By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) -Churches across the United States are planning to defy bans on indoor worship and will open for in-person services this Sunday, May 17, Worthy News learned. The move is part of the “Peaceably Gather Sunday” initiative in which congregations seek a balance between safety against the coronavirus and worshipping without restrictions.
Megachurch Pastor Brian Gibson says HIS Church, with locations in Owensboro in Kentucky and Amarillo in Texas, will open this Sunday. He is inviting other churches to join them and to sign a petition.
“Our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and the right to assemble peacefully. By signing the petition, you pledge that you will exercise these sacred rights on Sunday, May 17, for Peaceably Gather Sunday,” Gibson said. “Your church will be open, and will welcome all healthy people in your communities to attend and physically participate in services,” his Peaceably Gather website reads.
Sunday’s controversial openings come ahead of Pentecost Sunday when thousands of congregations plan to reopen in the U.S. State of California. Church United, a network of some 3,000 churches representing 2.5 million members in the Golden State, wants to reopen before the state sets in motion the third phase of its reopening plan.
The controversial reopening comes after last week, even Vice President Mike Pence expressed concerns about the cancellation of in-person church services. He said the cancellations in the name of slowing the coronavirus outbreak have “been a burden” for congregants.
Pence, a devoted Christian, spoke with religious leaders and Republican officials during a brief visit to the Des Moines area. “It’s been a source of heartache for people across the country,” Pence told about a dozen people at the Church of the Way Presbyterian Church in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale.
He encouraged them to resume in-person church services responsibly in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
If you are interested in articles produced by Worthy News, please check out our FREE sydication service available to churches or online Christian ministries. To find out more, visit Worthy Plugins.