December 23, 2020
Letter to the Editor
I am writing regarding your piece on “Why you should cancel your in-person indoor Christmas Eve service.”
While I strongly disagree with all four of your points, I do support your right to believe and share your views (Romans 14). In my view, churches are essential, and we should remain open.
If your church wants to remain closed with the doors firmly locked until further notice, when the virus concern is over, whenever that may be, good for you. I fully support you. Note that it may be quite a while.
However, one size does not fit all. Other congregations may feel differently (Romans 14), and they are not wrong or irresponsible, just because their view is not consistent with yours. It appears you think your position is both superior and elite. I disagree.
The virus is spreading everywhere, even more so in areas where government officials have forced churches to close, like Southern California. I feel churches are a force for good in our country, especially so in times of great uncertainty and turmoil, like the present. It seems you have perhaps lost sight of this.
My church is producing online content for remote consumption and we are also meeting in person, leaving it up to individuals to choose what they are comfortable with. We feel like we need each other now and have therefore restructured our services and adopted safety protocols like extra cleaning and sanitation, mask wearing, no physical touching, and no passing of communion trays or offering plates, and we have spread out our seating. We have masked and gloved greeters who open the door for people on their way in and out. One can attend our worship service and not touch anything after leaving one’s vehicle. We also have consistent messaging about staying home if one is sick in any way.
This works for us and we are not being less responsible nor are we spreading the darkness of disease. Sorry, you still have not gotten through to me. I’d like to politely suggest that you focus on your congregation and we will focus on ours. Reasonable people can disagree, even Christians.
Bryan Butler, Marysville, Ohio