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On "Closing Church"

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  • On "Closing Church"

    This is a TOUGH one. Something inside me just rebels against the notion of "closing Church" on Sunday.

    We have a lot of older people, but THEY are the ones who insist on NOT closing, and we have discussed this a great deal.

    Things are moving rapidly, and it's POSSIBLE this could change before Sunday, but so far, we are remaining open for Sunday Worship.

    Our building is very conducive to "social distancing" -- before I came here, the Church was "near death", and a worship center built for 250-300 people had only 15-17 people. We've grown, but we're still only about 70-90 people in attendance on Sunday Morning. Last Sunday we were down just a bit - but still had 60+.

    We are encouraging any of our people who are sick, have a cough, fever, cold, flu whatever - STAY HOME, and our people who are elderly with complications like COPD or other ailments to STAY HOME.

    There are a number of people, however, who insist they will come if the doors are open.

    We have eliminated Sunday School for the time being, and any other meetings that would be done in close quarters, but our Auditorium has 7 separate entrance/exits, and can easily accommodate "social distancing", so -- for the time being -- we are remaining open.

    Please pray for wisdom for us as we seek to respond to this incredibly difficult situation.

    Remember - this is NOT a DEBATE forum, but helpful comments are appreciated.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  • #2
    I'll add that we're focusing a great deal on the obvious - sanitizing, providing hand sanitizer, NOT shaking hands (doing "air hugs" like we do during flu season) and our own staff holding doors open for people, or propping doors open that would normally be closed - anything to decrease the likelihood of transmission by touching things.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh that's scary. The older folks are most at risk, and the older folks who are likely most resistant to doing services online, and most likely to have issues adapting to social distancing.

      In your shoes, I'd announce services are going online and sell it to them, individually, with personal calls if you've got the time.

      Best of luck to all y'all.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
        Oh that's scary. The older folks are most at risk, and the older folks who are likely most resistant to doing services online, and most likely to have issues adapting to social distancing.

        In your shoes, I'd announce services are going online and sell it to them, individually, with personal calls if you've got the time.

        Best of luck to all y'all.
        Actually attending a webinar this afternoon on that very topic - and been on the phone this morning with a number of them. Three Five of them who are definitely "at risk" have agreed it's best for them to stay home. So, yeah, focusing on the most susceptible.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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        • #5
          I'm thinking how I'd feel if one of my students got ill, or worse, because I was resistant to setting a safety rule that could have prevented it.

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          • #6
            I don't like that feeling.

            Comment


            • #7
              My local church announced after the pastor met with the deacons last Saturday that it was closing until 3/29, and would have another meeting prior to that to discuss whether to close beyond that. Meanwhile he and the praise team made a video and sermon for the website and facebook page, and will do so again. We're a mixture of old and young, and are on the fringe of the areas infected. Not happy with having to miss church, but perhaps it's the wisest decision.

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              • #8
                But I totally understand how you might feel resistant. I typically tell my students to watch for arithmetic errors in my presentations, and then relax and concentrate on theory, knowing my inadvertent errors keep 'em on their toes ... and knowing that Lourdes has this face she makes when she spots a bad addition, even if she doesn't say anything.

                Those non-verbal cues are important.

                Comment


                • #9
                  So far, every one of the "at risk" senior adults has agreed it's best to stay home. Still going down the list, making phone calls.
                  "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                    Actually attending a webinar this afternoon on that very topic -
                    Funny you should mention, lol.

                    Half the faculty (pulling a number out of nowhere) have never taught online. I'm in a session this afternoon (as a faculty resource, but not as the facilitator). I've already done three online sessions with my kids using the tool the campus is pushing, and not so coincidentally, the tool we'll be using to host the workshop this afternoon.

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                    • #11
                      Meanwhile, our H-E-B and Walmart are JAMPACKED this morning, and people stand in line at registers with their hoarded goods in MUCH closer proximity than they would be at Church.

                      H-E-B (our biggest grocery store) has had an absolutely FULL parking lot, with cars parked up and down the streets nearby - it's CRAZY!
                      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                        So far, every one of the "at risk" senior adults has agreed it's best to stay home. Still going down the list, making phone calls.
                        I'd keep in mind that though older folks are more at risk for serious infections, everyone's at risk for infection, and the more folks infected, the faster this will spread. The less we gather, the more we'll flatten the curve.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
                          Funny you should mention, lol.

                          Half the faculty (pulling a number out of nowhere) have never taught online. I'm in a session this afternoon (as a faculty resource, but not as the facilitator). I've already done three online sessions with my kids using the tool the campus is pushing, and not so coincidentally, the tool we'll be using to host the workshop this afternoon.
                          We're even practicing something as simple Facebook Live because a lot of our older people can manage that!
                          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                            Meanwhile, our H-E-B and Walmart are JAMPACKED this morning, and people stand in line at registers with their hoarded goods in MUCH closer proximity than they would be at Church.

                            H-E-B (our biggest grocery store) has had an absolutely FULL parking lot, with cars parked up and down the streets nearby - it's CRAZY!
                            Now that's wicked scary, too. Social distancing can't be paused for grocery shopping. Our Wallyworld lets folks order online for pickup. As many as can, should do that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
                              I'd keep in mind that though older folks are more at risk for serious infections, everyone's at risk for infection, and the more folks infected, the faster this will spread. The less we gather, the more we'll flatten the curve.
                              Absolutely understandable - and we're considering that, of course. I have a hard time, though, putting the Church at the lowest rung of the totem pole when folks seem to be gathering everywhere else for just about anything else, and even our restaurants remain open, grocery stores are PACKED....

                              ("rung of the totem pole"... hmmmm)
                              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                              Comment

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