Author Topic: Coronavirus news  (Read 589570 times)

Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1710 on: May 23, 2020, 12:32:48 AM »
J. Thomas Shelley:
And thus our 21st Century Neroes and their journalistic cheerleaders blame the Christians....
Me:
That is maybe the second most ridiculous statement made in the forum in the last 24 hours.
I’m not blaming the Christians, because they’re Christians. I’m blaming Christians who are doing stupid things.
Good grief! Can we tone down the “OMG Christians are being persecuted!” shouts? FWIW The restrictions apply to all religious gatherings, and other kinds of gatherings as well. Things like high school graduations.
A significant number of religion organizations, like the Minnesota Council of churches, do not oppose the governor’s actions.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 06:02:08 AM by Charles Austin »
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.

James J Eivan

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1711 on: May 23, 2020, 01:03:34 AM »
There are examples from all over the country showing church services, evangelism rallies, and similar gatherings as occasions where the virus was spread rapidly.
Starting with Trinity Sheboygan, and including far too many to other congregations to list, congregations have legally and responsibly conducted Divine Services throughout this medically challenged period beginning with numerous services with only 10 present and gasp ... no rapidly spreading virus.  Trinity Sheboygan is now up to legal and responsible Divine Services of 100 ...given their spotless record over the past two months will continue God willing with again no rapidly spreading virus.  Many other congregations are following similar responsible protocols to safeguard the health of God’s people.


The question on many minds is why is it that the more progressive one is, the more fearfully vocal one is to allow others to attend responsibly conducted church services.

Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1712 on: May 23, 2020, 06:17:48 AM »
Sigh.
The point is concern for the churches That are not conducting and will not Conduct themselves responsibly.
But let’s take Peter’s position: doubt-the-“science” and we-don’t-really-know-if-the-social-distancing-works attitude (even though his services are guided by it).
If there is any, even slight, danger that gathering for worship could lead some people towards infection or worse, should we gleefully open up and/or defy the governor’s orders?
If we were in London in 1940, and the air raid sirens went off Sunday morning, would we say “worship is at 11 am. We don’t think a bomb will hit our church.”?
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.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1713 on: May 23, 2020, 09:07:10 AM »
Yesterday afternoon the 'task force' to prepare for in-person worship at my church met for the first time.  We decided to send out a congregation-wide mailing, in which we caution our oldest and most at risk members about attending. I have two active nurses on my 'task force' and we are taking measures to protect our members that, in my estimation, are far more stringent than what I have observed in public since the quarantine began. 

We cannot control other congregations, and to limit the freedoms of all because of the irresponsibility of some, does not seem right.  And despite our cautions I know that some in worship a week from tomorrow will be some of my eldest members, including a man who recently turned 99.  And despite our guidelines, I know some will violate personal distancing.  But with all of that we are still safer, in my estimation, than any trip to Wal-mart. 

As we try to ease back into practices we left behind in March, one thing we must realize: life is full of risk.  Mitigated risk, to be sure, but risk none the same.  Perhaps it is my role as an emergency service worker than causes me to view things a bit differently.  To do my job for the welfare of my community, I have to assume risk.  I know that and accept that.  It does not mean that I am careless, and our department stresses safety all the time.  In my 17 years on the department we have not lost one life, nor has anyone been hospitalized for life-threatening injuries.  It could happen, of course. We are always one call away from injury or death. We know that. But one can assume risk without guaranteed high rates of catastrophic results.

Are we creating an atmosphere of paranoia that will forever impede the normalcy we need to function as a society?  Perhaps that may be overstated, but it is my concern.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1714 on: May 23, 2020, 09:13:41 AM »

One of my peeves along the way is that we're talking about the "re-opening" of churches.  We have not closed for a minute here in Brooklyn, in the center of the heart of corona death and infection. 

Well said.

Except many of our churches were NOT open.  The doors were locked.  No one was allowed inside, except for staff and the occasional emergency visit.  Bible studies were discontinued.  Our parochial school forced to do on-liine education.  Ladies groups and sewing groups and youth groups did not meet.  Yes, worship continued.  But not with the public.  That is not open, in my book.  So, I have been and will continue to announce that we are re-opening for services on May 31.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1715 on: May 23, 2020, 09:24:47 AM »
Not long after I wrote my post I saw this from Babylonbee.  So timely:
https://buff.ly/2zO2mxA?fbclid=IwAR1cfrcA5ysNv7Y-bbNxnNsoUUroXMQ3pe9I2x8cKHaLDbZDADk4v6U8PMw
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1716 on: May 23, 2020, 09:39:00 AM »
You may be opening your building soon, Pastor Bohler, but presumably your church has continued to function. At least I would hope so.
And that is not an insult, it is simply a suggestion that your use of the word, “church”, is too limited.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 09:41:40 AM by Charles Austin »
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.

Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1717 on: May 23, 2020, 09:53:24 AM »

One of my peeves along the way is that we're talking about the "re-opening" of churches.  We have not closed for a minute here in Brooklyn, in the center of the heart of corona death and infection. 

Well said.

Except many of our churches were NOT open.  The doors were locked.  No one was allowed inside, except for staff and the occasional emergency visit.  Bible studies were discontinued.  Our parochial school forced to do on-liine education.  Ladies groups and sewing groups and youth groups did not meet.  Yes, worship continued.  But not with the public.  That is not open, in my book.  So, I have been and will continue to announce that we are re-opening for services on May 31.

