May 13, 2020

Dear Church family,

I am writing as Chair of SMBC’s Pastor Relations Committee to share information with you about reopening of our Church.

Under the ByLaws, our worship services “shall be conducted under the direction of the Pastor, or the Pastor’s designee.” (Article VII, Section 1). Further the Bylaws state that, after a Pastor resigns, “The Pastor Relations Committee shall serve as liaison with the staff to ensure that pastoral responsibilities are fulfilled in the interim.” (Article III, Section 3.3)

Accordingly, the Pastor Relations Committee has conferred with our Interim Pastor, Bob Baker, and the ministers regarding whether, how, and when to hold in-person worship services and other church meetings. While we are eager to be with each other in worship and in fellowship, we want to take every reasonable step to do so safely.

The Committee and ministers have reviewed the Kentucky state government directives for reopening churches. For a copy of these recently updated directives go to https://govsite-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/1MQt8kIS5mNcotBuzdmb_Healthy%20at%20Work%20Reqs%20-%20Places%20of%20Worship%20-%20Final%20Version%201.1%20Final-1-.pdf

Given the substantial actions that will be necessary under those directives before reopening and our desire to act with an abundance of caution in protecting the health of our congregation, we have decided to continue worship in virtual services in May and not to initiate in-person worship or other church meetings during that time.

Further, we believe it is essential for the Committee and ministers to receive wise counsel from health care professionals before making decisions about holding worship services and Church meetings after the end of May. Accordingly, we are empaneling an ad hoc Health Care Professionals Advisory Group comprised of physicians, dentists, nurses, chaplains, hospital administrators, and EMTs from the congregation to provide advice to us. We hope to have the first meeting of this group next week.

We will keep the congregation apprised of our discussions and decisions. We ask for your prayers, so that we can discern the Spirit’s guidance and carry out God’s will in these matters.

 

In the service of our Lord,

Susan Harmon, Pastor Relations Committee Chair
Other Pastor Relations Committee members:
David Beck, Administrative Council Chair
Gale Cox, Personnel Committee Chair-elect
Mike Norman, Deacon-Chair elect
Pat Miller, Deacon at-large member
Don Stone, Deacon at-large member
Valerie Weber, Personnel Committee Chair