Using our freedom wisely. As we look toward the eventual reopening of Arizona’s retail, dining, elective surgery, and more, no doubt your minds and hearts have already been thinking and planning ahead toward our congregations meeting together again.

At the Arizona Capitol Project, we have been working to gather resources to pass along in an effort to partner with you during this challenging time for ministries like yours. Yesterday, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich issued an opinion on the application of Gov. Ducey’s latest Executive Order to gathered religious worship. You can read the full opinion on CAP’s website.

However, if you’re like me, perhaps you would prefer a quick summary: General Brnovich opined that attending places of worship is an essential activity. In his conclusion, he implores all Arizonans to use their best judgment in suspending all activities that can be delayed for the purposes of protecting the individual and the public as well as preserving vital healthcare resources.

In short, can churches gather to worship in light of this new Executive Order? According to this opinion, it would seem so. As followers of Christ, however, we should be using our freedom wisely. With freedom comes great responsibility. As shepherds, not only should the best interests of the congregations but the communities in which we serve be taken into account.

It’s certainly true that some areas have been harder hit than others. If you minister in a hard-hit community: what a great way to show care and concern both for the congregations and communities you serve.

Template for Re-Engaging in Public Religious Gatherings. CAP’s counterpart in Ohio put together an exceptional, three-phase resource for churches as they reengage in public religious gatherings:

Phase I
Possible Marker: After Stay-at-Home orders are lifted or Amended

Phase II
Possible Marker: When the State Approves all Remaining Community Daycares to Open

Phase III
Possible Marker: When the State Lifts Restrictions on Large Group Gatherings
While there are Ohio-specific links on this page, you will find this resource helpful. Read more…

As things return to some semblance of normalcy on or near May 15, I would like to meet with you in person. I’ll be setting up some appointments in the coming days, and I look forward to the opportunity to meet you for coffee, breakfast, or lunch in the coming weeks!

ICYMI: A little more about Arizona Capitol Project. Our mission is to build a relationship between the shepherds of God’s Church and the government: from our Congressional Delegation in Washington, D.C., leaders in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches, and the county and municipal government officials throughout Arizona. Read more…

New & Noteworthy.

  • 7 Keys to Successfully Reopen Your Church After COVID-19. As we settle into the new norm COVID-19 has created for us, it’s time to think about what happens when our churches reopen. This article from Charisma News features seven takeaways from a webinar with Matt Chandler, Eric Geiger, Dave Dummitt, Bryan Carter, Josh Surratt, and more. Click here.
  • ICYMI: careforaz.org. The leadership of Pureheart Church in Glendale have put together this resource to pair churches with hospitals across Arizona to meet the needs of healthcare workers serving on the frontlines during this pandemic.
  • Help Needed: Arizona Food Banks are in need of food donations! Click here.
  • Reading in Exile. Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention has been doing a series entitled, “Reading in Exile” on his personal website. Ranging from the theological, to the practical, to fiction, it’s worth a look!
  • Connect with Arizona Capitol Project on Facebook this week and share what you’re doing to stay connected with your congregation. Share your ideas with other pastors and churches!

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