Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Many of you are contacting Grace Presbytery seeking guidance on when it will be possible, and under what conditions, churches can safely resume worship and other ministries in person.

The Committee on Ministry has formed a task force to carefully examine the Texas Governor’s most recent Executive Order and provide guidelines and resources to assist you as you consider how best to proceed with your congregation.

The task force will make recommendations to Presbytery Council on Wednesday, May 6, for its consideration and approval. These recommendations will be made available as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we would like to share with you some observations and suggestions:

1. The Governor’s Executive Order still STRONGLY ENCOURAGES worship to occur remotely – especially for the at-risk population.

2. Sessions and church staff should read the Minimum Health Standard Protocols required in Governor Abbott’s Executive Order (pages 39-41) and begin discerning how to best prepare and implement these protocols should a Session decide to hold public worship or gatherings.

3. Sessions should consult their liability insurance providers for any guidance that may be helpful as they make decisions about church opening and resumption of worship and other ministry activities.

4. We must carefully and prayerfully weigh our impulse to “get back to worship as quickly as possible” within the larger context of how we best show love, compassion, and care for those most vulnerable in our congregations and communities.  

The Committee on Ministry continues to stay in contact with our churches and pastoral leaders by phone as much as possible.

It is amazing how many of our churches are not only coping with financial issues and providing electronic experiences and communication, but so many are also finding creative and powerful ways to reach out to their communities and minister to those in need. It is the amazing grace of God. 

Peace and Grace,

Michael Waschevski
Moderator, Committee on Ministry

Michael Thompson
Interim General Presbyter

lead photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

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