New York’s statewide stay-at-home order went into effect 8 p.m. Sunday, March 22 to curb the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the Coronavirus. It changed our lives.

The photo was taken on Latta Road on the morning of March 19 showing no traffic. It was supposed to be busy with traffic. But on that morning, it looked like a ghost town. It was eerie. The Coronavirus has changed the world.

Two months have passed since then. We are still very vulnerable to the Coronavirus. The situation has not changed much. But now I am surprised at what has happened to me for the past two months. Now I don’t have the weird feeling that I had two months ago while driving. I have adjusted somewhat to this new normal. Yes, I don’t still feel safe from the Coronavirus in public setting.

What I want to say is, reopening has begun outside and inside of me as well. Life is moving forward, neither stagnant nor backward. The church is moving forward, too, to return to in-person worship. But I want to make it clear that our utmost priority is that we return with safety and ease of transition. It cannot be done by pastor only or several church leaders. It is the work of all the people of Aldersgate Church.

I hope you agree with me that we can’t all rush back to church and pick up where we left off. It’s not going to happen. Or at least it shouldn’t happen. We need to think and plan carefully. However, we are people of faith. Let us live by faith and not operate in fear, but let’s also be proactive towards all, especially those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.

There are things that we must think about before we reopen the church:

  • We need to have a master plan for reopening in phases for worship, small groups, children’s and youth ministry, and outreach ministry.
  • We need a plan for sanitizing the church building.
  • We also need instructions and guidelines for worship services – ushers, bulletin, offering plate, hymn singing, choir, communion, coffee hour, etc.

Communication is also very important. So, we will continue to share any update with you.

Let us join together in praying for reopening with excitement, hope and trust in God. I will continue to pray that God may keep you safe and well.

Pastor Sung Ho

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