Will Churches be closing due to pandemic

Mar 27, 2010
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Florida
CNN had this on churches closing...
"Many worship services are also being forced to change their ways, by either canceling services or livestreaming them this week.
The Archdiocese of New York canceled this weekend's services due to concerns about the virus, it said in a statement Saturday. Churches will remain open for private prayer.
"Let us pray for all who are sick, as well as doctors, nurses, caregivers, and all those working hard to combat the disease," Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan said in a statement.
In some states, large public gatherings have been banned."..https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/14/health/us-coronavirus-weekend-updates/index.html
 

rtm3039

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Feb 5, 2019
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CNN had this on churches closing...
"Many worship services are also being forced to change their ways, by either canceling services or livestreaming them this week.
The Archdiocese of New York canceled this weekend's services due to concerns about the virus, it said in a statement Saturday. Churches will remain open for private prayer.
"Let us pray for all who are sick, as well as doctors, nurses, caregivers, and all those working hard to combat the disease," Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan said in a statement.
In some states, large public gatherings have been banned."..https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/14/health/us-coronavirus-weekend-updates/index.html
Yes. Mine did. On any given Sunday, we see as many as 1,500 people for our main service (10:45) and between 600 - 800 for the other two services (9:45 and 12:30). We see around 800 - 1,000 on Saturday.

We have seven campuses and an on-line service. This week, and probably for several more, the services are/will be held online.

This was the topic of a long long conversation. This is the responsible thing to do. (https://www.cfmiami.org/series-fixyoureyesonjesus)

rtm3039
 

rtm3039

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I haven't been for a few weeks now but I go to home bible study which is less than 10 people.

I'm not that keen on crowds anyway. Churches in nz are smaller though I've never been to any that are over 500 people.
I do both. We have small groups that meet once a week. Since December; however, it has been hit or miss. On many occasions, only 2 or 3 of us show up. We have to fix that, or I will need to find a more committed small group.

As for the physical attendance, I like the crowds. We have a large courtyard and many people hand out there, before and after service.

I guess it will be a while before we do that again. :(
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Why do you like crowds Rtm? Just wondering.

Do you come from a small or big family?
When I had my group of Bible reading we still read the Bible even if it was just 2 or 3 of us. Jesus said when two or three gather in my name, I am there, so, that doesn't stop us. I know in jewish circles they need 10 men to have a quorum for prayer....but Jesus didn't even need 10. He got 12 disciples, but in the end it was just Peter and John who stuck with him.
 

rtm3039

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Why do you like crowds Rtm? Just wondering.

Do you come from a small or big family?
When I had my group of Bible reading we still read the Bible even if it was just 2 or 3 of us. Jesus said when two or three gather in my name, I am there, so, that doesn't stop us. I know in jewish circles they need 10 men to have a quorum for prayer....but Jesus didn't even need 10. He got 12 disciples, but in the end it was just Peter and John who stuck with him.
Hi Lanolin,

I like crowds because of the energy that comes with them. We attend services that sometimes are more than 1,300 people; but the real church takes place with our small groups what meet during the week and dig deeper into the Word. These groups are from 4 - 10 people.

I come from a small family, mostly because we immigrated to the US from Cuba and most of our family stayed there. For the most part, I grew up with my parents and one sister. My wife and I raised five kids and we now have five grandkids. Now, my wife, on the other hand, has a huge family. I enjoy spending time with them, which includes a large number of people and four generations (note: One daughter and two grandkids are missing from the picture):

family.jpg
 
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Feb 10, 2015
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Our services (Sunday morning and evening as well as Thursday prayer meetings) are available online, which helps.

For in-person worship/fellowship the church made several adjustments for Services this past Sunday.

They disinfected the pews prior to services

Sanitizer was placed around the narthex/vestibule and nave.

Usually after singing an opening hymn, we sing a 'handshaking' song when everyone walks up and down the aisles greeting each other and shaking hands. This has been skipped, and people are encouraged to greet each other in less physical manner.

The Pastor also requested that if we need to cough or sneeze, to do that into a cloth. He also requested that if someone near them does so, they should not be treated as if they were unwelcome.

Now the recommendations from the government (all levels) is to avoid gatherings of more than 50 persons I expect the Pastor and board are evaluating just how to comply.

So, in sum, we are taking precautions that seem appropriate considering the area (rural, semi rural), local health conditions, etc, but we are not panicking, and discussing how we can be a blessing to our community (for example making sure this does not prevent those with health challenges can stay home and still get food and other necessities.

As an aside, our Pastor recently returned from a trip visiting missionaries in New Zealand. He came back with a cold, and some were a little concerned, but that is more for his sake than it is fearful that he brought COVID19 to us.
 

rtm3039

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Our services (Sunday morning and evening as well as Thursday prayer meetings) are available online, which helps.

