4/30/2

Decatur Church of Christ Family,

This week began with encouraging news about reopening our state and reducing the restrictions we have been living under for the last 7 weeks.  Governor Abbott announced on Monday that he would let his existing executive order expire today, based on projections that Texas has now passed the peak of the virus spread.  In its place, he issued Executive Order No. GA-18 that provides a strategic plan for reopening Texas, along with guidance about continued social distancing.  Effective from May 1 to May 15, this order allows for the partial opening of non-essential services, which includes churches.  During this “Phase 1”, the statewide trends of COVID-19 will be evaluated.  If the virus spread is being controlled, then Governor Abbott may implement “Phase 2” on May 18, a further opening of Texas businesses.

 

Although we technically have permission to resume meeting together this Sunday, we have decided to target May 24 as our first Sunday together.  We’ve made this decision for several reasons:

  • The health and safety of our church family and community is our top priority. We feel it is safer to postpone our first gathering until after the Phase 1 reopening period is over and the virus statistics have been analyzed.  Most area churches are taking a similar conservative approach.
  • The State recommends that Texans 65 and over continue to stay at home. We don’t want to create a situation that might encourage some of our family to be together prematurely.  We hope that a delayed start date may allow that significant part of our church family to be a part of our reopening.
  • Public gatherings will still require social distancing and sanitization measures, much of which will take several weeks to implement in our church building.

 

When we do meet together again, our worship assemblies will look different for a while.  We anticipate having two Sunday services at 9:00 am and 10:30 am.  We will continue to live video stream our worship service for those that can’t attend.  Our seating arrangement will be spread out to ensure social distancing.  For the foreseeable future, we will not have Bible classes or Wednesday night classes.  As unusual as social distancing is for us adults, it is certainly more confusing for our young children.  Rick will have more details in his video this Sunday.

 

All of our planning is contingent upon how our Governor modifies the process of reopening Texas.  We will continue to reevaluate along the way and communicate with you.  But for the next three Sundays, we anticipate continuing our on-line gatherings.  We know that so many acts of love and kindness continue to happen within our church family.  You are all doing an amazing job of staying connected and supporting each other.  We’ve noted many of those ways in past communications, but I want to highlight another.  Our Children’s Minister, Alexandria has been sharing devotionals weekly with our young families and will continue to engage our children in creative ways this summer.   We are really proud of her and all of our ministers.

 

We are all ready to be reunited in person, and we look forward to that day.  Until then, stay safe, stay connected, and above all trust in our Lord.  We love you all very much.

 

Your Shepherds