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carlimac

Who has gone back to church at the building?

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We went back to two meeting times every other week a short while ago.  Those who did not feel comfortable coming, those who had any symptoms, and those who felt they could not or would not follow the distances and mask wearing instructions, or those that just wanted to... were invited continue having sacrament at home.

Sounds like after General Conference we will be going to a every week, one meeting schedule, with a video stream.  We will have to open the overflow to keep the spacing requirements.

I assume that once again that those who do not feel comfortable coming, those who have any symptoms, and those who felt they can not or will not follow the distances and mask wearing instructions, or those that just want to... will be invited to watch the stream of the service and still have the sacrament at home (The ordinance itself will not be broadcast)

 

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3 hours ago, estradling75 said:

I assume that once again that those who do not feel comfortable coming, those who have any symptoms, and those who felt they can not or will not follow the distances and mask wearing instructions, or those that just want to... will be invited to watch the stream of the service and still have the sacrament at home (The ordinance itself will not be broadcast)

 

The ability to bless the sacrament in the home is no longer a general or "blanket" thing that will be taking place. Stake presidents have been asked to start getting members back to church to meet together. Our Bishop is no longer authorizing anyone to perform the ordinance in the home unless there is a reason for it. (e.g. being in an age sensitive group, having newborn infants, past/current exposure to the virus, etc...) He had to tell some folks no yesterday and it was a difficult situation for him to be in.

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1 minute ago, scottyg said:

The ability to bless the sacrament in the home is no longer a general or "blanket" thing that will be taking place. Stake presidents have been asked to start getting members back to church to meet together. Our Bishop is no longer authorizing anyone to perform the ordinance in the home unless there is a reason for it. (e.g. being in an age sensitive group, having newborn infants, past/current exposure to the virus, etc...) He had to tell some folks no yesterday and it was a difficult situation for him to be in.

The thread asked about our experiences.  I gave mine.  I am a Sunday School President so I am on my Ward's Council so I know the direction in which my Ward is currently heading.  That could change of course. (which is why I put "I assume" at the beginning of that paragraph)

Whatever others leaders do... well there is nothing I can do about that except... encourage the members to be faithful and if needed do what @Jane_Doe did

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1 hour ago, scottyg said:

The ability to bless the sacrament in the home is no longer a general or "blanket" thing that will be taking place. Stake presidents have been asked to start getting members back to church to meet together. Our Bishop is no longer authorizing anyone to perform the ordinance in the home unless there is a reason for it. (e.g. being in an age sensitive group, having newborn infants, past/current exposure to the virus, etc...) He had to tell some folks no yesterday and it was a difficult situation for him to be in.

Just sharing my experience--

My non-LDS husband is extremely diabetic which puts him in the high risk category.  This is private health information that he does NOT like sharing with random ward members.  He finds it very invasive.  We've both stayed home pretty strictly -- like avoiding even being in a room with more than 10 masked people.    I only make a weekly trip to the mask-mandated grocery store and Sunday "at home" church with another family in our ward who's equally cautious / at-risk.   That weekly joint mini-church has been great for both of our families spiritually and fellowship-wise.

 

If we had been able to just email the bishop "hey, we're high risk" and get simple permission to stay home, that would have been one thing.

But that wasn't good enough.  He said no and then tried to guilt us into things.  We had to go through this entire ordeal of discussing private health information, educating on what is high risk (he didn't know diabetic was such), explaining that no I don't do sports or any other activities, appeal to the stake president etc.  I was furious and isolated.  My friends were also angry, felt completely disfellowshipped, and like they were going to have their temple recommends revoked for this.  It was extremely tremotolous, and felt very unneeded.  And I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't appealed and feel for those whom were likewise put in a horrible spot but didn't have my bluntness.

Again, as i said earlier, I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Not the church of Bishop Jones, and while I think he blundered with this, I too am a blunderer.  

Edited by Jane_Doe

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17 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

Just sharing my experience--

My non-LDS husband is extremely diabetic which puts him in the high risk category.  This is private health information that he does NOT like sharing with random ward members.  He finds it very invasive.  We've both stayed home pretty strictly -- like avoiding even being in a room with more than 10 masked people.    I only make a weekly trip to the mask-mandated grocery store and Sunday "at home" church with another family in our ward who's equally cautious / at-risk.   That weekly joint mini-church has been great for both of our families spiritually and fellowship-wise.

