Assessing Your Risks With Science Before Reopening the Church
Re-opening will require faith—as well as knowledge.
Jamie Aten & Kent Annan
The ability to assess our situation and choose to live wisely is a God-given gift. Not only will the decision to return to in-person services and reopen the church require faith, but it also takes science. Scientific knowledge can tell us about this virus, how it spreads, and who’s at risk.
Science Helps Protect
In Micah 6:8 we are called to “walk humbly with God.” This humility should lead us to being guided by the best available science that helps us protect ourselves, our church, and our community.
God has gifted researchers who are engaging in rigorous science to help fight the virus. You will be in a better position to understand your risks and make a decision if you learn and adhere to what they're saying.
COVID-19 Will Be in the U.S. for the Foreseeable Future
There is a rapidly expanding body of scientific knowledge about COVID-19. Experts agree COVID-19 will be in the U.S. for the foreseeable future, with fluctuating levels of infection in the community.
Until a vaccine is available, the virus and the disease will be a threat to our public health.
In light of this, it’s important to remember that science shows COVID-19 can be transmitted before a person develops symptoms. This explains why the virus spreads so easily and stealthily, greatly complicating efforts to contain its spread.
Not every infected person will infect another person. Factors that impact transmission include:
infectiousness of the COVID-19 carrier
actions that increase the release of respiratory droplets and aerosols into the surrounding air
proximity to an infected person
Remember: If you are uncomfortable with the risks of transmission, you can continue to attend virtual gatherings. Moreover, if you fall into the high risk category, you should plan on continuing to attend virtual gatherings.
If you don’t understand the plans in place, ask for clarification or humbly share with your church why you decided not to attend in person at this time.
Thinking Through Risk Levels
As you consider your risk levels, you should also be thinking about risk levels for others. If you think others might be unknowingly taking risks with their safety, it is important to lovingly, patiently, and humbly share your concerns with them.