By Jon Roberts – Denver, Colorado … As COVID cases continue to rise throughout the Rocky Mountain Conference and the world, public health is still at the center of all COVID policies.

In an email to pastors, Eric Nelson, VP of administration stated, “In a web conference with faith leaders on December 7, Governor Polis’ office shared that churches in Colorado are being moved to the status of “Critical” or essential services. This classification changes slightly the limitations on our church attendance from what they have been in the recent past. The lightened restrictions will only apply to worship services–not potlucks, prayer meetings or other gatherings.”

For all levels of “Critical” services, the limits on attendance are 50% of capacity. The Conference is adding that the limitation of attendees should not exceed 100 since the virus is peaking rather than diminishing. “Caution is still required since we want to keep our members and community safe while not overburdening our hospitals and health care workers,” Nelson said.

New restrictions were placed into effect in Wyoming also. “It is my understanding that Wyoming’s governor recently published a statewide mask mandate. This is due to the increase of cases in the State of Wyoming. Wyoming pastors will need to confirm that this is applicable to their county and affects churches directly,” Nelson added.

With cases increasing, RMC administration is urging all members to exercise caution throughout this holiday season and wanted to remind all members of the safety protocols in effect for all churches in RMC.

“Still in effect is the mask mandate, social distancing of six feet, and hand sanitation. We also recommend [that] online services be available to our higher-risk members,” Nelson stated.

In concluding, Nelson wanted to stress the following point, “Please do not take undue liberty with this lessening of restrictions. We still need to be careful and cautious.”

–Jon Roberts is RMC media/communication assistant; photo by iStock