Churches during COVID-19
November 24, 2020: The governor of North Dakota recently signed an Executive Order implementing new mandates in response to increased COVID-19 cases. Although South Dakota’s governor has not mandated strategies at this time, it is best for all of our churches to be prepared.
It is important that each church establish and follow a clearly defined process on making decisions that affect the congregation. Regardless of church size, no single individual should make decisions for the entire group:
- The pastor and board of elders should assess their church’s specific situation in order to establish appropriate recommendations.
- These initial recommendations are then presented, either to the church board or in church business session, for discussion and vote. A church board meeting is typically easier to assemble on short notice simply due to a more manageable size and should allow for social distancing. Consider holding the meeting by phone or Zoom.
- Inform the church family of the board’s decision, including the expected timeline for whatever steps are to be implemented. Communication to members may include emails, calling committee, and letters. Please do not rely solely on social media.
In addition, the Dakota Conference recommends local church leadership implement the following steps to help ensure the health and safety of members:
- All individuals age 5 and above wear masks when indoors.
- Provide easily accessible masks and hand sanitizer.
- Avoid hugs and handshakes.
- Maintain 6-foot distances where possible.
- Usher people out by row to help avoid impromptu social gatherings.
- Refrain from group meals and potlucks.
- Use Zoom for committee meetings if possible.
Please keep this situation in your prayers as we navigate through these challenging times together.
For those not attending in person, tithes and offerings may be given through Adventist Online Giving, either through your local church portal or the Dakota Conference Church portal. Funds received at the Dakota Conference specified for local use will be credited back to the local church. The online link is https://adventistgiving.org/#/.