Author Topic: Coronavirus news  (Read 589573 times)

peter_speckhard

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Michael Slusser

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1771 on: May 23, 2020, 05:08:07 PM »
Moved from the "Closed Churches" thread:
Excerpts from a letter just received (1:30 p.m. Saturday, 5/23) from Archbishop Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis:
Quote
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I wish to let you know of an important breakthrough in our state that will allow for greater worship opportunities for all Minnesotans as we together address the Covid-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, Governor Walz will issue a new executive order that allows faith communities to accommodate up to 250 people for worship services, provided precautions are taken to protect public health. We welcome that development. We know that Governor Walz and his administration are trusting that when faith communities gather, they will do so consistent with public health guidance. Our commitment as Catholics to the common good makes it natural for us to pledge to be good citizens when we gather for worship.
As you know, the Catholic bishops of Minnesota believe that the previous limitation on faith-based gatherings to ten people unreasonably burdened the Church’s ability to fully meet the sacramental needs of our faithful. Because of our Catholic beliefs about the centrality of the Eucharist to our lives, we were prepared to move ahead and allow larger Masses even without support from public officials. As allowances were made for other, less essential activities, it seemed to many that the life of faith was receiving unequal treatment. The new executive order removes that unreasonable burden on the Church and allows us to bring the Eucharist, the food of everlasting life, to our community.
Quote
Although we had previously announced that Mass could begin May 26, the bishops have determined that it would be best to move that back one day--to May 27--to give each parish the opportunity to reassess its plans in the light of the developments announced today. We have decided to make some small adjustments to our statewide protocols to reflect the helpful guidance that will be issued by the Minnesota Department of Health. In particular, at this time when the number of cases in Minnesota has not yet peaked, we are asking parishes to limit attendance at Mass to 25% of church capacity or 250 people, whichever is lower. Even with these revisions, we hope that parishes already planning to come together on Sunday, May 31, for the celebration of Pentecost and the conclusion of the Easter season, should still be able to do that.
I need to make something clear about the return to Mass. The bishops of Minnesota have repeatedly told our pastors and parishes that they should only return to public Mass when they are able and willing to follow the many protocols that have been put in place – including sanitization and a few changes to the liturgy, particularly regarding the reception of Holy Communion. If a parish is not confident they are ready, they should not open. Period. And if the faithful feel safer at home, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days continues to be dispensed. Reflecting the current CDC guidance, we also strongly encourage those who are over the age of 65 or who are especially vulnerable to not attend.
Also his thanks to the District Presidents of the LCMS should be quoted here:
    "It has been a privilege to collaborate with Rev. Lucas Woodford and his colleagues from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. They have been great partners on this matter and other issues. We are grateful for their friendship and how they help us strengthen our relationship with Lutherans in Minnesota."

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
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Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1772 on: May 23, 2020, 05:15:14 PM »
From the bishops’ letter: “including sanitization and a few changes to the liturgy, particularly regarding the reception of Holy Communion. If a parish is not confident they are ready, they should not open. Period.”

I ask:
How do they propose distributing the sacrament to a couple hundred people?
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1773 on: May 23, 2020, 05:18:42 PM »
From the bishops’ letter: “including sanitization and a few changes to the liturgy, particularly regarding the reception of Holy Communion. If a parish is not confident they are ready, they should not open. Period.”

I ask:
How do they propose distributing the sacrament to a couple hundred people?


Perhaps spread out on tables that the communicants walk by - with proper spacing - to pick up their own elements as assisting ministers utter the words of of distribution. Sort of like picking up food in a cafeteria.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Michael Slusser

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1774 on: May 23, 2020, 05:26:15 PM »
From the bishops’ letter: “including sanitization and a few changes to the liturgy, particularly regarding the reception of Holy Communion. If a parish is not confident they are ready, they should not open. Period.”

