117 East Burke Street, Martinsburg WV

To open or not to open: That is the question

One church joining faith and action

To open or not to open: That is the question

This coming Sunday, the Consistory is going to talk again about whether to reopen the church. I will be honest — I have mixed feelings.

On one hand, I miss it so much. I miss the fellowship. I miss the music. I miss Tom’s sermons, even the ones in which the science goes way over my head. I miss having a set time every week to worship, in a setting and with messages that are familiar.

We have tried to find online services. On Easter, we watched one from the National Cathedral, which was very moving. Last week, we found a UCC church in Arlington, Va., that airs online services. It was nice, but not the same. Attending another church’s worship service in my TV room wearing yoga pants and a Burrito Bus tee-shirt is not the same as worshiping in my church with my church family.

On the other hand, I worry about safety — my own and that of my friends and fellow parishioners. Summer is here, infection rates are declining, and people are starting to relax. Is the virus going into hibernation in the warm weather? Or are we all just tired of being at home, so we’re venturing out more? The question of reopening church is the same one I face every time I want to go somewhere: Is it safe yet? How many precautions should I take? Is it even worth it to try?

From what was discussed at last month’s Consistory meeting, I can tell you that, if we reopen, there will be many, many precautions in place to keep the worship service as safe as possible. But can we take enough precautions to be sure of everyone’s safety? And if we open church, will people come?

I would love to hear what everyone else thinks. Will you go to church if we reopen? If you are reading this on Facebook, please reply in the comments. If you are reading our blog, email your thoughts to crcmartinsburg@gmail.com.

In the end, this is a decision in which all of us have a stake. So thank you in advance for sharing your opinions.

Lisa Gough is a member of Christ Reformed United Church of Christ’s Consistory.