May 21, 2020
Dear Rosemont family,
As most of you know by now, Governor Cooper approved a modified move into Phase Two of the state’s re-opening process, to begin Friday evening, May 22. That was welcomed news for many citizens, including some of our own members whose businesses and incomes have been waiting for this step. But what does this mean for churches, for our church?
Well, to the glee of some and the dismay of others, churches are exempt from the governor’s executive order, which means there are no official, legal rules for when or how we begin to meet together. The governor, under the advice of his scientific and medical experts, strongly urges churches to follow the guidelines laid out for all other mass gatherings, but he is not requiring it because of our first amendment right to assemble for our religion.
So for many Christians, this is the green light we’ve been waiting for to begin meeting together right away. What will we do? Your pastors have been praying, researching, talking, and planning for many weeks now to make that decision. Here are the factors we’ve considered: (1) We all miss each other and the weekly fellowship in worship, and want to be together again as soon as possible, no one more than your pastors. (2) This is a highly contagious virus which spreads most quickly where people have prolonged exposure to one another in enclosed spaces. (3) The numbers of new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths from the virus have not decreased in Forsyth County in recent days. (4) Most people with the virus are asymptomatic, which means they could be among us and no one realize they’re contagious. (5) We have many people in our congregation who are at higher risk, not only to get the virus, but to get very sick from the virus.
So considering those factors, what will we do? We’ve prayed for wisdom from the Lord, and we believe the Lord speaks most loudly through His word. There is no chapter or verse concerning re-opening in pandemics, but there are many verses and chapters about our constant responsibility to each other as believers. Here’s one example ( Phil. 2:3-4 ) – “in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Each of us is to consider and act for the best interests of others, and your pastors should lead the way in that effort. While it is the desire of most of us to start meeting again this Sunday, and while most of us would probably not be sickened from doing that, it is our duty and desire to care for all of you, especially the weakest of you. We feel that we can continue to care for you and feed you spiritually with the same resources we’ve been using since March 15th, but we’re not comfortable that we can protect you physically yet if we meet together in person. Therefore, we have decided to wait until June 7 to resume our Sunday worship services at our church building. This will give us time to see what the virus does as other congregations gather for a couple of Sundays, and it will give us time to inform you all on our new procedures for our worship services.
We realize how much this will disappoint most of you, but we’re hoping that love which so strongly pulls you to each other will just as strongly cause you to see the need protect each other for a little while longer. Thank you for your prayers for us, your patience with us, and your submission to our leadership. We realize we’re probably making some mistakes in this process, but we trust our sovereign, righteous, good God to overcome all our mistakes and work all things together for the good of you all.
We can’t wait for June 7th, and we’ll be sending you details for our new meeting format in the next few days.
For His glory and for our joy,
Pastors Kevin and Mark