No one has asked for my thoughts on the recent ruling of a Baker County Judge regarding the Gov’s orders about staying at home and limiting the size of public gatherings. But I’ll share my thoughts anyway!
First, I am grateful for fellow believers who are willing to put their convictions into action. I am thankful those churches and leaders took action. I applaud them for having the courage to publicly display their convictions.
Second, I understand the frustration Gov. Brown’s orders have birthed. I share those frustrations. Staying home as much as possible. Not gathering with fellow-believers in person is costly to the entire community. So much is gained when believers meet together for prayer, for worship, for exchanging of ideas and caring for one another. I feel the frustration every time I look into the camera on my iPhone instead of the faces of those who gather at Community Baptist Church.
Third, I am not surprised by the Oregon State Supreme Court’s order to stay the ruling of the Baker County Judge. Even those who filed the suit must have expected the state to respond in some way.
Finally, I am content with the decision the leaders of our church have made to not re-gather until June 7 for worship and to begin re-gathering on Wednesday evenings in a much smaller group. Even if the order from Baker County is upheld and the Governor is found to have exceeded her authority, our church will not re-gather until June 7.
There are several reasons for this decision. First, we want our building to be prepared. We are gathering supplies of hand sanitizer to be positioned at various places in the building. We are building a team of people who will disinfect all surfaces in between each scheduled meeting time. We are stretching our worship team to lead in two services instead of just one. We are purchasing new technology in order to continue to provide a live-stream of our Wednesday and Sunday opportunities.
Second, as good citizens and neighbors, we seek to protect the health and welfare of not just those who walk through our doors. We are working to protect the community. Many of our attenders are over 60 (as am I) and have what are politely called ‘underlying conditions.’ Research indicates we are more prone not to have Covid-19 but to struggle with Convid-19 because of other health concerns. Even more significantly, many in our community are over 60 and suffering with underlying conditions. One person who might be an asymptomatic carrier could expose all of us who gather as well as all those we come in contact with in a short amount of time.
Finally, as much as I applaud the efforts of those fellow-believers, I am uncertain if the Governor has exceeded her authority. Much has been written about a need for a legislative session to support or to hinder her executive actions. Frankly with a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate I doubt that either chamber would even try to check her authority,
All of us would like to return to normal, whatever that might have been. I for one, am looking forward to a new normal, whatever that might be. The [C]hurch has never been silenced by any government, by any earthly authority. As a part of the larger [C]hurch, I look forward to what God is up to in the midst of His people and in the days to come.