One of the nation's largest churches located in Georgia announced it will not resume in-person services through the remainder of the year after a surge in coronavirus cases.
Senior Pastor Andy Stanley of the multi-site North Point Community Church in Atlanta which has a weekly attendance of 30,000-plus, made the announcement Tuesday in a Facebook video message.
The pastor noted that for some the decision would make sense, but for others, it may seem like an "unnecessary precaution, perhaps a lack of faith on my part. You might even interpret this decision through a political filter, and, honestly, I get all of that."
Stanley says the "contact tracing" would be "next to impossible" given the seven locations and how the church operates, and he explained they are looking at what other congregations of similar size are doing.
"As you know, our plan has been to relaunch Sunday worship services on August 9. Unfortunately, that will not be the case. Here's plan B. To be clear, our church is not closed. We are simply suspending our largest in-person gatherings until we're convinced it is safe for you and your family members to return. Stay tuned!"
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Church with 7 locations around Atlanta just confirmed they will not be holding in-person services anymore for everyone's health as church leaders and pastors are responsible for the lookout.
"We want to love our neighbors, we want to be a good neighbor; we don't want to accidentally do something to our community. We have to go to the grocery store, drug store, work, but we don't have to go to church. To people in our community, this is a temporary shut down. Sunday service is closed. This is about the health of our entire community."