 

I totally understand that.  My situation is from a different but the result has been much the same.  I have a special needs son, he is not vulnerable, but he is incredibly disruptive.  My wife and I have not been to church together for about 8 years, because one of us is home with him.  With the pandemic we have been able to partake as a family, and he is there too.. being as disruptive as always, and it does not matter.  We do not have to worry that he is hindering anyone else's attempt to worship or feel the spirit.  Just being able to be together has made it some of the best sacrament services we have had.

Then we started the twice every two weeks, and I go off our appointed time so the rest can go on our appointed time.  Because followshipping with others is important too..    I am so looking forward to the virtual where we can get both the followshipping and the family in basically the same service.

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4 minutes ago, estradling75 said:

I totally understand that.  My situation is from a different but the result has been much the same.  I have a special needs son, he is not vulnerable, but he is incredibly disruptive.  My wife and I have not been to church together for about 8 years, because one of us is home with him.  With the pandemic we have been able to partake as a family, and he is there too.. being as disruptive as always, and it does not matter.  We do not have to worry that he is hindering anyone else's attempt to worship or feel the spirit.  Just being able to be together has made it some of the best sacrament services we have had.

Then we started the twice every two weeks, and I go off our appointed time so the rest can go on our appointed time.  Because followshipping with others is important too..    I am so looking forward to the virtual where we can get both the followshipping and the family in basically the same service.

I too am looking foward to (if) my ward does anything virtual.

There have been small fellowshipping events --people helping each other out randomly, Facebook helping, coloring each other's sidewalks, little Primary activities sent in the mail etc.  Ironically, while we haven't been in person is so long, I am amazed at how far these little things go.

 

PS: here's my take on disruptive kids: "I love them!  I love all those weeks when your child screams louder than mine.  And don't worry, somedays we'll take the loudest prize for ourselves."   

Edited by Jane_Doe

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We've been back in-person for a few months now, with perhaps 35% attending. Yes, it's tough not to be able to hug or even shake hands. It's a chore to wear the mask throughout the service. It seems like a shadow of pre-Covid times. And yet, I know we're doing right. We are obeying Caesar as best we can. Many of our members do not believe this is that serious. Pastor takes a fair amount of criticism for enforcing compliance. Yet, there are other members who wish we were even stricter. My take is that I can be in church so I need to be. And...faith tells me there is more blessing in church than just the information I learn. There is something about being in God's place with God's people doing what God has given us to do. No judgment. No condemnation. However, my encouragement to all people of faith is that if you can be with God's people than that's the place to be.

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It appears that some local leaders are unfortunately making decisions based on personal political viewpoints. (I have seen that before.)
I think this is on full display as the Area Authority in Utah asked members to wear a mask for the love of others.  Yet so many members have ignored that request. Putting politics over religious guidance. I am sure some of this is unfortunately taking place with some local leaders.

But, the gospel is true even if man/woman is fallible. 
 

I find it interesting that many are talking about how we are in the final days and signs of the time. But we get a sign with a worldwide pandemic and they say it can’t be real. It fake. 

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5 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

PS: here's my take on disruptive kids: "I love them!  I love all those weeks when your child screams louder than mine.  And don't worry, somedays we'll take the loudest prize for ourselves."   

It definitely made me more tolerant  :)   But you know how it goes... you have whatever you feel your flaw is and you think everyone is judging you for it.  In reality there might be some but (hopefully) not as many as you would image.  As we develop in discipleship we become slower to take offense and quicker to try not to give it.  In this case my wife and I feel that anyone would have issues with disruptive kids needs to be there more, so we will rotate so they do not get offended.

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It's a tough thing as a parent to see it. 

For myself, I deal with being high risk but also risking getting the virus daily via the university.  It's a wierd mix there where we have many of the students that have chosen to take classes via an online university program this year (which I also have to utilize in trying to educate students in that fashion for our department) while at the same time having a few on campus as well.

In that way, I figure I am already exposed somewhat, though I'd feel a LOT more comfortable (at least while weather has still been nice) if they would be doing meetings outside rather than inside (they have singing, which was shown as a key way to spread the virus).  We've had an uptick of cases in our area recently as well.

I hope I do not get it.  I wear a mask, I try to social distance (and there are many at the ward that want to shake hands and such), but it is a personal risk.  Thus far, (as I said, I hope and pray I do not get it, we have had at least one ward member that possibly got it at church as it was the only place they were going...die recently from Covid) I have been blessed and hope to stay that way, but it is MY choice to do so.  My ward also has other options (thus far) if I choose to take them at a later time (for example, think it is too risky to go to the ward meetings with the spike in Covid cases)...but it is MY choice currently.  One that I am grateful is available and that I am allowed to make.

