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Status of church


Status of church normalization  

54 members have voted

  1. 1. To what extent is your Sunday meeting schedule "back to normal?"

    • All meetings are still virtual only
    • Sacrament meeting is in person, but 2nd hour is virtual only
    • Both hours are offered in-person
    • Hybrid: In-person sacrament meeting alternates between segments of the ward
  2. 2. What is the level of "mitigation protocols" enforcement in your church meetings? (masks,

    • Stringently enforced/insisted upon
    • Whatever people want to do, in practice


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3 hours ago, Fether said:

There have been a lot of comments I have ignored. I have only responded to the ridiculous  ones that are making strawmen of my comments.
On that particular comment, I was wrong.

How strange not to respond when you are wrong to correct your statement until it is insisted that you do, but still to respond to “ridiculous ones”.  It makes it appear you aren’t that concerned about being accurate. You may want to change your approach in the future if you want to be taken seriously by some other posters (assuming I am not the only one here who puts a high value on accuracy).

Thank you for the correction. If you haven’t corrected the original post, it would probably be a good idea to correct it. 

Edited by Calm
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On 7/24/2021 at 8:39 PM, Fether said:

I agree completely. I intend on getting it, but that is where the selfishness comes in. I’ve got better things to do. Not saying that the things I have to do are better, but again, it’s hard to see it as a genuine concern with everything that has been recorded and revealed from news and non-news sources. Lies and manipulations from the medical leaders of the government and my personal local experience that doesn’t come close to what is being shown on TV (especially considering my specific city never enacted any really quarantine, mask requirements, or business restrictions).

Do I want to go get a vaccine that is going to make me sicker than the actual disease ever made me or anyone I know? No… not really… but I will eventually.

 

EDIT:

Side note: another personal experience I have. I run a solar sales office that sells solar over the phone. Our main market is CA. We worked full time through all the lockdowns. I can think of only 3-5 people that refused to get solar because of Covid. Everyone else we spoke to that refused getting solar because they didn’t have a job.

To this day, I have called 3,000+ people since the pandemic broke out and only 3-5 have been concerned about COVID itself. Most of which in CA. I have an office full of call center employees with the same story. Our installer has also grown immensely over the last year and was doing 2,000+ installs every month.

Im not saying Covid is fake. Nor am I even suggesting there is evidence of it. Just sharing my experience to paint the picture for many of the people in the US that haven’t been vaccinated yet.

 

On 7/25/2021 at 12:17 PM, Fether said:

That’s my point really. My experience has taught me that this is not that much different from normal flu season. Only this time there is this layer of virtue signaling attached to it via mask wearing and vaccines.

Why were we never worried about getting annual flu vaccines as we are now. Flu is just as dangerous for the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions, yet it isn’t till now that there is this social pride in getting vaccinated.

Now if my area is some bastion of viral safety, and the world really is burning down around us, I would understand the social push… but my experience says otherwise.

Again, I will get the vaccine… but I have the same urgency in getting it as I do all other flu vaccines (maybe less actually because so don’t want to get sick from it)

I am sincerely trying to understand here. So the reason you shared that people are not turning down solar jobs for covid reasons is to show that the flu is more dangerous and the flu vaccine has less side effects than the covid one does?

If that is what you are trying to say, do you have a lot of people who turn down solar jobs for flu reasons?

Also, I'm one of the ones that replied to you and you responded.  Do you feel that my questions are also ridiculous and that I am trying to make a strawman from them?   Because I am seriously confused by what you are saying and am just trying to understand it.  

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When we went to the airport in June to pick up our son coming home from Norway, and again in July for our nephew returning from Croatia/Serbia, we were struck by the very stern signs requiring masks (federal law, etc.). Much more pointed than the signs at the store. But, many weren’t wearing them, and nobody said anything to anybody not wearing them (not even dirty looks). This is similar to the signs at the store (first, masks were “required,” and then later, “recommended”). Even when they were technically required, nobody in our experience said anything to anybody (we don’t shop at Costco, Sprouts, or other stores we understand assiduously enforced it).

