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Statement from River of God Church Regarding Latest COVID-19 Order

Statement from River of God Church Regarding Latest COVID-19 Order

Following the announcement of Gov. Hogan on November 10, 2020 and effective immediately, Montgomery County enacted an executive order (#122-20 AM) determining to “continue to impose limitations on business and personal activities that are more restrictive” that the State in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In all our church-led gatherings, River of God Church has been complying and will continue to comply with these requirements from Montgomery County. Attending church services in-person is voluntary and we do so knowing the risks and benefits of serving you and being with other church-goers. As such, we are continuing to do the following:

  1. Requirements
    1. We require attendees to fill out a screening questionnaire prior to entry, and preferably the night before. The form is available online and onsite.
    2. We will take and record temperatures AND attendance of all attendees.
    3. Per MoCo, we are required to inform the county if an attendee is diagnosed or develops symptoms consistent of covid.
  2. Cleanliness at Rendezvous
    1. Frequently used surfaces (tables, counters, bathrooms, door knobs, etc) are wiped down before and after use on Sunday mornings.
    2. Extra masks, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizers and cleaners are provided on site.
    3. We encourage attendees to bring their own wipes, sanitizers and cleaners for their own use. Refrain from touching your face, wash your hands every hour and/or use sanitizers frequently before or after touching surfaces or other attendees. Use wisdom before hugging or touching others. And please ask permission before doing so.  
    4. We discourage bringing or sharing buffet-style food items. Instead, please pre-pack food and utensils you want to share or bring for others, and eat outside of church premises.  
  3. Gathering size and spacing
    1. Maximum of 37 people will be allowed in church. Please sign up prior to Sunday if you want to attend so we have a headcount.
    2. Seating will reflect appropriate distance of six feet between households. Individuals who belong to the same household may sit together.
  4. Wearing masks
    1. We require all attendees to wear masks and face coverings indoors and outdoors when it’s not possible to maintain six feet of distance from members of another household.
    2. We cannot allow entry to those who choose to, or cannot wear masks.
    3. Worship vocals and speakers will follow additional/revised guidelines (see below).
  5. Worship Team and Speakers
    1. The front stage (for speaker and vocalists) will be 12 feet away from the first row of congregant’s seats. Vocalists and worship team members will maintain 6 feet distance from one another on stage.
    2. Each team member will have their own individual mics, mic covers and podium for use. They are also given wipes and encouraged to wipe down their own surfaces before and after use.
    3. Speakers and vocalists may remove their masks only when speaking and/or singing but must maintain 12 feet distance from congregation they’re facing and 6 feet between adjacent members.

We thank everyone for helping the church follow this executive order from our local government. We submit ourselves to governing authorities, for there is no other authority except what God has established, and Jesus is Lord above all and the name above all names.

Let’s continue to pray for one another and bless what God is doing as we declare the truth that Jesus has bore all our diseases away. There is no need to fear or be dismayed because Jesus has overcome the world. 

Signed:

Michael Ibay
Lead Pastor, River of God Church

How to Be the Church, (Not Just Go to Church)

How to Be the Church, (Not Just Go to Church)

It was always the plan from the beginning.

The Spirit hovered over creation, and God walked among man in the cool of the day, and so He has always wanted His Spirit to be present and dwelling in us. It has always been the plan. Even when we messed it up, the invitation has remained the same: come nearer. “Let us dwell in the house of the Lord”. Resist the urge to run away in fear or to reject Him heartlessly.

But in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit could not inhabit inside a person because man on the inside was unclean and holy. It was only after Jesus appeared on the earth, died and resurrected that made it available for us to be cleansed and holy from the inside! So, in the Old Testament, the people of God were invited to a physical place called a tabernacle, temple or synagogue. In that place they can come into the Presence of God and enjoy Him. In the Old Testament, you had to go to church!

Now since Jesus had come, the invitation that was from the beginning of time can be given out again: “Come, let Me dwell within you.”  Since the New Testament, instead of us being invited from the outside, instead of inviting you to come to a physical tabernacle, temple or place of worship, with invitation is from within us. God wants to make you His dwelling place. Since the New Testament, you get to be The Church.

For one who is born again and surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ, you are now the dwelling place and temple of the Holy Spirit. You have already come into His Presence because He dwells in you. All we need to do is not tune Him out. He has made you holy and perfected you, so live it, being holy and perfect. He has cleansed you, so remain pure and clean. He has loved you all this time, so love Him back. He has given you a powerful voice and testimony, so use it powerfully and without fear.

God’s Holy Spirit dwells in you, so let Him out and show His effect to the world. You are the Church, the Dwelling Place of the Holy Spirit.