This time in our country, state, county, city, and church has been challenging in many ways physically, mentally, and spiritually. As we receive information from our President, Governor, The Florida-Georgia District, the LCMS President, and local City and Health leaders we will begin to plan for the phased-in reopening of our state, city, and church.
As Surgeon General Adams shared, “The guidelines for Opening Up America Again (OA) is a phased approach based on data and a community’s readiness. It is not a light switch. It is more like a sunrise. The guidelines are implemented by governors’ discretion and can be implemented county by county. Don’t go too fast or too far too quickly.”
What does this mean for us at Hope? We have assembled a COVID-19 Task Force, led by Hope’s Faith Community Nurse, Sheila Morales, Pastor Richard, and key leaders from our Church Council and Elders to assess where we are currently and how we can move forward implementing these guidelines. We will need to assess scientific information related to COVID-19 cases in our community, or as The President’s plan calls it “Gating Criteria” to determine how to begin reopening in phases. According to the Surgeon General Adams, we are still in the President’s 30 days to flatten the curve which puts us currently in Phase 0. Once we have met the gating criteria for our region as outlined by the President (in OA), then we can begin to move to Phase 1. Our task force will gather this information related to our region’s Gating Criteria, develop a plan to move into Phase 1 and other phases that follow. This reopening will take weeks and potentially months. The reopening plan addresses employees, worship service schedules, and logistics such as seating arrangements, and traffic flow in and out of the buildings. In addition, we will look at continuing and expanding online strategies, limiting groups to no more than 10 if space for social distancing cannot be provided, personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies, providing frequent and extra sanitizing of all common spaces, and planning for a potential second wave of COVID-19. These are only a few of the tasks that need to be in place to reopen. This planning needs to be comprehensive and provide for the safety of all of our members and employees.
It is key to remember that there are many vulnerable individuals in our faith community, and it is our responsibility to protect everyone as we begin to plan to reopen.
Feel free to look at the Opening Up America Again Guidelines, and please pray for our COVID-19 Task Force as we manage this very large task that affects your health, spiritual, and well-being!
Thank You for your prayers and support!
God’s Love and Peace,