Opening church in pandemic
New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Orangeburg, like others in the area, has been streaming Sunday services since the pandemic shutdown two months ago. Each Sunday, Pastor Todd A. Brown tells us that any decision to reopen our church will be considered prayerfully and must take into account the health, safety and spiritual well being of all of our members.
Then abruptly, just before Memorial Day, the federal government declared all churches and other places of worship open for services immediately.
Confronting the mixed messaging and confusion among the congregation because of the declaration, Pastor Brown told us that we should remain prayerful. He said that leadership should always think about the safety of the people they are called to serve.
Then he made a statement that should resonate among all believers, “ Why would you listen to someone who does not practice it in their own life. If you don’t go to the sanctuary, you can’t tell me when it is good for me to go. We will keep worshiping virtually until the Lord says differently."
Leo Twiggs of Orangeburg is a trustee of New Mount Zion Baptist Church.
Coronavirus: with our feet off base
It's like a tough game when we try to play fair
We didn't know that this fearful crisis was ever so near
It came in with a sudden blast, we had no clue
No one really knew what to do
It struck like lightning way up in the sky
Shook the world with people from far and nigh
It clapped like thunder, what a massive sound
It twisted the world like a spinning wheel going round and round
We are unable to determine when this invisible virus will no longer be around
Morning, noon and midnight, lurching down on us without a sound
It didn't come like snowflakes that quickly melted away
It didn't come through the night and vanish by the break of day
But it came almost as quick as the bat of an eye
As swift as a rainbow moves in the sky
As we continue with this challenge not knowing the outcome
We are grateful and appreciative of what others have done
We can stand and rest assured that God is bigger that any virus we know
He will comfort and defend us and that's for sure
Necessary precautions can't be taken lightly or for granted, so let's be real
For some may think that the virus is no big deal
But lives have been lost and sickness expanded worldwide
With medical teams and staff working side by side
If you think it's a joke, don't laugh in my face
Stay in your lane and remain in your place
Get on base before you are tagged out
If this is done, then there won't be any doubt
We pray, hope and act, each and everyone
Because this great world we live in is second to none
It preys on the healthy, wealthy, young and old, has no preference between rich and poor
And race is not an option, that's for sure
The author, 80-year-old Orangeburg resident Claflin Kennerly, is a retired educator and member of Mount Pisgah Baptist Church.
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