As a reminder, it was agreed that Grace Presbytery would consider any additional guidance for our churches following Governor Abbott’s May 18, 2020, announcement concerning Phase Two of “reopening Texas.”
Complete details are available on the state’s official website.
Highlights from the announcement, as related to churches and ministry, include permission for child care centers and youth clubs to open as of May 18. Day camps and overnight youth camps may open June 1. The May 5 guidance for church/worship attendees was also revised slightly on May 18.
The presbytery’s task force, formed to research and report to council concerning COVID-19 developments, does not feel there is much more to offer beyond what was initially offered in its May 7 recommendations to churches.
In short, the presbytery’s recommended guidelines concerning in-person worship remain unchanged.
1. We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE sessions to engage ministries remotely as much as possible and consider postponing or canceling ministry events as appropriate.
2. We encourage sessions to carefully read the new state guidelines and required protocols and plan for how they would implement these before making any decisions about reopening ministries.
3. We encourage sessions to consult their liability insurance carriers for additional guidance or requirements as they make decisions about reopening ministries.
4. We encourage sessions to heed local health department guidance related to the spread and risk of COVID-19 in their community.
As of Sunday, May 26, very few Grace Presbytery churches have returned to in-person worship. To our knowledge, most churches are planning to continue to worship online through the summer.
The Committee on Ministry continues to stay in contact with our churches and pastoral leaders. Please reach out to your COM liaison with any questions or feedback.
Continued grace and peace,
Moderator, Committee on Ministry
Interim General Presbyter
- May 7, 2020: Recommendations Concerning Resuming In-Person Worship (additional resources included)
- May 22, 2020: The Essential Nature of our Churches, courtesy of Synod of the Southwest
lead photo: courtesy of CDC/ James Gathany