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Cleveland Baptist Association Releases Emergency Health and Public Safety Advisory and Statement of

Announcement Cleveland, Ohio, May 25, 2020

Considering the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 and its disproportionate impact on the lives of senior citizens and people of color, the Cleveland Baptist Association issues the following emergency health and public safety advisory for Cleveland Houses of Worship.

We advise a prayerful, gradual and safe re-opening of in-person worship services, with appropriate planning and preparation to help mitigate the spread of the virus especially with regard for our senior citizens and others with underlying health conditions who have been identified as most vulnerable to severe complications from the virus.

We assert that the responsible stewardship of the health, safety and welfare of God’s people, as well as the care and concern for the communities in which we live and serve, is as high a priority as coming together for corporate expressions of faith.

Therefore, we advise the continuing use of existing technologies to provide the ongoing fellowship of believers through virtual worship services and celebrations of faith.

Across the nation, churches have been highlighted as hot spots after re-opening too quickly, and without appropriate planning and preparation.

African-, Hispanic-, and Native-Americans have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including astronomical death rates for those communities.

It would be a tragedy for members of our congregations to stay home for three months and then return to worship, only to be infected with this deadly virus.

We will be working with CBA-member congregations to enhance their capacity to thoroughly sanitize their houses of worship and to provide guidance for a safe return to in-person worship.

Again, please be advised to consider a prayerful, gradual and safe return to in-person worship.

For more information and CDC Guidelines on Safely Returning to Worship, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/guidance-community-faith-organizations.html

The Cleveland Baptist Association (CBA) is a Regional entity of the American Baptist Churches, USA (ABCUSA)

12200 Fairhill Road, Suite C/440, Cleveland, Ohio 44120 216-325-7730 FAX 216-325-7731; Email: cbainfo@cbacleveland.org

Rev. Dr. Yvonne B. Carter, Regional Executive Minister

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