In our fulfillment of the mission of the church to bring glory to God, build-up the body of believers and bring souls to salvation, the safety and wellbeing our parishioners and visitors are of upmost concern. Therefore, the Morning Star Church will not resume in-person church gatherings at this time. Rather, we will continue virtual and remote gatherings until further notice.
There are several reasons for this decision which could directly impact the health and wellbeing our members and visitors.
First, our church is located in the area of New York State which was hard hit by the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. At one point, New York State accounted for nearly one-half of national COVID-19 cases and deaths. A monumental death toll for the entire region. I don’t believe that there is a single member of our church who does not know either directly or indirectly have experienced a death of a loved one, family member, friend, neighbor, colleague or someone who have touched their lives in some way to this pandemic.
This is especially true of communities of color, as the death toll, both regionally and nationally disproportionately impacted black and brown people. Simply put, black churches have suffered greatly in terms of deaths as result of this virus. While I do believe that the case and death numbers are higher than have been reported, those reported are nothing short of startling in and of themselves.
Second, there is also a religiopolitical contexts in the which President Trump has declared all churches open and threaten to challenge governors who do not comply. While governors in many states already had plans to allow churches begin to gather, there are a few things that impact his decision – one of which is the church lobby itself. This group, which is a strong part of the president’s political base, is convinced that there is a political, even constitutional reason, that gives churches the right to gather despite governor executive orders. And, I might add, despite the spikes in cases and deaths in various parts of the country.
To this, I must say that I and the Morning Star Church leadership could not be more eager to gather in person again – to pray, sing, hear the word of God, share in testimonies and breaking of bread and in Christian fellowship. Most importantly, we are eager to continue in-the work of the kingdom of God – fulfilling the mission of Jesus Christ in the earth. However, we are resolved, at least temporarily, that we must plan to worship and fulfill the mission of the church in new ways.
To that end, MSC is committed to evolving in the use of technology and other ways in which we meet the needs of and stay connected as a fellowship, while growing and expanding – ever partnering with God, through the Holy Spirit to continue the work of Jesus Christ in the world!
Lastly, we will continue to respect the Executive Order of the state of New York, which allows houses of worship to gather with 10 persons or less using all the CDC Guidelines specified. These guidelines give the best practices to assure the safety of gathers. We are working vigorously to make sure we are in full compliance before reopening for larger gatherings so that are ready when the time comes.
Until then, the Lord continue to cover and bless you and your families!
All the Lord mercies,