First, I agree with Thomas that one size does not fit all; I've stated that throughout on this thread.  Second, and this applies to you, SW - what have you learned?  From what you've stated here, it's that you can and did connect with people all along the way, with over 100 phone calls a week to various members for encouragement, prayer and the Word.  Do you see that as something to continue, in less fervid form, going forward?  And with the live-streaming service, was something learned that will be of use going forward? 

We're not rushing to go back here - 10 is the limit.  And that will last I think through June.  The one sure thing is we do not want to be a gathering place that produces infections and death.  Our parishioners who are health care workers are at the forefront advising caution.  Do you have health care workers in your midst?  What's their advice?

To Don's post, the value of having health care workers in the local Body of Christ is that they are risk assessors.  I am, to some extent, as a visitor of the sick and as a counselor.  But not as a medical professional.  What I see and hear is maybe different from you, given our location at the epicenter.  The pastoral balm of healing that arrives over the phone and in texts and on the live-streaming and in zoom meetings is right from tomorrow's lesson - Toss your anxiety on God who cares for you.  And I then listen and we talk that through and pray.     While nobody thinks a virtual blessing is the same as in person, a blessing it is nonetheless, an encouragement and a witness to life with God.  The people I am blessing are saying with all their heart, we want to be back together.  And with all their mind, they are saying at the same time - when we're ready, and that's not yet.  Wisdom is in the discernment of those conflicting internal prompts.

I'm not in a position to apply wisdom to your situations in small town or rural settings in the upper Midwest.  What I can say from the perspective of someone who has witnessed this roaring virus roaming up and down the streets of our neighborhoods taking victims is this - in faith and with wisdom take all necessary precautions.

Dave Benke

Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1718 on: May 23, 2020, 09:55:19 AM »
From the Minneapolis star Tribune today, an Article about how some churches are not rushing to open wide their doors:
“I do not need the president to tell me I’m essential and need to open,” wrote Pastor Natalia Terfa of Prince of Peace Lutheran in Brooklyn Park.
“The church has been and always will be essential and no pandemic will change that,” Terfa continued. “The CHURCH is open but the BUILDING will remain closed until it is safe for everyone to gather together.”
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.

Norman Teigen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1719 on: May 23, 2020, 10:11:29 AM »
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.
Norman Teigen

James J Eivan

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1720 on: May 23, 2020, 10:16:06 AM »
From the Minneapolis star Tribune today, an Article about how some searches are not rushing to open wide their doors:“I do not need the president to tell me I’m essential and need to open,” wrote Pastor Natalia Terfa of Prince of Peace Lutheran in Brooklyn Park.“The church has been and always will be essential and no pandemic will change that,” Terfa continued. “The CHURCH is open but the BUILDING will remain closed until it is safe for everyone to gather together.”
Her opinion .. and possibly yours as well ... but why not respect those who responsibly conduct services.  You have failed to demonstrate that conducting worship services poses any greater danger than a trip to a bar or restaurant.


By the way, if the Star were really interested in reporting the news rather than being the news their report would have been fair and balanced by including the prospective of those who hold an opinion different than theirs.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1721 on: May 23, 2020, 10:23:21 AM »

One of my peeves along the way is that we're talking about the "re-opening" of churches.  We have not closed for a minute here in Brooklyn, in the center of the heart of corona death and infection. 

Well said.

Except many of our churches were NOT open.  The doors were locked.  No one was allowed inside, except for staff and the occasional emergency visit.  Bible studies were discontinued.  Our parochial school forced to do on-liine education.  Ladies groups and sewing groups and youth groups did not meet.  Yes, worship continued.  But not with the public.  That is not open, in my book.  So, I have been and will continue to announce that we are re-opening for services on May 31.



...I'm not in a position to apply wisdom to your situations in small town or rural settings in the upper Midwest.  What I can say from the perspective of someone who has witnessed this roaring virus roaming up and down the streets of our neighborhoods taking victims is this - in faith and with wisdom take all necessary precautions.

Dave Benke

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Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1722 on: May 23, 2020, 10:30:02 AM »
One of the prime issues for return to worship is the age and health condition of the worshipers.  Lutheran worshipers are on average 25 years in advance of average age demographics.   So if the average age of an American is 38, the average age of a Lutheran in worship is 63.  Meaning there are lots of our normal worshipers over the age of 70 and with presenting health conditions. 

As Don indicates, those are the very people most likely to return "in a New York minute."  Making it a tough pastoral call.  I have two of those calls to make today because we can go from the skeleton live-streaming crew up to 10.  "I'm coming tomorrow," they text.  The answer is a big No.  Lovely people, church is the heart of their spiritual and social lives.  No.

Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1723 on: May 23, 2020, 10:47:25 AM »
the archbishop has told elderly Catholics in Minnesota that they should not go to church
There are a handful of examples from all over the country showing church services, evangelism rallies, and similar gatherings as occasions where the virus was spread rapidly.

More importantly, however, are the thousands of churches that did NOT have rapid virus spread.

As a good journalist, I'm sure you only care about the truth, so I fixed it for you.

You're welcome.
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DCharlton

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #1724 on: May 23, 2020, 11:00:46 AM »
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.
David Charlton  

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