I ask:
How do they propose distributing the sacrament to a couple hundred people?
The model guidelines that I received a while ago say this:
Quote
K. Distributing Holy Communion is a delicate topic. We must ensure reverence for the Blessed Sacrament yet retain social distance. After consulting theologians and medical professionals, we have decided that distribution of Communion after Mass would pose less health risk because it allows for greater social distancing.
     1. When the number of communicants is more than 10, Communion is distributed during Mass only to those few ministers in the sanctuary. The remaining faithful will be offered Communion after Mass following the protocols at VII. below.
     2. When the number of communicants is less than 10, Communion may be distributed within Mass, always maintaining proper social distancing.
     3. The faithful are recommended to receive Communion in the hand.
     4. Wearing gloves to distribute Communion is unbecoming of the Blessed Sacrament and is not to be done, nor is using tongs or other instruments; in any case these are just as likely as hands to transmit infections. Nor may the faithful wear gloves when receiving Communion in the hand, nor receive it in a paper tissue, plate, cup, or other disposable item.
     5. Communion hosts may not be distributed in zip-lock baggies, plastic cups, pre-packaged containers, or any other unapproved vessels.

and then the aforementioned protocols for communion after Mass:
Quote
VII. Distributing Holy Communion outside of Mass
     A. If distribution of Holy Communion follows immediately after Mass, use the following protocol. If Holy Communion is distributed in a liturgy independent of Mass, use the full rite in Holy Communion Outside of Mass, incorporating these adaptations.
     B. It may be helpful to play meditative instrumental music to maintain a prayerful atmosphere.
     C. For each Communion station place a small table covered with a corporal and have a dispenser of hand sanitizer ready.
     D. If they were wearing them, priests and deacons remove chasubles and dalmatics, take a ciborium from the tabernacle, and bring it to the Communion station table.
     E. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may assist if there are not enough ordinary ministers.
     F. Each minister places the ciborium on the corporal atop the Communion station table, genuflects, puts on a face mask, and applies hand sanitizer. He then picks up the ciborium for distribution. Neither ministers nor communicants should wear gloves. The faithful may apply hand sanitizer before getting in the Communion line.
     G. The faithful approach at each Communion station, keeping 6 feet from all others (including those in adjacent lines); observe the floor markers.
     H. The minister holds up the host and (through the face mask) says, “The Body of Christ.” The communicant replies, “Amen,” and removes the face mask (if wearing one) and receives Communion.
     I. If a minister has touched the hand or mouth of a communicant, immediately after distributing to that communicant, the minister puts the ciborium on the table and re-sanitizes his hands before distributing to the next communicant.
     J. After receiving, communicants may depart immediately, or pray a few minutes in their seats in gratitude for the Eucharist, then depart at leisure.
     K. The Pastor may use the following alternative method of distributing Communion if he judges it workable and safer for his faithful.
        a. Communicants remain in their pews after Mass, where ministers (wearing masks) will bring Communion to them.
        b. Minsters, wearing masks, walk through unoccupied pews and distribute to those in the pew behind. Recipients may receive either kneeling (which is a shorter reach for the distributor) or standing.
        c. Ministers should start from the back of the church and work their way forward. After the minister departs for the next pew, an usher may dismiss the pew of those who have just received Communion.
     L. Ministers return all remaining hosts to the tabernacle and secure them.
     M. Ministers should immediately wash their hands thoroughly in soap and hot water.

It remains to be seen how many pastors will resume public Mass on Pentecost and how they will regard the model directives from which I have just quoted.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
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Michael Slusser

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1775 on: May 23, 2020, 05:31:32 PM »
Youth is valued in the proposed distribution of Communion:

Quote
5. Distribution of Holy Communion
. . . .
    c. Those over age 65 (including priests and deacons) or otherwise at risk should not distribute Communion; use Extraordinary Ministers instead.

