With the proposed reopening of the state of California on June 15 removing most COVID-19 restrictions, our own plans as an Annual Conference are impacted. We have always sought to follow the guidelines of the State, County and City, and depending upon what those guidelines are on June 15, we will adjust accordingly. There may well be recommendations for the removal of all restrictions, and yet suggestions for continued caution concerning indoor gatherings are likely. Please study the new State, County and City guidelines that will be released this week as you make your plans for reopening.
We remind our churches that it will be up to the appointed clergy and elected church leadership to make the final determination as how and when to return to in-person worship. It is also up to each congregation member to determine the safety of their attendance.
If your church has already submitted a plan for reopening and it has been approved by your District Superintendent, there will be no need to send in another plan. If your church has not submitted an approved plan, a short description of the safety of reopening using the June 15 guidelines will be required. You do not have to use the old Formstack template, as much of that information is no longer relevant. A short description of the church’s reopening plans to your District Superintendent is all that is required. In addition, a small group is working on a new set of guidelines that may be helpful in your church’s plan for reopening. We have included a draft with this Briefing, and it will be posted on our Conference website.
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call your District Superintendent who can help you navigate this new situation. It will be new to all of us, but a collective response is always more helpful than an individual one.
As we adapt, let us also be grateful that we are emerging from the darkness and despair of COVID-19. We need to pray for those who lost their lives to the virus, and their families and loved ones. We also pray for the COVID-19 hotspots in our world where it continues to spread and take lives. May we be compelled to distribute vaccines to those locales that are in such need. We are not done with COVID-19 just yet. There is much more work that needs to be done, but we thank God for grounding us in Jesus Christ to get through the worst of the pandemic.
Be the Hope,
Bishop Grant J. Hagiya and the Appointed Cabinet