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  #1  
Old 03-15-2020, 8:49 AM
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Default Faith gathering during pandemic?

Hey all, has anyone figured out how they are going about their normal worship, in this day and age?
The church we normally go to is always pretty packed, and a good amount of the attendants (I'd say over 35%, maybe 40%) are over 65. This is a large senior community.
I'm not so sure I want for our family to attend services in a time like this, where one person can affect the whole assembly.

Teleservices, anyone?
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Old 03-15-2020, 10:29 AM
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Why is it so many people think they can't worship god unless it's in a packed building on Sundays? You can do it any time, any place. On your own.
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Old 03-15-2020, 2:58 PM
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How to go about their normal worship ? Show up at your church as usual as I did this morning, and I am 76 and 7 months young. Fear is a attractant, Faith is a positive force, it works against negative forces when activated, at least it does for me. Not trying to be smart a** but I say: if you are fearful and afraid stay home. Television services are plentiful these days, look around.

As for worship outside a church building, your connection with God & Jesus is not locked into or onto a building.

Psalm 1
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Old 03-15-2020, 3:47 PM
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We had church as normal today. Our Pastor told Corona virus to blow.
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Old 03-15-2020, 3:48 PM
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All churches in our diocese have been closed for now and services are being held online. Morning prayer only without communion of course.

We had already been prepared to not do communion for a while but the decision came out late last week to suspend gatherings.
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Old 03-15-2020, 4:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Garand Hunter View Post
How to go about their normal worship ? Show up at your church as usual as I did this morning, and I am 76 and 7 months young. Fear is a attractant, Faith is a positive force, it works against negative forces when activated, at least it does for me. Not trying to be smart a** but I say: if you are fearful and afraid stay home. Television services are plentiful these days, look around.

As for worship outside a church building, your connection with God & Jesus is not locked into or onto a building.

Psalm 1
Garand Hunter gets it. Need more of this attitude, I say.
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Last edited by Grouchy Bear; 03-15-2020 at 4:20 PM.. Reason: Clarity.
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Old 03-15-2020, 9:29 PM
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Church was already streaming on the internet, so they just told everyone to log in... different, yet the same.
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Old 03-16-2020, 5:31 AM
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I was on a Facebook group run by someone I grew up with, who specializes in "end time survival preps". An SDA ideology. The number of people there who were stressing over whether they should stay home or go to church was amazing.
My friend's stock reply was that it had to be up to each person's conscience. But, he was very concerned about the idea that the Govt would shut down the churches. Of course the idea that he makes money off these ideas is not important.
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Old 03-16-2020, 5:51 AM
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Originally Posted by sonofeugene View Post
Why is it so many people think they can't worship god unless it's in a packed building on Sundays? You can do it any time, any place. On your own.
From Hebrews 10...

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

At Sunday's service, we were only missing a few of the weakey elderly members. We pretty much had a regular service. The Elders met Sunday afternoon and we will continue services. Several churches in the area cancelled services and went with online streaming.

Many thousands stayed home while many thousands of people packed Costco and Sams Club.

Is there any historical examples of The Church cancelling services over plague or pestilence? The Plague in the Dark Ages? The Jews in Egypt? Is God not in control any more?

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Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
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Old 03-16-2020, 7:14 AM
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Good responses all.
God is good, and yes, we don't need a church to be connected to the Lord. I did find Mass on line, and we attended that, only thing missing was communion.

My mother in law lives with us, she is late 70s, not in the best of health, so we just want to reduce any risk for her sake. That being said, of all of us, she is the most connected, prays daily, volunteers at the church, and has a faith group that meets monthly. They skipped this past month, but are all in contact with each other.

Glad to see we have solid church-going CG'ers!
God bless
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Old 03-16-2020, 8:14 AM
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Lots of churches offering live streaming services. The weather probably won't be good for outdoor services for a little while yet but a little bit of distance in a sunny, outdoor setting seems like a good interim remedy to me.