In the African community to which I minister, the "Extraordinary Ministers" are (not surprisingly) elders. Go figure.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
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Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1776 on: May 23, 2020, 05:36:41 PM »
We had good news today in NY.  The number of deaths went below 100 for the first time in months.  Along with that, the Hudson Valley and Long Island regions are about to hit the seven-fold criteria for re-opening, most likely by Wednesday.  NYC is still above the line in several categories.  But - this is incredibly encouraging news for this part of the world!

Dave Benke

James J Eivan

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1777 on: May 23, 2020, 05:47:12 PM »
The President's approval ratings among his church followers have slipped and his announcement was a quick and cheap way to shore up support.  The President's comments reflect political opportunism.  The various church leaders here in Minnesota and elsewhere are only too quick to be led like sheep.  The Brooklyn Center pastor just cited by Pastor Austin has stated the issue precisely.
Here in Florida, we have been planning a limited reopening on June 7.  The Presidents announcement had no bearing on our decision, since we made it last Monday.  Some of us don't make decisions based on whether we like the President or not.

Tragically Mr Teigen's chronology lacks factual basis.  Rev Weedon post concerning the Minnesota concerns occurred days before President Trump spoke ... So who is leading who?
https://www.becketlaw.org/media/minnesota-churches-tell-governor-walz-resuming-person-worship-services/

Of course now it be the irresponsible LCMS district presidents who are leading President Trump down the road to calamity, death and disaster.

Mr Teigen defiantly responds ... regrettably attacking me rather than admitting the chronological error of his previous post ....

Through careful analysis I can now identify the mysterious James Eivan.  Come on down, Paul McCain.  Show your face.


Mr Teigen has apparently been sleeping much of the past almost two weeks. Since May 11, P.T. McCain has been prominently listed as the ‘Latest Forum Member’.  Regrettably Mr. Teigen’s conduct will soon place him on the same thread killing list as other participants.


Mr Teigen ... I am not Paul McCain ... please do not insult him such an accusation.  Not taking the following statement lightly ... continuing your perverse and slanderous lie concerning my identity will place you in danger of hell’s fire. Repent and retract your damnable lie.

DCharlton

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1778 on: May 23, 2020, 05:49:45 PM »
Pr. Charlton,

I have to say I found the President’s words helpful and refreshing. The Gov. plan in Illinois would never allow a full opening until a vaccine is found; imagine if we have as much luck as with the common cold! And it’s just unconstitutional on the face of it. There’s nothing unclear about the First Amendment. If it takes a federal lawsuit to prove it, let it happen.

I understand.  I have the fortune of living in a state where "essential" nature of worship has been respected from the beginning. 
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1779 on: May 23, 2020, 06:09:01 PM »
J.E.writes
Mr Teigen ... I am not Paul McCain ... please do not insult him such an accusation.  Not taking the following statement lightly ... continuing your perverse and slanderous lie concerning my identity will place you in danger of hell’s fire. Repent and retract your damnable lie.

I comment:
Then who are you?
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Dan Fienen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1780 on: May 23, 2020, 06:24:41 PM »
Jeff-MN writes:
good news... the governor of MN decided he had to uphold (somewhat) the Constitution....

I Comment:
That is exactly the kind of language which is ruining political discourse in our country. “Decided he had to uphold (somewhat) the constitution”.
Nothing at all has been decided about the constitutionality of the restrictions. The governor exercised some discretion, what he can do, and decided to lift some restrictions, which he can do.
Now, remember, we in the churches are still responsible for our actions. If we are careless about how we handle the situation, we will be responsible for what happens.
The Becket Fund and the other quasi-legal groups supporting the protests can make their claims in their fundraising letters.
We in the churches are to be first concerned about how we protect our people and our neighbors. The phony  “constitutional” question is a distraction from that, And serves no purpose other than raising funds for certain groups.

Emphasis added.


What is phony about concerns about religious freedoms? Is the First Amendment phony? Is it the groups that are providing legal support and advice? Do you object to all legal defense organizations? What about the ACLU, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, National Women's Law Center, etc.?
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1781 on: May 23, 2020, 06:41:31 PM »
From the bishops’ letter: “including sanitization and a few changes to the liturgy, particularly regarding the reception of Holy Communion. If a parish is not confident they are ready, they should not open. Period.”

