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Reopening Churches - 05/22/20

Credit: WCBI
Published 2 days ago -

Reopening Churches - 05/22/20

Governor Tate Reeves released recommended guidelines for churches considering reopening their sanctuaries for services, but many are still waiting for clarity.

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Reopening Churches - 05/22/20

This week, governor reeves released recommended guidelines for churches considering reopening their sanctuaries for services.

// leaders at missionary union baptist church in columbus are waiting for more clarity but continuing to go online to reach their congregation.

// i spoke with pastor antoin colvin about what goes into making that decision and how things have changed.

// so we're seeing a lot of businesses, organizations, groups sort of easing back into reopening and maybe things as normal.

As a church, what sort of factors were you looking at in trying to decide on whether to have in-person services once again?

Pastor antoine colvin: sure.

Well, as pastor and under shepherd of missionary union baptist church, it's very important that i consider my congregation, because you to consider your demographic.

So you want to be... don't want to rush too soon in getting back to church because our population, our demographic is at high risk.

So we want to be cautious of that.

Eric crosswhite: when you decide to finally have in- person services again, do you expect any sort of changes?

Are you going to do things differently?

How do you foresee that going?

Pastor antoine colvin: absolutely.

I definitely foresee some changes in our worship.

First of all, it starts with education.

It's very important that we inform our congregants to still take safe practices as far as making sure that your hands are clean.

If you're sick, it's okay to stay at home.

Yeah.

Because we, the church is more than just a building, we are the individual church members.

So it's important that we take the necessary precautions.

Eric crosswhite: i know that you're new to this area and new to this church.

Has that added sort of maybe a layer of difficulty on trying to decide what to do and maybe gaining the trust of some congregants?

Pastor antoine colvin: absolutely, absolutely.

So being fairly new, it's very important that i take the necessary precautions.

I want to ensure that, as a pastor, that i have their best interests at heart.

They not only need to hear that, but they need to see that as well.

So always put god first, but most importantly we want to make sure that our sheep, our congregants are taken care of as well.

Eric crosswhite: for sure, this is a challenging time for a lot of people.

Do you also see it as maybe a learning experience for some of your church members?

Pastor antoine colvin: absolutely, absolutely.

It's very important that us, as a body of christ, that we are concerned not only with ourselves within the four walls, but also expand to beyond the four walls as well.

It puts us in not only a local community sense, but a wider community and being concerned with those that we share our spaces with.

Eric crosswhite: right.

I'm sure it's a difficult time.

It may be a little bit lonely for somebody that's in charge of so much.

Do you reach out to other pastors and have you been in contact with other churches on deciding what to do in the middle of all this?

Pastor antoine colvin: absolutely.

Because no one has actually... a pastor, during this type of pandemic to this magnitude, so it was very important that we encourage each other as peers, make sure that we continue to uplift one another by prayer and by phone conversation, which is very important during these times.

Eric crosswhite: right.

Do you have any sort of words of encouragement for people out there that might be sort of struggling with this change and these challenges?

Pastor antoine colvin: sure.

I just want to encourage everyone that, oftentimes we should practice faith.

I mean, it's very important that although it's scary times, it's times where you are fearful, but at the same time, god has not given us a spirit of fear, but he's given us power love and a sound mind.

So it's important that we have a sound mind when making decisions.

But be encouraged because the same god that brought us through on yesterday can be the same god that bring us through today.

Eric crosswhite: do you feel a sense of pride for your church and your church members here on how they've handled this in these difficult times?

Pastor antoine colvin: absolutely.

Here at missionary union baptist church, it's is very important that we always practice that.

Although, we're practicing social distancing, that does not mean we're not connecting as a church family.

So i'm proud of my church and so many churches in the area because we are practicing, connecting, whether it's virtually by phone calls, emails, phone calls.

It's very important that we still connect and i'm encouraged by the work that we're doing here.

Eric crosswhite: did you ever expect that technology would be such a big part of your job going into this career?

Pastor antoine colvin: well, that's just a blessing.

I didn't know what god ultimately knew.

Technology is a wonderful tool, and now we have an opportunity to expand our reach and influence not only from a relational standpoint, but also from a standpoint of spreading the gospel as well, talking about the greater works that jesus had talked about.

So i'm thankful that we have an opportunity to do that here.

04 eric crosswhite: absolutely.

Pastor, we wish you the best of luck going forward.

Pastor antoine colvin: thank you so much.

Eric crosswhite: thank you for talking with us today.

Pastor antoine colvin: to talk to you.

Eric crosswhite: good.

Monday on sunrise, we'll hear from the church's youth pastor about how he's still connecting with teens and the difficulties they're facing.

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