Your LABC Reopening Task Force has met to prayerfully debate when and how we should prepare for resumption of in-person worship services. After much deliberations, discussions and a couple polls to the congregation, our approach can be summed up in a single word, cautious.
We’ve kept everyone’s health and well-being in the forefront of the discourse. This includes your physical, mental and spiritual health. We are all suffering during these times and look forward to normalcy and being able to meet together for healing at our church.
Alameda County has a recent easing of restrictions related of church services but this past week there are record numbers of new cases nationwide. We don’t want to create a situation where meeting at church allows a spike in the transmission of the virus locally. Knowing that the virus can be spread between each other and then into our homes and community, that would be disastrous.
To resume in-person services we need to prepare our church environment and develop protocols. We’d want to implement a Facilities Checklist of items. Currently the State and County recommend a minimum amount of fresh air to be introduced into the facility before, during and after use. Although we have a boiler, our only means of introducing fresh air is from the windows. This could be impracticable during the next few weeks or months. We also need to develop a code of behavior for anyone attending service. The most obvious requirements would include masks, temperature checks before entering and continued social distancing. How these would be implemented could be a challenge. We would rely heavily on volunteers and self-enforcement. Most of these are already in places at every place of business currently open so it’s a manageable effort.
Our recommendation at this point is we are preparing for in-church services early next year. That may be in Winter or possibly later, by Easter. We feel the return date would be largely dependent on the pandemic. We are hopeful there’ll be a vaccine available and distributed. Also, resumption of in-person services wouldn’t preclude continued virtual worship opportunities. There’s been a presentation and recommendation for new and better equipment to continue and improve these services. We will also need to be cognizant that the County may continue to mandate capacity and there may be concerns from members who may not be ready to return.
Take heart, as the LABC staff has plans for a special Christmas eve service. More info to follow.
Marc Harrison, Marie Johnson and Jesse Lucas for the LABC Reopening Task Force. (The Task Force next meets at 7:05 on Tuesday, December 1st on the LABC Zoom Platform.
A Time For Prayer meets this morning at 10:00. Worship begins tomorrow morning at 10:00.