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new guidelines for our church


pt756
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12 hours ago, 5088 said:

Curious how this goes.  Not vaccinated myself....but had Covid at very end of March/beginning of April (true story-it does suck).  Health Dept tells me can't vaccinate for 90 days, which takes me to early July....but Health Dept also tells me I'm immune for the time being.  Given I've fought off the actual, live virus, wouldn't that be better than getting a vaccine?

https://www.medpagetoday.com/blogs/marty-makary/92434

Not a clear cut answer that it is better as good or worse.  

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Hey to Jesse in WI,

Thought I'd let you know my wife is Catholic and she went  through much the same turmoil as you have. Loved her Church and the people in it, still does. But instead of her church being a place of worship, fellowship, care and love. She would come home in tears because they were not even allowed to sing a hymn.The scared frighted Priest wearing a mask and face shield no doubt looked out on a diseased and deadly congregation.

So.. she left and found another Catholic parish that had fellowship, sang hymns, preformed mass, and had the standard moments of contemplation she not only enjoys but needed. Given with smiles and a sincere welcome by the parish priest. In the beginning everyone wore a mask and did their best to respect everyones beliefs, covid or otherwise. The effect of change for her was immediate. No more tears of abandonment, just smiles.

For her the biggest hurdle was leaving her old parish. Until she realized it was her old parish that had left her.  

Don't know if any of this helps. Just letting you know others do practice what they preach.

Take Care

Tim
 

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Politics and Covid aside I'll reflect on this simply from a faith standpoint.  

One thing I can never, EVER forgive our bishop and other leadership for is the outright closing of churches for almost 2 months.  The fact that they bowed to government orders that easily is concerning.  

I can understand some pastors being in a tough spot.  They have to report to a "boss" like many of us do.  The closures came from higher up. The pastor of our parish toed the line about perfectly when we did reopen.  The rules and restrictions were posted and "recommended" but no drama over it was ever raised with compliance.  

I also appreciated how vocal he was how damaging the restrictions were mentally, how much children were suffering from it (hes also a licensed psychiatrist), how people used it as an excuse not to come, and how it caused even more division in an already divided church.  

One thing I am proud of as an American though is that churches weren't hassled about gatherings unlike other countries.  Let me say this, if what occurred in Canada to some churches happened here, a coroner would need called at some point.  The Lord likely frowns on me for saying that, but he gave me the gift of being able to relate and read of past events with religious liberty being rescinded.......and we all know that was just the first step in a long downward spiral.  

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2 hours ago, 5088 said:

Can tell from personal experience there is just no way it spreads as easily as they say.  Several coworkers should have gotten sick at work (2 or us had it-I think the other guy (our parts guy) is how I got it) but it was only the 2 of us.  Just from his job at the shop at least 10-15 more should have caught it.

If this disease is really as serious, and as deadly as they make it out to be, you would think all those used masks would be treated as HAZMAT.. Also, all the big box stores (Walmart, Menards, Home Depot, etc.) should have been shut down, rather than leaving them open to be a place to congregate huge numbers of people together. Much less likely to spread a disease through multiple smaller stores (mom & pop type). It sure appears to be an actual disease, but the response is as phony as a $6 bill.

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15 minutes ago, WaynefromWi said:

If this disease is really as serious, and as deadly as they make it out to be, you would think all those used masks would be treated as HAZMAT.. Also, all the big box stores (Walmart, Menards, Home Depot, etc.) should have been shut down, rather than leaving them open to be a place to congregate huge numbers of people together. Much less likely to spread a disease through multiple smaller stores (mom & pop type). It sure appears to be an actual disease, but the response is as phony as a $6 bill.

I'll agree with that.

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7 hours ago, Jesse in WI said:

As a life long Catholic the actions of our priest, our diocese (Superior, WI), and the Vatican regarding the virus in the last year and half have really caused me to question how much they truly trust in God. All of my life I've been instructed by the church to have faith in God above all others in all situations and he will provide for you. The virus hits and now we're shutting the doors, putting restrictions on what it takes to get into the church when it opened again, and restricting how many people can attend mass. All this is based on what the CDC is advising. So now the church is letting a group of people who can't decide if eggs are good or bad dictate when and how the church can be open instead of trusting in God?? 

On a side note, in April 2020 I was the president of the parish council and during a council meeting it got very intense when the discussion of how to handle the virus situation came up. We had all 6 members of the council in favor of staying open with no restrictions (masks optional) because in times of hardship the church should be a place of refuge. Our priest was adamantly opposed and used his veto power to overrule the council. He even stated "if Jesus were here with us he would wear a mask". 

I have not been back to the church since then and am having a real internal struggle deciding if I will ever return.

