LOJ Caldwell Addresses The Coronavirus Pandemic
From our church, to all of you:
As the situation regarding Covid-19 is constantly evolving, we want to make sure that everyone in our congregation and everyone planning a visit are updated with our church’s plans for addressing the coronavirus. Of course, at the outset, we want you to know that the health and safety of all of our members and visitors is our top priority.
We also want you to know that each morning our Pastor and leaders are up before dawn, earnestly praying for you and interceding for our nation, governing bodies, world leaders, medical and scientific communities, business owners and employees, and all those suffering with the disease or who have watched a loved one succumb to coronavirus.
We are with you.
We care and we are here for you.
As of November 17, 2020, the number of positive cases of Covid-19 continue to surge, especially here in the northeast. As a result, New Jersey, by executive order of Governor Philip D. Murphy, has enacted further restrictions on gatherings and business in an effort to stem this alarming tide. Among the restrictions, restaurants, dining establishments, bars and all other food and beverage establishments that are open to the public are now required to close their indoor operations by 10 PM each day, and modify their seating areas. Youth indoor sports (K-12) have been temporarily prohibited.
Additionally, in view of the approaching holidays, all indoor gatherings have been limited to a 10 person maximum (down from 25 people), while all outdoor gatherings have been restricted to a 150 person maximum (down from 500 people). However, a few notable exceptions have been carved out, including religious services and/or celebrations, political events, weddings, funerals, memorial services, performances and certain judicial and legislative proceedings. According to Executive Order No.. 196, the limit for religious services (and the aforementioned) remains unchanged and will be limited to 25% of the capacity of the room in which the gathering takes place, up to a maximum of 150 individuals.
LOJ Caldwell is compliant with all such thresholds and restrictions.
To further update you, LOJ Caldwell recently resumed live (in person) services on October 18, 2020. As the latest developments and restrictions do not directly affect our fellowship, we will continue to meet in person until such time as the Governor enacts new gathering limits that we can no longer meet.
Please take note that we have temporarily changed our meeting location. LOJ Caldwell is unable to utilize the Werner Hall auditorium on the campus of Caldwell University, as the campus has not reopened to the public since the lockdown earlier this Spring. Therefore, we have secured new space and are currently meeting at the Knights of Columbus, located at 2400 North Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ, 07076. Our service times remain the same, every Sunday morning from 10 AM to 12 PM.
Moreover, please be advised that LOJ Caldwell will continue to offer a “virtual” alternative for members and visitors who cannot participate in our live services. We will continue to utilize the video conferencing platform, Zoom, and are pleased to report that we have recently added a Facebook Live viewing option. If you are new to the ministry and would like to receive Zoom login credentials or be invited to view our livestream via Facebook, you may email us at email@example.com for all login information. Be sure you request to be placed on the list of invitees for our virtual worship services and Bible studies. A response will be sent with instructions for joining.
We would be remiss if we did not use this time to encourage everyone to take just a few minutes to visit a couple of important websites, which instruct us all as members of the public in the proper way to approach this pandemic. This is particularly important as cases begin to surge during the present fall and winter months, and the looming flu season. There is no better place to visit than Governor Murphy’s page here, which provides the latest and most accurate pandemic information for New Jersey residents. We also recommend that you frequently check out our nation’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has a bevy of helpful information on their website here, as well as the World Health Organization’s website, here.
Certainly, by now, we all understand how serious this virus is and appreciate how very important it is that we stay informed and that we do everything in our respective power to stop the spread of this deadly menace. You can be confident that LOJ Caldwell has taken every precaution to ensure the safety of our members and visitors, including requiring facial coverings, temperature scans and application of hand sanitizer before entry into our service. We have also rearranged our seating to meet the recommended six foot social distancing restrictions. We also insist – and strictly enforce – that if anyone feels sick, you must stay home and utilize one of our virtual platforms.
Finally, we want to underscore the fact that LOJ Caldwell is not just committed to your safety, but also devoted to ensuring we support each of you – our congregation, family and friends – during this difficult time of uncertainty and crisis. If you need prayer or perhaps assistance that our ministry can provide, please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (973) 464-6120. With the help of our Lord, we will get through this together. For it is written:
“The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil. He shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.”
~ Psalm 121:7-8