Now that Governor Greg Abbott’s stay-at-home order has expired, churches can begin congregating again.
Some church leaders have said they’ll hold off a while longer before taking that step. However, Pastor Ed Young and his wife Lisa of Fellowship Church in Grapevine said the doors to the sanctuary will reopen Sunday.
“We decided that once we had that opportunity, we were going to have church because so many people wanted to get back to church,” said Ed Young.
Young said they’ve planned for about month ahead of Governor Greg Abbott’s announcement lifting the Stay-at-Home order. The sanctuary holds roughly 4,000 people, but they said they’ll follow the restaurant guidelines and limit service to 25% occupancy – a rule that was not imposed on churches.
“We’re having people make reservations. We’re disinfecting the church. We’re parking people in every other parking space. So, it’s going to a completely contact-free experience,” said Young.
From start to finish, they said they’ve thought everything through. Visitors will be escorted to the building and directly to their seats, which will be designated six feet apart.
There will be criticism. Some people will call the decision to reopen reckless.
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“I am not, nor is Lisa, nor is our church really run from criticism,” said Ed Young. “I understand that everyone has their opinion. I get it. And we listen to all opinions. We listen to criticism also, but we have to do what we believe what God wants us to do.”
Lisa Young said anyone uncomfortable with the idea of gathering can watch the service online. She said they’ll welcome feedback after Sunday’s service to assess what could be improved upon.
“If it weren’t this weekend, we would have to be thinking strategically and creatively at some point. So now is the time for us,” said Lisa Young.
Young said his message Sunday will be titled “The New Normal.”