GENERAL OVERSEER’S STATEMENT ON HOW TO CONDUCT WORSHIP SERVICES FOLLOWING THE RE-OPENING.
Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ.
I wish to thank the Lord for taking us through the lockdown from March to September. I also thank all of you for faithfully observing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as set by government and for your untiring effort to keep the church alive and active. It has been a testing time; but James 1: 2-3 says, ‘’Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance”.
One of the important things we have learnt during the time is the importance of small or house meetings. Whatever the circumstances we should encourage, support and strengthen them. I believe that this time has helped to shape and grow our relationship with the Lord and have identified more potential leaders.
Following the president’s speech on 20/09/2020, the lockdown on places of worship that came into play early this year was among the restrictions that were eased. This opening is with immediate effect.
However, this doesn’t mean that covid-19 has disappeared. I urge us to continue behaving responsibly and keep observing the SOPs. Each one is now required to keep himself/herself from possible infection.
Therefore, as we prepare to open our churches I felt we need to emphasize some few areas:
- Let us encourage Individual prayers or counseling while maintaining the necessary SOPs.
- Prayers and fellowships with numbers not exceeding 70 people can be held on any day. This should be in accordance with observing all the other SOPs, that is, washing hands with soap and clean running water, 2 meters of chair spacing and wearing of masks. Please note that some of the spaces used by our churches might take in fewer than the 70 people after observing the SOPs. In such cases you may have to hold several services on Sunday or some on other days of the week.
- Night prayers and trans-night fellowships are not yet allowed.
- Children aged below 12 years are not permitted to attend church. In case where it’s possible I ask the parents to attend church in turns. For example, one goes for the 1st service and returns home to allow the other attend the next.
- Brethren with diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and such conditions should be advised to stay at home for now and attend service on line. This is because they are more vulnerable than others.
- It is not mandatory to open up the place of worship immediately, if you are not ready. Hurrying when ill-prepared might cause the spreading of the virus even the more. Make sure you are adequately prepared- you have put all necessary SOPs in place before opening.
- In every service, please remind the congregants on how to safe guard themselves from getting infected with the virus.
- Completely avoid laying on of hands. In the event of demonic manifestations, ushers wearing masks and gloves should carry such people to an isolation room for deliverance.
- Offerings can be sent to either the bank or Mobile money church accounts. In cases where this is not yet possible, people can collect them in baskets, but one at a time, still observing social distance. Ensure that those handling the offering are well shielded with masks and sanitizers.
- Avoid flouting any of the guidelines as you know Romans 13:4 says, “The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good………………. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. ….” NLT)
- May the good Lord be with you, bless and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace- Numbers 6:24-26.
Pastor Edward Kiwanuka
General Overseer-Deliverance Church Uganda