Updated Policy and Procedure for Gathering During the Pandemic
Updated Policy and Procedure for Gathering
During the Pandemic
An Important Message From Bishop Owensby:
I pray that you
and yours are well. These are trying times, and I appreciate your calm,
faithful leadership. As you know, the pandemic continues to change local
circumstances, and prudence requires that we respond sensibly as needed.
In his briefing
today Governor Edwards reported that, with respect to the spread of the
virus in our state, we have lost all the gains we had made in May.
Infection and hospital rates are climbing to new heights. Now this spread
is no longer contained within hot spots like Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Instead, the entire state is experiencing an increase in infection and
Accordingly, I am
now reiterating and amplifying my current requirements in the following
1. All previously
published requirements for gatherings for worship or any other purpose as a
congregation remain firmly in effect. This includes mandates regarding
social distancing, the wearing of masks, the limits on attendance numbers,
sanitation, and the like. Singing continues to be forbidden. For
clergy these policies are a mandatory pastoral direction.
2. Given the
increased incidence of infection, I strongly urge that all worship or other
gatherings be outside or virtual. If your congregation is unable to provide
virtual worship, please send members to my FB Morning Prayer (Sunday, 10:00
a.m. CDT or the saved video at a later time). I will continue to offer
weekly worship as long as we are in pandemic conditions.
3. The safest form
of worship during a time of increased contagion is Morning Prayer.
Accordingly, I urge you to revert to Morning Prayer until we see
significant improvement in the rate of infection.
Neither #2 nor #3
are requirements at this stage. However, I will continue to monitor the
metrics and will issue revised policies as needed.
Remember, we take
these measures to protect the most vulnerable among us and to flatten the
curve of infection so as not to overwhelm our medical facilities while we
develop, mass produce, and administer a vaccine. The vaccination process
will take time.
You all remain in
my prayers. And to my delight and surprise, we are seeing a significant
rise in the numbers of those seeking worship and learning opportunities
because of our new virtual ministries. The love of Jesus finds a way!
Stay safe. Be
well. And remember that you are loved.