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Bishop of Ohio suspends in-person worship in state

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OHIO, USA — With Christmas simply weeks away, Bishop Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr. introduced Friday that there might be a suspension of all in-person worship of the Episcopalian Diocese of Ohio by Sunday, December 13.

The choice comes after the Ohio Public Well being Advisory System designated seven counties within the Diocese of Ohio as Stage 4 – the best well being menace alert – within the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, each different county, besides one, is at Stage 3.

Given the rising surge in constructive COVID circumstances and COVID-related deaths, Bishop Hollingsworth believes the suspension of in-person worshiping will final “definitely via the tip of the month” and can possible proceed into 2021.

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Additionally starting no later than December 13, all different in-person gathering, governance, outreach and extra might be suspended apart from feeding, clothes and restoration ministries.

“Reside-streamed and pre-recorded worship could also be provided from church buildings, with a minimal variety of contributors, masked and a minimum of 6 toes aside,” Bishop Hollingsworth mentioned in his announcement. “I recommend a restrict of 5 folks in any room ought to accommodate any needed liturgical roles and technological help. Holy Eucharist could proceed to be rejoice, with solely the Celebrant receiving the consecrated parts on behalf of all.”

Beforehand reported “Drive-through” and “drive-in” worship will proceed to be prohibited, in addition to any type of “digital communion,” through which a minister “blesses” bread and wine via a telephone, video stream or pre-consecrated and packaged parts.

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Diocesan and Cathedral employees members are reportedly working to supply each a diocesan-wide Christmas Eve service of Holy Eucharist and an intergenerational Christmas Day service together with hymns, scripture and prayer, out there starting at 5:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve and seven:00 a.m. on Christmas Day. 

“As a spiritual group, we could also be afforded sure exemptions by our authorities. As Christians, nonetheless, we’re by no means exempt from caring for our neighbor and placing the protection of others earlier than our personal wants and needs,” Bishop Hollingsworth wrapped up. “Taking these steps on this unprecedented emergency is, certainly, an act of religion and a witness to the love of God in Christ Jesus. I admire all that you simply proceed to do in modeling and assembly the sensible tasks demanded of us on this time of problem, and thereby offering hope and companionship to those that are struggling sickness, concern, and loss.”

Editor’s Word: The under video aired on December 4, 2020

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