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 con