I mention this because the Church is handling this the exact same way. There is an official, technical policy (you have to wear a mask unless you are vaccinated), but nobody asks or checks. In wards we have attended in Arizona and Utah over the past several months, almost everyone is mask-less, and everyone knows that many not wearing the masks to church are unvaccinated. Some are very upset about this, but it is the reality “in the pews,” and the Brethren certainly know and understand this --- or they would address it more directly, institute vaccine card checks, etc.

The temple is the same way. It is very hard to get into our assigned temple (Gilbert) for phase 3 ordinances (no endowments available until October from the moment appointments could be scheduled, and that was as far ahead as appointments could be made), but we did manage to make an appointment for sealings many weeks out. We were (happily) surprised to find no one in masks (the woman at the front entrance told us to put our masks away --- which we had ready in hand --- and that we don’t have to wear them). At our niece’s endowment session for her mission in Utah, it was exactly the same. Only one person in the whole Jordan River Temple wearing a mask. If you can get into the temple, no masks are needed or required in practice. Nobody bats an eye or asks about it.

The institutional Church, like stores or other businesses, is trying to meet both sides of this contentious issue in the middle by having technical, official policies that make one side happy, but not really enforcing or insisting on them. That is the reality, at least in the United States.

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12 minutes ago, Emily said:

It is now recorded in church history that the Prophet told members that the Covid vaccine was a gift from God. He pled with members to get vaccinated, so the temples could be reopened. Some did, some didn't.

I have to wonder what children will think of the people in this story when it's told in Primary sometime in the future.

Probably something similar to what we think about members of the Church who didn't look at the brazen serpent Moses held up.  Those were God's people and still many of them didn't do as their prophet advised them to do.

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On 7/25/2021 at 7:48 PM, Raingirl said:

Streaming is a true blessing for those whose illness or disability prevent them from attending in person. I think the church needs to think beyond the pandemic, and continue to offer this service permanently.

So far, our ward still offers streaming with permission of the Bishop, which pretty much consists of asking the Bishop to send the link.

I've been part of discussions on keeping streaming available indefinitely for both chronic and acute illness, and the feeling has generally been that we've already got the equipment set up, why not?

I think most stakes who have made it convenient to stream will continue to do so. It could only be a problem if it is determined that streaming is creating a large group of people who are always, "sick" when they are really perfectly capable of attending.

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6 hours ago, Emily said:

This has ALWAYS been true. 

I had a boss back in 1977 wearing a mask all week because of a cold.  We had a big delivery pending and we were a small company (15 employees I am guessing) and no way could he stay home.  That really impressed me as you could tell that it wasn’t that comfortable and he was already looking pretty miserable.  I always made sure to stay home from church when contagious and made sure my kids did as well.  My husband…well, thankfully he rarely gets sick.

Kids with running noses coming to Primary drive me insane.  Some I knew had allergy issues and forgave those as they could never come if they waited for a clear nose, others obviously not.

Edited by Calm
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3 hours ago, Emily said:

So far, our ward still offers streaming with permission of the Bishop, which pretty much consists of asking the Bishop to send the link.

I've been part of discussions on keeping streaming available indefinitely for both chronic and acute illness, and the feeling has generally been that we've already got the equipment set up, why not?

I think most stakes who have made it convenient to stream will continue to do so. It could only be a problem if it is determined that streaming is creating a large group of people who are always, "sick" when they are really perfectly capable of attending.

I think this is kind of odd.  I get why people are worried, but why are we treating adults like children? Why can't we let them decide for themselves?

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

I think this is kind of odd.  I get why people are worried, but why are we treating adults like children? Why can't we let them decide for themselves?

Most U.S. units (following stake directions and guidelines from within the coordinating councils --- Area Seventies, so quasi-local) are stopping the streaming and home sacrament authorization to encourage families to come back to church. Each ward has families who either really took to home church and don't plan on coming back any time soon, or are terrified out of their minds and staying away for, to them, legitimate reasons. Most A70s and stake presidents, now that everyone who is terrified has had ample opportunity to be vaccinated, don't want to enable a significant number of members to stay separated from the wards and stakes indefinitely. This is definitely having a long-term ripple effect on some families and pockets of people that won't easily be overcome once this is all truly "over" (if it ever will be, with limitless flu-esque variants, ad infinitum). 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone’s stake or ward made any changes or statements since the release of the First Presidency’s guidance and direction this week.

