CBCGB COVID-19 Response
After prudent prayer and discussion between church elders, pastoral staff, the church public advisory group, and worship ministry leaders, the church has decided to extend online worship and church meetings through the end of June. This includes adult Sunday school, fellowship and small group meetings, prayer meetings, and all other church gatherings. The church office will continue to be closed, available only to a minimum of co-workers who need access to accomplish their duties and for maintenance. A decision for how the church will proceed from July onwards will be made after further discussion and will be announced to the entire church at a later date.
Massachusetts has announced the start of Phase 1 of its reopening plan which includes permitting places of worship to reopen while observing safety guidelines. However, the church elders and pastoral staff have decided to take a more conservative approach towards reopening. Our decision is based on the following convictions: 1. We want to protect the physical health and wellbeing of the entire congregation and to protect members from the risk of COVID-19 infection through mass gatherings. 2. We want to protect the physical health and wellbeing of all ministry volunteers, office staff and pastoral staff, and to protect them from the risk of COVID-19 infection while they are fulfilling their ministry duties. 3. We take seriously our responsibilities and witness to our surrounding community and desire to mitigate the risk of a second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak. We firmly believe that “the Most High does not live in houses made by men…” (Acts 7:48) and “…the true worshipper will worship the Father in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23). Bearing witness with “faith, hope, and love” (1Cor. 13:13) is more important than recklessly taking risks to worship in-person without sufficient preparation during these extraordinary times. Based on these convictions, we hold the perspective that while the entire world is still under the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, caring for the health and wellbeing of people is a better way of testifying to our faith and following God’s will. This is the reason we have decided to be more conservative with the church reopening process.
With this prudent perspective, we still hold the hope that when conditions allow, all church members will be able to meet face to face and shoulder to shoulder to enjoy sweet fellowship in the Lord. To safely move towards this goal, church elders, pastoral staff, and other related coworkers have been meeting online every Wednesday evening since mid-March to review the church’s ministry, to monitor developments in the COVID-19 outbreak, and to evaluate recommendations from the government and CDC, so as to decide each week’s next step. As we began to look forward to the church’s future reopening, a “church reopening task force” was formed two weeks ago to carefully research the steps and details necessary to reopen the church and propose recommendations for the elders and pastors to reference. We hope that by the end of June, we will have clearly developed phases of reopening along with details for each phase. We sincerely ask the entire church to pray for all the elders, pastoral staff, and coworkers so that we will neither fail the commission God has given us nor fail the trust of the congregation and so that CBCGB will continue to honor our God and serve our community.
Updated May 25, 2020 at 11:12 pm EST