Sorry for the long rant but this is just the tip of the iceberg of what's in my head on this topic.

  I am Catholic and know that religion is a very sensitive subject for most people.  I can't blame the church here for being cautious as it has been in the cross hairs of the government and the trial lawyers for quite a while now.  Now that the trial lawyers have bled all the dioceses dry they have moved onto Paraquat and I fear here in NY that within the next ten years nearly all the chemicals that farmers rely on will be sued off of the market here.  No doubt this is to pave the way for the trial lawyers to buy several hundred acre retreats and compounds at fire sale prices.  I get quite discouraged living in New York State anymore.  

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Our church shut down for a couple of months, we meet in rented buildings and have to follow the rules set by the owners of those buildings (a city convention center and a school) but more importantly to me is when we couldn't meet in person therecwas never a negative word from our church leadership about being oppressed or not being able to meet.  Instead they focused on opportunities to minister to people from outside the walls of the building, the churches who refused to do that have given themselves a death sentence. 

  Our attendance is still only about 70% of pre-covid numbers (we were rapidly growing then) but we still have a lot of new people and too many of those came from other churches who essentially gave up last year.  

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As a born and raised catholic, you probably do not want to hear my true thoughts as to what I think of that whole faith...............................IMO their is a decent lot of higher ups within the church that should use a garbage bag as a mask, and will say no more.  

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30 minutes ago, TP from Central PA said:

As a born and raised catholic, you probably do not want to hear my true thoughts as to what I think of that whole faith...............................IMO their is a decent lot of higher ups within the church that should use a garbage bag as a mask, and will say no more.  

I share that thought as well.  The pastor that married us has said numerous times in both sermons and in private how theres many "wolves" and those who want to divide the church with liberal earthly policies, as well as perverts. Favorite saying is that "what was wrong t0 years ago is wrong today" If not for a few good men I've met through the years in the priesthood I likely would have left too.  Too bad he is in his mid 70s and will be leaving soon.  

 

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1 hour ago, TP from Central PA said:

As a born and raised catholic, you probably do not want to hear my true thoughts as to what I think of that whole faith...............................IMO their is a decent lot of higher ups within the church that should use a garbage bag as a mask, and will say no more.  

I think the same could be said about most denominations, maybe not with the abuse cover-ups but there is too much focus on justifying their jobs and not enough at making a difference at the local level.

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1 hour ago, Cdfarabaugh said:

I share that thought as well.  The pastor that married us has said numerous times in both sermons and in private how theres many "wolves" and those who want to divide the church with liberal earthly policies, as well as perverts. Favorite saying is that "what was wrong t0 years ago is wrong today" If not for a few good men I've met through the years in the priesthood I likely would have left too.  Too bad he is in his mid 70s and will be leaving soon.  

 

In Revelations there is warnings of the "wolves" disguising themselves as leaders within the church. Really makes a guy think at this point.

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20 minutes ago, Jesse in WI said:

In Revelations there is warnings of the "wolves" disguising themselves as leaders within the church. Really makes a guy think at this point.

That with alot of other things sure fit with current events IMO..................

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My church was also closed for way to long. I voted to stay open and was told "in Christian love I needed to worry about giving dieses to others". So I should very willingly wear a mask.

Then our wacky govern and his ever changing rules, and maybe it was more than I thought. But by June of 20 when it was very confirmed those under 20 where not dyeing, I was very willing to put my health in the Lords hands. Found out the county district attorney was a Christian and attending church that was open and had no intent of doing anything to close local churches.  Another group I am part (saving a one room school house) was in fear of government taking our none profit status away which is a much more valid point than with a church.  I was very ready to go back, but pastor and another leader where very scared it seemed. Finally started meeting outdoors and distanced (which with local weather worked until Nov). Then back to zoom only. Finally in March back to inside in person. Gave very serous thought to attending other churches that where meeting but finally did not. 

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Our Carpatho-Rusyn church closed for a little while during the beginning but resumed mass with masks pretty quickly.  Our priest has constantly said we need to have faith in Christ to protect us.  The Russian Cathedral nearby was constantly in operation,  no masks, in person,  basically told the government to pound sand. No outbreaks.  Trust in God, not government. 

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I want to start with the fact that the pandemic is too political, but the disease is real, have known a few people that have passed and a few that got really sick from it. I hope we can all respect that and not let the politics take away from that. We have had it through our house and faired out very well, lucky I guess. I have quit wearing a mask unless going into a customers home and they want me to, it is their house and I respect that.

