How, not when, is the question our Board members have been asking about reopening our church building. Asking how is not the same as asking when. Asking how does not imply soon. The Greensboro Faith Leaders’ Council collected clergy signatures endorsing a statement, which will be submitted to the local newspaper and will be posted on the Faith Leaders website later this week. It includes this sentence: “Our choices and our freedom cannot come at the expense of the health and safety of others.”
It also says, “[Until] the day when we can all safely worship in our sanctuaries…we hope and pray all will stay vigilant, stay safe, and stay true to our deepest core values as people of faith.” The overall point of the statement is to urge religious groups not to rush toward regrouping without due consideration of the risks and the thorny details of reducing those risks. An article in The Christian Century states: “Polls indicate significant respect among believers for the corona virus’s ability to quickly undo personal and communal health.”
Our Board has been discussing the perplexing details, and we ask you to consider the circumstances under which you would feel comfortably safe in gathering with others, especially given the chance of spreading the virus by means of asymptomatic carriers. Asking and discussing is not the same as deciding, and talking about how is not the same as deciding when.