However, as a Father, I have other feelings.  I understand my daughter's reasons for wanting to avoid going to church currently.  As a parent, I want to go off to Utah and wring her Bishop's neck (not very Christlike of me, which is a sin).  NO ONE should have that type of power and the ability to hurt others in such a way as I understand it (at least as it was portrayed by my daughter, but I will admit that is a one sided view as I have only heard her and her husband's side of the story).

I know our ward still has zoom for their meetings for those who choose not to attend, and have extended the invitation that they can view our zoom meetings if they wish (I'm not sure on the legality in the church on that, though I know anyone can go to any meeting, they technically are not in our ward or ward boundaries...and thus the Bishop could not authorize them to take the sacrament currently).  I'm not sure how or if that will help.  She was incredibly frustrated.  As a parent, I feel...so helpless.

If anything, I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY hope and pray that the prophet will help those in her situation.  As a parent, I feel very unchristlike towards her ward leadership (mine is great thus far) the more I think about it, but I know that's not the proper way to think or do things.  However, without some greater authority to help my daughter and people in her situation right now, I don't know where help will come or what can be done.  As I said, nothing stinks so much as being a parent and seeing your child in a situation which you can't help and feeling absolutely helpless.

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Guest Scott

It sounds like our stake is going back to church at home.  Too many COVID cases in the wards 

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On Sunday, I had my first “but I read on Facebook that Colorado couldn’t do church” conversation.  
 

Went like this:  “Our stake follows direction given by our county board of health. We will follow the guidance and the mandates from that group. To the best of my knowledge, they haven’t increased their level of restrictions.“

then we went back-and-forth a few times on “but I read it on Facebook“, but at the end of the day, the sister was happy and we saw her at church.

.

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Our ward went to weekly meetings two Sundays ago.  They are Zooming them for anyone who wants to stay at home.  They turn it off while they bless and pass the sacrament.  We're still allowed to perform the sacrament at home if we aren't attending in person.  My family meets with my parents who are in our ward, with my brother's family who is in another stake.  My dad is very high-risk.  He had multiple pulmonary emboli about a year ago.  We're going to keep meeting with them until he feels he can go back.

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1 hour ago, raven2 said:

Just out of curiosity. Are their stakes or wards going back to virtual only meeting in Utah or Idaho as COVID cases rise rapidly? 

Church this Sunday was canceled in my ward do to a gas leak - not COVID - until this morning our ward was going to meet and have a Sabbath meeting on Zoom for those that felt at risk of COVID.  Sacrament is not on media.  Sunday school will be on Zoom as it has for the last month.  As a side note - I was one of the rapid rise in cases but had no symptoms.  I am in my mid 70's.  Last week I was released from quarantine.  I consider this a small miracle.  The greater miracle is that my wife - a type 1 diabetic though obviously exposed by both me and those that exposed me did not contract the virous.  

My doctor contacted my by phone each day of my quarantine.  I took the opportunity to ask more question than was being asked of me.  For example, I was advised to get the vaccine when it became available.   I asked why.  I was told that the COVID virus is mutating and that the vaccine would be useful.  I asked if a vaccine would be more, the same as or less useful than my current  immune system having defeated the full power of the virus.  My doctor could not answer that question though I had the impression that he knew the answer.

My impression is that we do not have the means (not leadership - leadership can contribute but is not a means to an end) to defeat the virus. 

 

The Traveler

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On 10/30/2020 at 10:10 PM, Scott said:

From our Bishopric.  Says it well I guess.

94569243_10158540714512873_2202716669728522240_n.jpg

I see that side as ONE variable -- illness = death.  But what about the other variables? E.g. isolation = suicide.  It has happened a lot. And by corrected statistics, it has a greater death toll during the shutdown than has the virus itself.

Edited by Carborendum

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Guest Scott
1 hour ago, Carborendum said:

I see that side as ONE variable -- illness = death.  But what about the other variables? E.g. isolation = suicide.  It has happened a lot. And by corrected statistics, it has a greater death toll during the shutdown than has the virus itself.

Excellent point, but although us church members have been asked at times to physically isolate at times, we shouldn't be leaving anybody truly isolated.  We should be checking up on our ministering families, contacting them and other members regularly, and still communicating with them any way we can.  I know it's not the same, but we have to do our best.