For in-person worship/fellowship the church made several adjustments for Services this past Sunday.

They disinfected the pews prior to services

Sanitizer was placed around the narthex/vestibule and nave.

Usually after singing an opening hymn, we sing a 'handshaking' song when everyone walks up and down the aisles greeting each other and shaking hands. This has been skipped, and people are encouraged to greet each other in less physical manner.

The Pastor also requested that if we need to cough or sneeze, to do that into a cloth. He also requested that if someone near them does so, they should not be treated as if they were unwelcome.

Now the recommendations from the government (all levels) is to avoid gatherings of more than 50 persons I expect the Pastor and board are evaluating just how to comply.

So, in sum, we are taking precautions that seem appropriate considering the area (rural, semi rural), local health conditions, etc, but we are not panicking, and discussing how we can be a blessing to our community (for example making sure this does not prevent those with health challenges can stay home and still get food and other necessities.

As an aside, our Pastor recently returned from a trip visiting missionaries in New Zealand. He came back with a cold, and some were a little concerned, but that is more for his sake than it is fearful that he brought COVID19 to us.
How large is your church? The USG is not recommending crowds smaller than 10.
 
Feb 10, 2015
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How large is your church? The USG is not recommending crowds smaller than 10.
It's a lot bigger than that. Recommendations are changing and the Pastor and leadership are re-evaluating things throughout this.

We may end up being primarily online until things get better.
 
Feb 10, 2015
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How large is your church? The USG is not recommending crowds smaller than 10.
I just checked our website.

The church is complying with the governors request to limit gatherings.
The special singing/ preaching planned for this week as well as the services will be on-line.
 

rtm3039

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I just checked our website.

The church is complying with the governors request to limit gatherings.
The special singing/ preaching planned for this week as well as the services will be on-line.
Yes, I was pretty sure of that. All major churches are providing on-line services for the near future. Now, wonder what happens to the small churches who can either not afford the on-line software or just don't do things what way?
 
Feb 10, 2015
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As many of us are avoiding going out, and many times our state or local governments are temporarily suspending our right of assembly out of necessity, we should still be faithful in providing our offerings to our Lord, and the churches that exist in His Name.

Many of us are being challenged both spiritually as well as economically. I believe the Lord will bless those that look past their current difficulties and continue to support His body of believers.

Just because one is not attending services in person, it is no reason not to give to the Lord as He has provided for you throughout your life. Many churches have a way of donating through a web-site, or one can mail their offering.
 
Nov 21, 2016
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UK
My church has closed. But there are many other things they are doing. Answering phone calls from people who are elderly and alone, or isolating because of ill-health, and feel like they just want to chat to other human beings, and shopping and delivering food to the same people who need to be self-isolating at the moment. Unfortunately, I was directly exposed to the virus (by my best pal!), who is now recovering. I've shown no symptoms, but was told to self-isolate for 14 days to make sure that I wasn't sick. So on Monday, I'll be able to do some shopping for the elderly, without any risk that I might infect them with the dreaded lurgy. It will keep me fit, and I'll be helpful to others without being a risk.

In the UK, the government asked for volunteers to help the health service, and thousands of people have responded.

If your church has closed, and you are fit and healthy, try volunteering to do something, anything. There are a lot of people who are stuck at home alone, because they are in the high risk bracket, elderly or have underlying health conditions. They need other people to shop for them, the on-line shopping system is flooded. And most of them would just like someone to talk to, even if it is 2 metres/6 ft away.

I've been regularly chatting with an old lady who lives at the back of my house anyway. Doing her shopping, dropping it off and all within a 2 metre distance. At least on Monday, I'll know that I'm plague free and definitely won't be infectious.

Church is just a building. It's the people inside it that can make a difference.

Having said all that, I'll be really cheesed off if they want to stick me on the phones. I need some exercise before I turn into a porky barrel.

Am praying for all the people who may be adversely affected by this horrible virus.

Annie xxx
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Annie does your minister live at the church, like at a manse or something?
There will always be someone there, as most churches have accomodation right next door but I'm not sure how those who live quite a while away from their church building are handling it.
 
Nov 21, 2016
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No he doesn't. And the poor fella is dealing with this like everybody else, in a state of uncertainty. There ARE people at the church taking calls etc, and the more people who seem to be immune, the more people will come. And God Bless the people who are doing the work without fear.

These are very strange times indeed.

Blessings to you Lanolin and all your family, that you're all safe and sound, and when all this nonsense is over, I get to make another trip to NZ, which is the most beautiful country, and say hello!!!

And go white water rafting. Wicked.
 
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