published 2016-11-30

Happy Thanksgiving 2016-11-16     Published 2016-11-16

"On Election Day 1884" 2016-11-09     Published 2016-11-09

First Ever Blessing of the Animals 2016-11-02     Published 2016-11-02