If the test if the world would also do this, it would sure make things easier on anyone who is lonely and depressed.  Of course the World isn't like the church, sadly.

Right now it's the local church leadership that makes the decision on whether wards are to meet in the building or at home.  I'm pretty sure that a lot of prayer and thought goes into each decision.

As for our ward, we were told earlier that we're going back to at home church, but we got an email Friday that we're going to try (for now) scaled back meetings with extra precautions.

Edited by Scott

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1 minute ago, Scott said:

Good point, but although us church members have been asked at times to physically isolate at times, we shouldn't be leaving anybody truly isolated.  We should be checking up on our ministering families, contacting them and other members regularly, and still communicating with them any way we can.  I know it's not the same, but we have to do our best.

If the test if the world would also do this, it would sure make things easier on anyone who is lonely and depressed.  Of course the World isn't like the church, sadly.

Right now it's the local church leadership that makes the decision on whether wards are to meet in the building or at home.  I'm pretty sure that a lot of prayer and thought goes into each decision.

As for our ward, we were told earlier that we're going back to at home church, but we got an email Friday that we're going to try (for now) scaled back meetings with extra precautions.

I get that.  But as you say, it just isn't the same.

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Guest Scott
20 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

I get that.  But as you say, it just isn't the same.

Believe me, I know.  We moved here about two years ago, but I work out of town a lot.  Most of the time I when I have been in town, there haven't been in person meetings.  I haven't been able to even meet that many members and have only been able to go a few times.

Then there is my daughter.  I moved here before the rest of the family could move to join me.  For her (she's 16), it's really hard to make new friends in a town with no in person church meetings, no school activities, everyone isolated at school, etc.

We'll just have to trust the church leadership to do the right thing and as promised in General Conference, this will pass.

Edited by Scott

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On 11/1/2020 at 8:51 AM, raven2 said:

Just out of curiosity. Are their stakes or wards going back to virtual only meeting in Utah or Idaho as COVID cases rise rapidly? 

My grandparent's stake in UT has done just that.

 

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52 minutes ago, Scott said:

Believe me, I know.  We moved here about two years ago, but I work out of town a lot.  Most of the time I when I have been in town, there haven't been in person meetings.  I haven't been able to even meet that many members and have only been able to go a few times.

Then there is my daughter.  I moved here before the rest of the family could move to join me.  For her (she's 16), it's really hard to make new friends in a town with no in person church meetings, no school activities, everyone isolated at school, etc.

We'll just have to trust the church leadership to do the right thing and as promised in General Conference, this will pass.

It is indeed very tough.

For us, reaching out to one or two other families for small in-person gatherings has been a tremendous lifeline.  In-the-flesh does matter a lot.  

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Guest Scott
On 10/25/2020 at 8:27 PM, Scott said:

It sounds like our stake is going back to church at home.  Too many COVID cases in the wards 

For now the decision was made that we can still meet, but only once a month.  All activities have to be virtual.

I guess that is better than most of us expected since most thought we would go back to church at home all weeks.

Screenshot_20201106-090255_Yahoo Mail.jpg

Edited by Scott

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A few years ago, my stake invested several thousand dollars in some pretty sweet broadcast equipment.  A few weeks ago, all the ward techie folks like me got instructions on how to broadcast our meetings over YouTube.  (I'm still using zoom, which is the stake's 2nd choice.)   We're having around 100 coming to weekly sacrament meeting, and another 20 accounts logging in virtually (guessing around 40 remote viewers).

That said, it's stake conference weekend, and we're showing the stake broadcast in our ward buildings, and inviting 3 wards to my building at the same time.   We're really quadrupling down on the "protect the at-risk, everyone else do whatcha want" philosophy.  Yes, my county got recently bumped up a level due to rising positives, I heard somewhere the r value was an astonishing 1.6.  But 20-30 yr olds are getting it, which of course means not many people are dying.

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We're almost back to a "new norm".

We're subject to the following restrictions.

1) The sacrament is served by the Aaronic Priesthood using "lockdown style" protocols.
2) Only every other pew is occupied.
3) There is hand sanitizer available for those who want it.
4) We wipe down the pews after sacrament.
5) Most group activities are not at the church building, but at people's homes.

Apart from that, we hold a regular service with the entire ward present.

We've had a few cases in the ward.  But even those with comorbidities are recovering just fine.

Edited by Carborendum

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