My belief as an America is in separation of church and state. Even Michigan couldn't shut down our church, but the diocese of Saginaw did anyway. I thought our founding fathers wanted the state to have no control over religion, yet we all stepped backward and literally handed the state the rights our founding fathers fought for. We rolled over and played dead because the CDC said we should.  The same CDC that says that this first got here in early 2020, when in Oct 2019, there were locals with all the symptoms of Covid(without a scary name at the time) that were given steroids and told it's a virus and you have to tough it out, most did fine. 

Then there is the Catholic in me. I was taught that viruses and plagues were the work of the devil. We just closed our barn doors and left the flock in the fields to fend for themselves and checked in once in a while with a zoom service. 

I was taught that no one will be turned away from church, even non catholic, come worship. Then we reopen and you will not come in without a mask and seating is 1/3 capacity.  

I was taught the eucharist is the center of the service. Now back to normal, but for months we would go through the entire service and after closing the service, the priest would come back into church and give communion with the strict orders to leave immediately upon receiving. 

I was taught that Jesus walked among the lepers. Our priest has only processed up in church twice that I have seen, usually coming in from the sacristy and always leaving the same. Our daughter made first communion, he gave a time limit to take pictures, and before the three families celebrating were even close to done we were told to wrap it up, time is up. 

The scared little rabbits that lead our church are not the leaders, we are. We have been through lots of issues with priests, most are good, some are not, just like the public. We cant over rule them, but we will outlast their tenure in our parish. The priest is not why we go to church, it is the worship and the congregation.

Some people dont like to stir the pot, I like to put the wolf in the pot before I stir. As the water warms, the true colors tend to come out. This pandemic has shown the lack of leadership in our diocese. 

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43 minutes ago, JaredT said:

Some people dont like to stir the pot, I like to put the wolf in the pot before I stir. As the water warms, the true colors tend to come out. This pandemic has shown the lack of leadership in our diocese. 

I like this.  We badly need to be pot stirrers and shi! disturbers right now.

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From the beginning of this mess in early-March of 2020, I decided I was not going to live in fear.  I believe that the Lord is sovereign and if He sees it fitting to remove me from this earth and take me to the next, who am I to argue?  I am unable to add an additional second to my life.

The disease is real but all I can do is take effective precautions like:  get plenty of rest, practice good hygiene, keep my distance and limit long exposure with others, and help boost my imune system with a multivitamin.  I didn't lose any sleep with this approach.

The media reported all sorts of "studies" that showed the effectiveness of masks, the ability for asymptomatic people to infect others, and the dangers of the spread on surfaces.  However, no solid data has been shown in these areas.  The study that I could read was done in Denmark in April/May of 2020 and was finally published in the Annals of Internal Medicine late last year.  Guess what?  No statistical difference in transmission with or without face masks in a study of over 6,000 participants.  Did the study use the face diapers?  No, the masks in the study were the N95 masks.  No studies that prove asymptomatic spread or surface transmission either.

My pastors felt much like I did.  They took Hebrews 10:25 to heart and our congregation operated as close usual for as long as we could.  A portion of other congregants were a lot more paranoid...and vocal.  Provisions were made within the building to help ease anxieties of those who were concerned.  This May, the every-other-bench restriction was lifted, but a room for mask-only members continues.

COVID has accelerated the trends in church attendance that were already in motion in the Western world.  Recent studies by the Barna Group indicate that 20% of churchgoers in the US have stopped attending in any form, physical or digital, in 2020.  I suspect that this will continue in 2021 and forward.

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1 minute ago, EquipmentJunkie said:

COVID has accelerated the trends in church attendance that were already in motion in the Western world.  Recent studies by the Barna Group indicate that 20% of churchgoers in the US have stopped attending in any form, physical or digital, in 2020.  I suspect that this will continue in 2021 and forward.

I think the REACTION to covid has made this possible.  If more church leaders had stood up, like  instead of caving, I think we'd see the trend going another direction.

 

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When we first opened back up we offered an area for masked all the time, and an area for masked only during singing and walking around. Nobody used the masked all the time area but one person that I know of

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40 minutes ago, Steve C. said:

I think the REACTION to covid has made this possible.  If more church leaders had stood up, like  instead of caving, I think we'd see the trend going another direction.

 

Perhaps you are right.  I just know that attendance has been on a trend of decline since 1995. 

It is my understanding that attendance in "Bible-based" congregations are gaining ground.  What that definition means and what the actual numbers are remain a mystery.

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We've never done any masking requirements, though we did shut down for a few weeks in March last year. Been open since May of 2020.

I do think this accelerated the exodus from church. Many who have left weren't overly interested anyhow. The continued decline of this and other countries will see additional churches close as everything swirls down the drain.

But for those who have had enough, grace persists and is still there. Will things change? they always do, but usually in ways we don't like. :)

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