Admittedly, live streaming or broadcasted services just don't have the same flavor. I can do personal worship/reverence/meditation anywhere as it is. Church is for the group experience. A different part of the brain & heart is moved when done collectively. We are social animals, after all.
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Old 03-16-2020, 4:40 PM
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Interesting our church closed and I suspect it will close next week too. Granted we are small with quite a few elderly folks. Whatever, can and do worship God in and outside of church.
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Old 03-17-2020, 3:51 AM
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Isn't restricting the gatherings of religious people (IE over 50 people) a violation of First Amendment rights? I don't see how government, mayors or governors can pull that off.

Update: I just got a call from our church. They are cancelling services over concerns for the health of the congregation.
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Old 03-18-2020, 2:54 AM
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Look up South Korea - their worst outbreak was a "religious group" - I believe it was one infected dum-dum who went and infected hundreds because they met for hours, packed in close quarters....

This stuff spreads like wildfire in large groups. And it's asymptomatic for 1-2 weeks, so the infected carrier doesn't even know they have been infected. That's why you'll be seeing rapidly escalating numbers as the tests come back - this is already "in the community", and until we identify and isolate all the infected, it can continue to spread.

For the most part the government is just trying to get people to take this seriously and act in such a way that we might just reduce the spread and death rate. Last thing we need to be doing is providing more live hosts for this nasty bugger to spread to.

There isn't a First Amendment issue - people are still free to believe, and find different creative ways to "come together", worship, pray, etc. We will no doubt return to our houses of worship soon enough, but right now, it is not advisable to mingle with others unless absolutely necessary. It can be a matter of life or death.

BTW, say a prayer of protection over our healthcare workers as you wash your hands, self isolate, or take care of business that absolutely must get done - they are in the trenches of a war right now, and at risks most of us can self isolate to avoid.
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Old 03-18-2020, 9:39 AM
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I see this as a First Amendment issue. The government allowed movie theaters and casinos to operate, but they don't grant the same exclusion to churches. I am thinking this is a trial run, to see what rights the government can deny, under the color of a pandemic. The population of San Diego County is 3,333,000 and from February 14 to yesterday, only 60 people have the virus. That is 1 in 56,000 (rounded up). These numbers do not justify the over reach the government has imposed.

I have been reading a thread on nextdoor.com. One person created a thread chastising those who stood in line at a popular taco stand, and the number of sheep that supported the guy was interesting. Based on what I have read, if the government told them to eat soap to avoid the corona virus, they would do it, and would strip Von's shelves of all soap.

As Christians we are to obey those in power, and I can get just as much out of the sermons that are published on YouTube.
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Old 03-18-2020, 3:47 PM
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We've shutdown all church-sanctioned activities. We're streaming Sunday service live and are in the process of setting up our Bible Studies, Youth group, etc. to be live online. We're going to decide week-to-week.

This is what I shared with our elders: The "situation" hasn't stabilized or shows signs of stabilizing yet. By "Situation," I mean "Statistics + Social Response." Both are still going up. "Statistics" for the rate of infection are the most key indicator being watched with number of active cases second. The "Social Response" is also still increasing at an increasing rate - closures being the biggest indicator here. We're probably going to have to sit through another weekend before we see any change in either of these. I'm torn between a complete shutdown and very controlled activities (i.e. careful on place and people - no public places and no sick people). The challenge with the latter approach is that infected people don't necessarily show signs. So, "abundance of caution" has me still landing on complete shutdown of our sanctioned activities. Individual decisions to fellowship are just that - left to the individual. And, more time means more data and thereby better able to be wise on when to start back with church activities at small levels first.
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Old 03-18-2020, 4:29 PM
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@billvau,

I don't envy church leadership in having to make these decisions. I would be inclined to have services and if anyone wanted to attend, they could, and if they didn't, they could stay home. As I mentioned in my post above, there are so many people who are quick to point a finger at someone else for not fully complying with not gathering in groups. People are distracting themselves with monitoring others.
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Old 03-18-2020, 4:52 PM
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@billvau,

I don't envy church leadership in having to make these decisions. I would be inclined to have services and if anyone wanted to attend, they could, and if they didn't, they could stay home. As I mentioned in my post above, there are so many people who are quick to point a finger at someone else for not fully complying with not gathering in groups. People are distracting themselves with monitoring others.
Thanks. It's tough. We're mostly a young group (not me ) with LOTS of young children, and do have some elderly. Our biggest concern is that we have quite a few nurses and doctor assistants. Already, one of our elders has some symptoms and is awaiting test results as he stays at home. He's a doctor's assistant to a team of podiatrists. So, in surgery a lot at a big hospital in Sacramento.

