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Are Houses of Worship Essential During a Pandemic?
by Causes
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  • Robert
    Voted Yes
    05/27/2020
    ···

    I started out thinking that jimK was going to say the right thing. Congregations comes from the word conjugate, which means to gather to gather. In the Bible it does say that wherever 2 or more of you gather I will be there too. However that really means that say you got shipped wrecked on a tiny deserted island and there is just your family of three that you don’t have to say we can’t practice our religion because there is no church building for us to worship in. However part of the purpose of a religious service is to have fellowship with fellow believers in your God. It is that encouragement that we give each other. Yes for a short time or on a trip for instance one could either go to a fellow church in another city or state or if your services were on the web like ours was before the virus one could watch it on the web. One part of our service is on EVERY Sunday we share in the Lords Supper which is known as communion. Jesus said in the last supper as he broke the bread and passed the cup to do this in remembrance of me until I come again. Our church has bought this individual communion cup and bread in one package that kind of looks like a liquid creamer in an individual size. The CDC put out guidance for having religious services and may I suggest jimK this would be much safer than walking through Walmart. CDC offers the following general considerations to help communities of faith discern how best to practice their beliefs while keeping their staff and congregations safe. Millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life. For many faith traditions, gathering together for worship is at the heart of what it means to be a community of faith. But as Americans are now aware, gatherings present a risk for increasing spread of COVID-19 during this Public Health Emergency. CDC offers these suggestions for faith communities to consider and accept, reject, or modify, consistent with their own faith traditions, in the course of preparing to reconvene for in-person gatherings while still working to prevent the spread of COVID-In addition, we note that while many types of gatherings are important for civic and economic well-being, religious worship has particularly profound significance to communities and individuals, including as a right protected by the First Amendment. State and local authorities are reminded to take this vital right into account when establishing their own re-opening plans. Promote healthy hygiene practices Encourage staff and congregants to maintain good hand hygiene, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Have adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (for those who can safely use hand sanitizer), tissues, and no-touch trash cans. Encourage staff and congregants to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of their elbow. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed. Whenever soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used. Consider posting signs on how to stop the spreadpdf icon of COVID-19 and how to promote everyday protective measurespdf icon, such as washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and properly wearing a face co Cloth face coverings Encourage use of cloth face coverings among staff and congregants. Face coverings are most essential when social distancing is difficult. Note: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children younger than 2 years old, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, and anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance. Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects in between uses. Develop a schedule of increased, routine cleaning and disinfection. Avoid use of items that are not easily cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep them away from children. Cleaning products should not be used near children, and staff should ensure that there is adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent children or themselves from inhaling toxic fumes. Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, etc. Do not open windows and doors if they pose a safety risk to children using the facility. If your faith community offers multiple services, consider scheduling services far enough apart to allow time for cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces between services. Take steps to ensure that all water systems and features (for example, drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water. Promote social distancing Take steps to limit the size of gatherings in accordance with the guidance and directives of state and local authorities and subject to the protections of the First Amendment and any other applicable federal law. Promote social distancing at services and other gatherings, ensuring that clergy, staff, choir, volunteers and attendees at the services follow social distancing, as circumstances and faith traditions allow, to lessen their risk. Consider holding services and gatherings in a large, well-ventilated area or outdoors, as circumstances and faith traditions allow. Consider appropriate mitigation measures, including taking steps to limit the size of gatherings maintaining social distancing, at other gatherings such as funerals, weddings, religious education classes, youth events, support groups and any other programming, where consistent with the faith tradition. Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or walkways and signs on walls, to ensure that staff and children remain at least 6 feet apart in lines and at other times (e.g. guides for creating “one-way routes” in hallways). Promote social distancing Take steps to limit the size of gatherings in accordance with the guidance and directives of state and local authorities and subject to the protections of the First Amendment and any other applicable federal law. Promote social distancing at services and other gatherings, ensuring that clergy, staff, choir, volunteers and attendees at the services follow social distancing, as circumstances and faith traditions allow, to lessen their risk. Consider holding services and gatherings in a large, well-ventilated area or outdoors, as circumstances and faith traditions allow. Consider appropriate mitigation measures, including taking steps to limit the size of gatherings maintaining social distancing, at other gatherings such as funerals, weddings, religious education classes, youth events, support groups and any other programming, where consistent with the faith tradition. Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or walkways and signs on walls, to ensure that staff and children remain at least 6 feet apart in lines and at other times (e.g. guides for creating “one-way routes” in hallways). This was pretty long but people think even family members must sit 6 feet apart which is not true.

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