In St.Vincent Adventist churches look forward to soon re-opening after COVID-19 lockdown
16 May 2020 | SVG Staff/Ps Dermoth Baptiste
The SVG Mission under God has by and large, weathered the storm brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic and we give God thanks for steering the course and guiding His Church during this time of peril. See below for communication from the President of the SVG Mission.
"Greetings and best regards! The SVG Mission under God has by and large, weathered the storm brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic and we give God thanks for steering the course and guiding His Church during this time of peril. We are very much in solidarity with those who would have lost jobs or suffered loss of income. We pray for the opening of other employment doors or the quick return to original income. God is still good, whether in times of plenty or in times of scarcity. We will continue to trust Him to supply our needs according to His riches in Glory. I am not aware of any member being infected by the virus and this in itself is a huge blessing. Let us continue to pray for the health and safety of our nation, family and peoples.
While there has not been the rigid shut down of country and closing of borders, the containment policies and mitigation factors of the authorities, together with the observing of the recommended health protocols appears to have borne fruit to the extent where we can talk 2 about the flattening of the pandemic curve and narrowing of the risks. We are not out of the woods, but we can shout and praise the Lord for these beams of light. We express our thanks to all of our primary health care workers who continue to labor untiringly and selflessly on behalf of the health and safety of our nation.
For the past five Sabbaths, the doors of our churches remained closed, while we had virtual National church services streamed and broadcasted live from Mt Moriah. We express our thanks to the Mt Moriah Church, the Communication team and all the facilitators for making these worship sessions possible. While many would have accessed these services and were blessed, there are others who missed going to the local church for individual programming. Driving or walking to church or even opening up the doors of the church building for praise and worship is in itself a means of witnessing and blessing for which I can understand your concern.
Based upon the advice of the Ministry of Health to Faith-based Organizations, we believe that we can now re-open our churches for local programming, while observing the recommended Health and Safety Protocols. As such, I would like to announce that this Sabbath, May 16 will be the last for our National Virtual Programming. From Sabbath May 23 we will reopen the individual churches for local programming.
In compliance with the Ministry of Heath protocols, Administration is recommending the following guidelines:
- That the seating be re-arranged to facilitate physical distancing of 3-6 ft apart of each worshipper, with each church determining the maximum number of persons it can accommodate at any one particular service.
- That where attendance is large and physical distancing can be compromised that multiple services be arranged, with each service not being longer than 1 and1/2 hours. In this regard, each church administration will determine the plan and strategy for leading the services and who will attend which service.
- That we continue to practice good hygiene habits such as washing of hands regularly, covering of cough, disinfecting frequently used rooms, sanitizing instruments and microphones, wearing of face masks and avoiding close contacts such as hugging, kissing and hand-shaking.
- That the services be short, sweet, inspiring and uplifting, preferably from 9:30-11:30am or 10:00-12:00 noon for single services. Such services should be well planned in advance, duly coordinated and properly executed.
- That AY Programs and weeknight services would be determined by each church administration.
- Churches that have been doing weekly streaming before the shutdown will resume such live streaming accordingly.
- That each church establish a COVID-19 Consultation & Monitoring Committee to give direction and guidance to the church to facilitate this new reality.
Brothers and Sisters, COVID-19 has caused enormous disruption to life and living around the world. Things this side of life may never be the same again. Psalm 40:8 encourages us to take delight in doing the will of God. Whatever the future holds, let’s ensure that we resign ourselves to understanding, knowing and doing God’s will. On Wednesday night, May 13, we celebrated the mid-way mark of the 100 Days of Prayer initiative instituted by the General Conference. Let’s make this initiative part of our daily experience as we commit ourselves to kingdom-building.
May the Lord continue to bless us abundantly!"