Statement on Re-Entry
As my face-to- face interactions with you increase, I am repeatedly asked what I believe to be the most burning question on the mind of many in our membership, “When are we coming back to church?” The question is an appropriate one indeed. With vaccination rates steadily increasing and infection rates declining with serious hospitalizations and deaths dissipating, accompanied with the lifting of capacity restrictions and social distancing, the time has come for us to ponder seriously about the when’s and how’s of reopening and resuming some of our normal routines. Therefore, I will be meeting with our Re-Entry Task Force in the very near future to contemplate these issues and more. With respect to answering this probe, I want to be guided by good science and a prudent practicality that will ensure the safety and well-being of returning parishioners. Thus, I will be relying on the expertise of our medical professionals as well as the wisdom of a few of our sage elders and leaders so that we collectively might arrive at an informed decision. While scientific research will certainly be one of the major factors in our decision-making, your readiness as a congregation to return to in-person interaction within a congregational setting will also drive the conclusions derived. Therefore, you should, in the very near future, expect to receive a survey which will ascertain the intangible dimension of gathering again. I cannot emphasize enough the need for your personal participation in this survey process as it will give the Task Force an accurate assessment of our comfort levels for meetings.
I am appreciative of your questions about the status of our church and the timing of opening once again the physical doors of the Mount Olive Church so others may encounter the Eternal and Holy One and misguided souls can be directed toward the welcoming guidelight of God’s kingdom. Your question demonstrates not only a personal need, but also reveals a missional and vocational clarity that is birthed out of a profound love for humanity. Good questions deserve great answers no matter how urgent and demanding. However, sometimes great questions ought not be answered hurriedly. Consequently, the question, while a great one, must for the moment remain a question. Stay alert. Details and clarifications will be forthcoming.