5.28.20 Thursday Updates
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Dear Family and Friends of Community,
Almost everything in 2020 has been politicized including the response to COVID-19.
For the leadership of this church, COVID-19 is not a political issue. This is a matter of public safety and health. We closed the doors out of an abundance of caution even before the state of Nevada made any decision to limit the size of gatherings.
We understand that there is wide range of opinions regarding the severity of the COVID-19 virus. That is your right as an individual.
However, as Pastor Ben has consistently said and written, we will continue to listen to what mainstream medical science is telling us about the virus. We agree with the assessment that the probability of infection increases when many people are in proximity for extended periods of time breathing the same recirculated air even when socially distanced. This is different than shopping where we don’t stay in one place for an extended period of time and most of us don’t sing at the grocery store!
Speaking of singing, there is evidence that singing adds to the probability of infection if there are asymptomatic people participating in worship as demonstrated by the choir in Washington State discovered when 45 of its 60 choir members contracted COVID-19 after a choir practice with social distancing. This has everything to do with the ability of the Coronavirus to stay suspended in the air for long periods of time, especially in confined spaces like a sanctuary.
Public health officials continue to encourage the use of masks as a preventative measure, yet we know that not everyone is choosing to wear a mask in public spaces. We understand that it is a personal choice to wear or not wear a mask and it is a personal choice to agree or not to agree with what epidemiologists are stating about transmission of this and other viruses.
These decisions, whether made by individuals or organizations, have consequences. Just this past week, two churches (one in Georgia and one in Texas) were forced to close their doors two weeks after reopening. The independent Baptist church in Georgia implemented social distancing within their sanctuary. Their attendance was only 25% of capacity, yet they decided to close their building for a second time because some of their members got sick with COVID-19 and traced its infection to recent worship services in that church. In Texas, five priests in a
single parish tested positive for COVID-19 while they remained open for Mass. They have since closed that parish indefinitely to public worship. We do not want to find ourselves in the same situation nor do we want to potentially put anyone at risk.
Moreover, our insurance company will not cover any liability resulting from COVID-19 related infections if we do not follow all safety protocols of the health department and other stipulations that they have implemented. We simply DO NOT have the resources to comply with these regulations at this time.
Many of you know there has been a shortage of anti-viral cleaning supplies. We currently do not have enough supplies to properly clean and sanitize our church building repeatedly if we were to open our doors.
We understand that some of you are willing to take that risk. The leadership of this church is not willing to take on the potential legal liability and personal responsibility if someone contracted COVID-19 while worshipping at Community Lutheran Church. Some of you might think this is an over-reaction. However, in an abundance of caution we will continue to remain closed for worship as we assess our ability to ensure the necessary conditions and most prudent timeline to safely gather for worship.
Simply put, we would rather be safe than sorry.
We are glad to see businesses are opening up and people are going back to work. We hope that consumers will respect the health and safety of employees in these establishments. We hope that all can safely go back to work.
The entire staff looks forward to the day when we can be together again with minimal risks. Even in this time we are the Church and doing God’s work. We continue to worship, instill the faith, serve others and feed the hungry. We still pray, trust in Jesus and care for one another. Although imperfect, we continue to be the Church and nothing will deter our mission of lifting the name of Jesus to this city and beyond.
We ask that you continue to pray for our congregation, the lessening of the pandemic and for grace in this most difficult time.
God bless you,
Pr. Ben and Pr. Brian
REAL PEOPLE. INCLUSIVE GOD. RADICAL GRACE.
The Reach is our weekly newsletter to keep you informed about our ministries & more!
Weekly Online Worship Times:
Sundays @ 9:30am, 11am & 7pm
What We Believe:
We are imperfect people of every age seeking to follow Jesus.
We believe God calls all of us regardless of our gender, nationality, education, orientation, or religious background.
God loves all of us, no exceptions. Jesus' forgiveness is freely available to all as well. The Spirit seeks to empower us to be fulfilled people of faith.
Nursery & Sunday School:
Our Nursery is available during all Sunday morning worship services for newborn - 3 years. Sunday School is available for children ages 4-12. Please see The Reach for the most current schedule.