Christians obey government and trust experts in the medical fields. So, for a church our size, even Bible Studies exceed 10 people and we have many Bible studies! So, everything is going online.

I live in the foothills with hundreds of open acres around me, so am already very isolated. We have a cabin in Truckee on 8 acres with many same size or larger properties around us - so that is more isolated as long as we don't go into town! But, Bay Area cabin owners are coming to Truckee to avoid the shelter-in-home mandate down there!

It's hard to get away from this! I'm glad God is on the throne and sovereign over my life.

If anyone wants to discuss a Biblical perspective on this we could start a thread...

God bless!
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Old 03-20-2020, 7:18 AM
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Thanks. It's tough. We're mostly a young group (not me ) with LOTS of young children, and do have some elderly. Our biggest concern is that we have quite a few nurses and doctor assistants. Already, one of our elders has some symptoms and is awaiting test results as he stays at home. He's a doctor's assistant to a team of podiatrists. So, in surgery a lot at a big hospital in Sacramento.

Christians obey government and trust experts in the medical fields. So, for a church our size, even Bible Studies exceed 10 people and we have many Bible studies! So, everything is going online.

I live in the foothills with hundreds of open acres around me, so am already very isolated. We have a cabin in Truckee on 8 acres with many same size or larger properties around us - so that is more isolated as long as we don't go into town! But, Bay Area cabin owners are coming to Truckee to avoid the shelter-in-home mandate down there!

It's hard to get away from this! I'm glad God is on the throne and sovereign over my life.

If anyone wants to discuss a Biblical perspective on this we could start a thread...

God bless!
What Bill said is absolutely the Christian thing to do.
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Old 03-20-2020, 3:48 PM
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With the recent heavy snow and shelter in order we have had to cancel our service this week as well. With a older congregation council felt it was the right thing to do.
Our older congregation isn't necessarily computer savvy and I'd imagine most dont posses computers or modern phones. So our pastor reached out to each of individually this week it was really nice.
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Old 03-21-2020, 7:05 AM
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With the recent heavy snow and shelter in order we have had to cancel our service this week as well. With a older congregation council felt it was the right thing to do.
Our older congregation isn't necessarily computer savvy and I'd imagine most dont posses computers or modern phones. So our pastor reached out to each of individually this week it was really nice.
Christs people look like this all the time. It's kind of a shame it takes something like this to focus on what Christ looks like through His people. But, we'll take it. Praise be to God.
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Old 03-22-2020, 3:08 PM
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Our church has gone completely online as well. No church sanctioned meetings now.

The benefit that I've experienced from this is that we started doing family worship. I play couple of songs on the guitar and the kids and wife sing along. We read scripture and I give a 5-10 min explanation of the scripture. We get to take ownership of the children's spiritual education - the husband, as the spiritual priest of the family get to step up. It's been really great.
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Old 03-22-2020, 3:11 PM
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We are just doing Sunday morning worship, no evening and Wednesdays.

It's pretty hard to partake in the Lord's supper together through the computer, so just Sunday mornings for now.
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Old 03-22-2020, 3:18 PM
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God is everywhere and good all the time. God welcomes your prayer and worship anywhere anytime...

God also grants us free will to be safe.
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Old 03-22-2020, 3:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kokopelli View Post
From Hebrews 10...

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

At Sunday's service, we were only missing a few of the weakey elderly members. We pretty much had a regular service. The Elders met Sunday afternoon and we will continue services. Several churches in the area cancelled services and went with online streaming.

Many thousands stayed home while many thousands of people packed Costco and Sams Club.

Is there any historical examples of The Church cancelling services over plague or pestilence? The Plague in the Dark Ages? The Jews in Egypt? Is God not in control any more?
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Old 04-08-2020, 6:36 PM
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Meeting in large groups is selfish and stupid right now. People who do that are vectors for disease no better than a rat or mosquito.
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