I ask:
How do they propose distributing the sacrament to a couple hundred people?

I suppose, perhaps since you aren't serving as a parish pastor, you figured it unnecessary to read 20+ page documents presented 2-3 weeks ago in this very topic...

Today Bishop Lecakes (president of the Atlantic District) sent a document to pastors in the Atlantic District called, "Return To Operations."...

I've heard from several friends in other districts that they are not receiving much guidance, so I'm sharing this just in case that's also the situation for some of you.


http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001BFN9UFzozbMtrLzqziKrobx09-QVCJOYx11C_cYUr6aSCaK1QgZqzEOL_ruEyHAq41EQn6JWQPfr25qlvF6T9eAI5gzrwD2EsHtSuZVhe7NhogtSjoNZ2_LtkQGQe-AyTYcWQMp8D0b2rmvS3oSRxbMT2kz52W8UWvRtqbPySzSdPS7tp2SQSg8bQEZ4eqcZZdWvntRG6tzwQ8Nuscg1vZPC0BV5QPKhBUYigfhvgKQ=&c=MoJOV0sdhGDj21xV6Fb1-NlUZjGJ5Vkm7P6t5TRDUHRXWG5yX_X57g==&ch=sab25pzh57t-RKF0m8Tlvf1ABfymqtR9dv4xr-4ExH_3U54Cir22eA==


This document draws considerably on Guidelines for Re-starting Public Mass from the Thomistic Institute at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington DC, which I found very helpful. 



It's not like no one's been thinking or doing anything until  ::) the Becket Fund persuaded Minnesota Catholic Bishops and LCMS DPs to challenge the Guv.  ::)
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1782 on: May 23, 2020, 06:42:51 PM »
This is the feeling of New York pastors concerning fellow New Yorker President Trump's recent involvements:  https://nypost.com/2020/05/22/nyc-churches-hit-by-coronavirus-react-to-trumps-reopening-plan/?mc_cid=8ea43ee77e&mc_eid=4c43c61991

Dave Benke

Jim Butler

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1783 on: May 23, 2020, 06:45:54 PM »
J.E.writes
Mr Teigen ... I am not Paul McCain ... please do not insult him such an accusation.  Not taking the following statement lightly ... continuing your perverse and slanderous lie concerning my identity will place you in danger of hell’s fire. Repent and retract your damnable lie.

I comment:
Then who are you?

Who cares? Why is this such an obsession for some people?

How do you know I am who I claim to be?

How do I know you're actually Charles Austen, Lutheran reporter, and not Chuck Austin, writer of horrible issues of Superman and X-men?

Seriously, why do you care? I don't.

As I've said in the past, this is an issue for the moderators. If you don't like it, go start your own list.
The significance of the passage of time, right? The significance of the passage of time. So when you think about it, there is great significance to the passage of time. -- VP Kamala Harris

James J Eivan

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1784 on: May 23, 2020, 08:14:39 PM »
From the bishops’ letter: “including sanitization and a few changes to the liturgy, particularly regarding the reception of Holy Communion. If a parish is not confident they are ready, they should not open. Period.”

I ask:
How do they propose distributing the sacrament to a couple hundred people?
Perhaps spread out on tables that the communicants walk by - with proper spacing - to pick up their own elements as assisting ministers utter the words of of distribution. Sort of like picking up food in a cafeteria.

Instead of violating the Eight Commandment by clearly reviewing placing the worst construction on EVERYTHING, how about critiquing actual plans ... if you did critique actual plans, painstakingly prepared by Christians who love their Savior, you would have answers to many of your questions.


Funny thing ... you berate fellow Christians who desire to gather in faith to worship God.  Few if any ridicule your fear of the same ... the ridicule directed towards you because of your desire to force your opinion and desires on others.