Our temple has went back to mask requirements and our mission president has started requiring the missionaries to wear a mask again indoors. But, so far our Stake and Ward leadership seems to basically be, First Presidency who.

Covid is just raging through our Stake right now with many in the hospitals, others are sick and we almost lost our young bishop to the virus. But nothing seems to be softening hearts. It’s politics over guidance from the prophet or even life. 

It’s sad to say this. I hope I will be able to report something different soon.

Edited by Ragerunner
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Not a word, but a) I would be really surprised if there were a change to the status quo, and b) we're focused on relief for Gila Bend (in our stake), which was devastated by flooding. That's the sole focus now. Many won't be at church tomorrow because they will be helping in GB. Corona is back burner at the moment . . .

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On 7/30/2021 at 3:03 PM, Emily said:

Speak for yourself. I certainly worried about getting my flu vaccine every year, got extremely annoyed at the inconsiderate twits who go to church and work when they are feeling sick, and believe strongly that if you knew you've been exposed to flu, you should wear a mask when you are around other people, even if you don't feel sick.

Regardless of whether it's a flu, a cold or Covid, sick people should always stay home. If you can't do that from an economic perspective, then wear a mask and social distance. This has ALWAYS been true. 

The consequences of what was previously rude and inconsiderate behavior have simply changed to inhumane and potentially lethal behavior as Covid transmission rates and death rates are so much higher than common varieties of flu.

I wish this disease came with a rash. A terrible disfiguring rash that lingered for months after exposure. You can darned well bet people would go get that shot if the alternative was huge splotches on their face, instead of simply killing random old people, diabetics or immune supressed children. 

Never mind, the next variant probably will come with a rash. Then we will see how long people keep thinking it's somebody else's job to stop the spread.

Yep, totally agree! I spoke with my son today on the phone and said how glad I was that people were willing to get the polio shot back in the day and my son who doesn't think it too necessary to get the vaccine shot, said, yeah if people saw physical things on a person with covid then I think more would get it. It's like people need proof or something how harmful covid is, and I mentioned the rate of deaths should be enough to want to get the vaccine. Hopefully he'll come around. 

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We got this today from the stake leaders:

 

As the number of COVID cases and hospitalizations have drastically increased in our area, we are asking you and your families to prayerfully consider what you can do to help reduce the spread of potential COVID cases in our church gatherings. 

Until further notice, please note the following:

 As possible, we ask ward leaders and members to be appropriately distanced in meetings and other gatherings. Where distancing is not possible, we urge members - especially those who are not vaccinated - to wear masks. If you experience COVID-related symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID, please stay home until you are no longer ill. 
 Brethren who administer the sacrament need to properly sanitize and wear masks during the ordinance.
 Members who feel the need to administer the sacrament at home need to counsel with their bishop each week before doing so. 
 A sacrament meeting from the stake will soon be available for streaming each Sunday for members who are at home. The sacrament ordinance itself will not be streamed. Ward leaders should council together regarding specific ward needs for streaming Sunday School or other organization meetings. If you are physically able to attend church meetings, please do so. These accommodations are intended to support members with significant health risks or restrictions, and not as an incentive for otherwise-healthy members to stay at home. During this time, we encourage members to do all they can to remain active in church classes, activities, ministering and other service opportunities.

Based on specific needs, ward leaders may implement more specific steps in line with this guidance.

We recognize that individuals and families are primarily responsible to make health-related decisions regarding vaccination, masking and other recommended protocols.  We are also mindful of the principles taught by the First Presidency(here is the most recent statement) urging vaccination to protect against severe infection. The data collected by public and private health care specialists continues to indicate that vaccination is the best way to be protected against infection. We strongly encourage members to consider vaccination as a way to protect yourself and your family from severe infection. 

