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Church Reopening Guidelines
"'All things are lawful,' but not all things are beneficial. 'All things are lawful,' but not all things build up."
-1 Corinthians 10:23
“You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind and with all of your strength…and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
Governor Beshear has legally cleared Kentucky houses of worship to reopen for in-person worship and work as early as Wednesday, May 20, 2020. As Presbyterian Christians, we answer to a higher authority. Paul reminds that we must balance our individual freedom with our responsibility to and for the community. Jesus commands that love for neighbor—treating them as we would want to be treated ourselves—is paramount in all that we do.
The first question for spiritual leaders is not so much when shall we return for in-person worship, but how will we make sure that whenever we return for in-person worship that we will do so in ways that build up the body and show love for neighbor—all of our neighbors?
Since we last connected as a presbytery at yesterday's Zoom Check-In, I had an unexpected opportunity earlier today to join a Zoom meeting as part of the Kentucky Council of Churches (KCC), which represents both Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians, including the Presbyterian Church (USA). We met with Governor Andy Beshear's representative, Rocky Adkins. Our discussion focused on the question: How will houses of worship safely and faithfully open?
Following our conversation, we determined that each member of the KCC would submit its own recommended church reopening guidelines which the KCC's leadership would review toward the hope of compiling the best recommendations into one document. I will share with you these uniform guidelines—or multiple policy statements—depending upon what the KCC determines to be most helpful and effective as soon as the process has been completed.
In the meantime, I commend to you a draft version of Mid-Kentucky Presbytery's Guidelines below. May they frame the deliberations of our spiritual leaders as we seek to build up the body of Christ, show love for our neighbors, and find healthy ways to worship at God's House in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic: