Governor Ivey released the first of this week her recommendations for the next phase of our state’s reopening. Titled, “Safer at Home,” the Governor’s new order is a responsible and gradual approach to enabling activities in Alabama to get back up and running. While her order no doubt comes as a great disappointment to many who would have preferred to see our state return to a way of life we enjoyed just two months ago (though it seems much longer), I think she acted wisely…and even faithfully. The public’s health must take precedence over everything, even something as important as our state’s economy.
Our church’s responsibility is to do our part in contributing to the public’s health, and in particular to its spiritual health. We have already joined with other faith communities in transitioning our ministries to online platforms, and I have been inspired by what I have seen our members doing so creatively to carry on our church’s mission to “Love God...Live with Grace and Generosity.”
Consequently, in response to the Governor’s new order, we will continue these virtual forms of ministry through May 15, when the Governor will revisit the track of our state’s efforts at managing the number of COVID-19 cases and potentially allow other activities to resume. We should make it a matter of prayer that Alabamians will stay the course in our personal practices over these next two weeks so that we can continue to see a decline in cases, even as we have begun to see in recent days.
As you know, the ministerial staff has been working for about a month to come up with various scenarios that we might implement for a return to ministry activity, depending on the direction the Governor’s order might take. This week we turned our plans over to our Deacon Executive Committee (Ed Wills, Glenn Eubanks, David Bryan, and Bob Baker), along with our church’s two infectious disease physicians (Meredith Welch and Leland Allen), who will direct the process of our church’s reopening going forward. You can be certain that this group of lay leaders will act in the best interest of our church.
I have heard some voices in public forums decry the fact that churches are still being asked to close their doors at this time. While I certainly understand the sentiment, the fact of the matter is that no church has to see this time as one in which they are expected to shut down entirely. Our church certainly hasn’t. Now is the time for churches like MBBC to keep looking for ways to proclaim the hope of Christ in word and deed.
So, thanks for all you’re doing in that regard.Thanks for your ongoing support of our church ministries – your prayer support, your virtual support, and your financial support. This season won’t last forever, even though some days it seems as if it might. We’ll get through this time and come out a stronger fellowship. In the meantime, heed the direction of our public officials and stay “safer at home” so that when they give us the green light, we can gather once again, confident of that sweeter, spiritual safety we always knew came in numbers.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).