As the COVID-19 virus continues to linger across the nation, the religious rights law group Liberty Counsel is urging churches to reopen and begin worshipping in person again this weekend.
"ReOpen Church Sunday" is planned for this Sunday, May 3, which also aligns with National Day of Prayer on May 7.
Churches participating in the initiative should practice proper sanitation measures and follow the recommended social distancing guidelines.
Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel said, "There's a lot of practical ways that churches can begin thinking through the process of reopening and, at the same time, protecting the health of all of its participants in the community — and than giving other alternative options."
Service options include a limited number of congregants gathering inside the church or parking lot services for churchgoers who prefer to stay outside of the church.
Online church services would still be offered for older adults and people of any age who have serious health conditions.
Churches are advised to sanitize the worship areas and check the congregant's temperature at the door.
"We're encouraging this to begin the process of reopening, not to fill the sanctuaries to maximum capacity," Staver said.
Relaunching in-person church services relates to the Trump administration guidelines for "Opening Up America Again." The outline proposes three phases for states to follow as they loosen lockdowns orders.
Phase one for reopening the US economy is scheduled to begin on May 1, but some states could reopen sooner. Phase one includes churches.
The three-phased approach is based on the advice of health experts, which will help state and local officials reopen their economies, allow people to go back to work, and continue to protect American lives.
"The lockdowns have closed churches at a time of greatest need, and they must reopen to meet the burgeoning needs of the community," Staver said. "Churches are now more essential than ever to bring comfort, hope, and help to the people they serve."
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