Last night I watched the 10:00 news from Des Moines. There were two reports that disturbed me the most. The first one was talking about the record number of COVID-19 cases reported in Iowa in a single day (740). While reporting the numbers it was referenced that Gov. Kim Reynolds is re-opening the state. The topic the overwhelming amount of new tests given for the virus. The tests were talked about in a later segment but that news article was criticizing how backlogged the system is in getting results. Being a person of reasonable intelligence it is easy to see the rise in reported cases has a direct link to the rise in testing.
The second news story that bothered me was talking about the easing of restrictions on Spiritual and Religious gatherings. The news outlet reported on a large church parish in Des Moines (about 3,000 members) and how they are not opening this Sunday. The report also referenced smaller churches (those with membership in the hundreds) as not opening. As a Pastor I agree with the decisions of those church leaders. What bothered me was the report said “we are unaware of any churches, large or small, opening on Sunday”. The indication was that no church in Iowa will have live service this weekend.
The church I pastor will be open. Here is some facts about that. Prior to the virus outbreak we rarely had over thirty people in attendance on Sunday. The Church can easily seat over one hundred people. We have room to practice social distancing. In addition our online attendance has been growing since last fall. It is not unusual to have more online viewers than church attenders. That attendance has grown dramatically since the crisis began. We already had plans in place that correlate to State guidelines before the State published them.
Where am I going with all this? It is common for news outlets to use a form of truth to tell the stories. It creates bigger followings. It also happens that church leaders will preach a form of truth. Most, however, will only preach what the Bible and God says. It does not matter if you attend a physical or online church service this weekend just listen for God’s truth.
Rev. Burt Schwab