We know that for different reasons, this has been a very challenging time for all of us.  Because of the many debates surrounding the virus, it is easy for contention to take hold of our thoughts and feelings. If we are not careful, our support or opposition to any of these issues will reduce our ability to live by the covenant obligation to be of “one heart and one mind and dwell in righteousness” (Moses 7:18).  Regardless of your decisions in these matters, we are sure that the Lord is aware and loves each one of us. As His disciples, He will continue to guide and be with us as we seek to promote peace and eliminate contention. 

We also extend our love and gratitude to each one of you! 

Edited by Peacefully
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19 minutes ago, rongo said:

Not a word, but a) I would be really surprised if there were a change to the status quo, and b) we're focused on relief for Gila Bend (in our stake), which was devastated by flooding. That's the sole focus now. Many won't be at church tomorrow because they will be helping in GB. Corona is back burner at the moment . . .

I didn't realize that was happening!  

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Just opened my weekly email for our ward which has continued zoom church for a while now. The email asked members of the ward to please wear a mask. I say good for them!

Hello Everyone! Here is the program for Sunday, August 15, 2021. Please note that the First Presidency has asked that we again wear masks in public meetings when we can't social distance. Bishop ***** has asked that we wear masks during our meetings. This week is the third Sunday and our second hour meetings are Sunday School and Primary. The sister missionaries assigned to our ward will be speaking. And in addition,**** , who has been recently called to the New York, New, York mission Mandarin Chinese speaking will speak to us. It will be a great meeting so come and join us or if you are not able to be there in person please join us through Zoom. The link is at the bottom of page 3 in the program. ****

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Here's how it's coming down in my ward.

The latest 1st presidency statement says "To limit exposure to these viruses, we urge the use of face masks in public meetings whenever social distancing is not possible. To provide personal protection from such severe infections, we urge individuals to be vaccinated."

My stake emailed everyone, linking to that statement and quoting D&C 21:4-6.  They say "Each ward should do their best to accommodate social distancing guidelines but please recognize that will not be possible in most situations. If distancing isn’t possible or not being followed then face masks are urged to be worn.   Those administering the sacrament are urged to wear face masks."

The bishop is a good man but not computer savvy.  He emailed everyone with a vaguely worded summary, and mentioned something about distancing that could be interpreted different ways.  He misspelled "bishop".

We'll get through it.

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Our area is loosening up stuff a lot and masks are recommended but not necessary. With a fourth wave and this delta variant looming people and businesses are weary so people are still masking. So, last week at Church some wore masks and some didn't. Now, though with this new 1st Pres. update i'm sure more will wear masks at church. Other than the mask thing things are getting back to pre covid times, slowly. One thing that ANNYOYS me though is these idiotic hybrid meetings, half a class in the chapel and half on zoom. It was better when it was all or nothing-all on zoom or cancelled altogether or everyone in the building. So, the bishopric decided last week's ward council that next week's EQ and RS will be zoom free, which is a relief to us all. Buuuuuuuuut apparently they reversed their decision at bishopric on Wed. so now we have to do half on zoom and half in the building or as many as want to do either and still do a class. I despise it. So, I figure they created the problem they can solve the problem so I'll get a bishopric member to operate the zoom thing and links and yadda yadda yadda.

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No church here today. The inevitable arrival of the Delta variant has placed us under stay-at-home orders. But we have never stopped distancing practices at church since resuming in September last year, with alternate pews blocked off. Those blessing and serving the sacrament wear masks and gloves. The deacons hold the trays, and in the case of the bread, they serve it with tongs.

I did speak to my sister in America earlier today. She said her bishop had copied the First Presidency statement into an email of his own and added that he expected ward members to follow the guidelines therein.

In addition, I spoke with a temple recorder in America yesterday, and he said that their temple presidency has stated that masks will be required from when they reopen on Tuesday. Apparently they had been optional, though he has continued to wear one despite being fully vaccinated with Moderna.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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Nothing for my ward/Stake that I know of.

Emailed the Exec Sec directly, have not gotten a response. 

So as best I know, tomorrow is no mask "required" ( Yes I realize the 1st Presidency did not use that word), alll rows open for seating, congregations passes the sacrament down the rows.

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