On Saturday, May 16, 2020, a federal court judge (Judge C. Dever) ruled in favor of religious freedom and blocked Governor Roy Cooper's executive order that prohibits churches from gathering within the same social distancing guidelines and capacities that the governor allowed for businesses. Judge Dever wrote in his ruling, "There is no pandemic exception to the Constitution of the United States or the Free Exercise of the First Amendment. Read the judges full decision through this link: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6891492/Church-TRO.pdf
For ten weeks we have willingly and happily submitted ourselves to the governor's request for places of worship out of the desire to seek the well-being and safety of our church family and community, and as we move forward we will still respect and follow the social distancing guidelines that have been requested for North Carolinians to follow during this time. We desire to be cautious about our gatherings while also returning to our biblical conviction that the church assembles together.
As the governor transitions our state into various phases we will continue the social distancing guidelines and safety measures that he has asked our state to follow. These items, as listed in our approach to reassemble will be requested of those who attend our indoor services. In effort to approach to reassemble, will be requested of those who attend our indoor services. In effort to continue our desire to keep our church family safe through this stage of the pandemic we will choose to only operate at 30% capacity at this time. Any adjustments will be updated as we go.
- First, every context is different. In other words, each church has its own set of circumstances to consider in relation to its city, county, state, buildings, property, and so much more. Please remain patient and understanding as we seek to do what is best in our context.
- Secondly, our approach to this season will continue with a spirit of faithfulness to God's Word, including our respect for governing authorities (Romans 13). We also believe the church is essential, and due to recent court rulings we are moving forward in our desire to honor God's Word by assembling together in a safe a respectful manner.
- Third, this is all tentative! If we have learned anything in this season it's that changes happen by the hour. Be prepared to have our phases adjusted or even pushed back due to the fluid nature of this virus and our guidelines.